My DNS happiness is complete

I have been using Gandi as my preferred register for some years now. They have probably the most customer-friendly AUP out there, are reliable, and good decent folks. I have liked everything about them.

Except the fact that they don’t have whois privacy. But now they do! Woohoo! They did have whois spam protection all along, but your address and phone number was visible to everyone.

Whois privacy services are something that you have to keep a close eye on. What you want is for your name to still show up in the public whois database, but just nothing else. Some whois privacy services put *their* name there, which means technically they own the domain. I wouldn’t trust that. Gandi is better about it. Your name, their address and phone number.

Of course, you still have to give Gandi your real contact info, and there are some situations in which it will be revealed. But all in all, I am very happy to see them doing this.

I had looked at other registrars that provided whois privacy, and never liked them for various reasons. Many happened to also have quite restrictive terms of service (hello Dynadot), maybe were good people but had restrictive ToS and crappy interface (register4less), etc.

Now I get to stick with Gandi and get the features I want. I’m very happy with that.

9 thoughts on “My DNS happiness is complete

  1. I actually asked Gandi a while ago if they could people stop obfuscating/filtering my contact details in my whois entry. Because I *want* people to be able to email, call, or write me about DNS issues.

    They refused.

    Privacy is nice, except when it is forced upon you.

  2. Erm, that is, I remember them refusing, but they must have changed their minds, since my whois is de-obfuscated at the moment.

    Anyway, it’s a pity that whois can no longer generally be used for the purpose for which it was intended — reliably getting out of band contact information for domain admins.

    1. That’s weird. I don’t think I’ve ever had them obfuscate my whois data. Except my email address, which I chose for them to do. They publish email addresses that rotate every so often, and expire every so often, but people that email the current address will be be forwarded to your real address. So you can still reliably use whois to email people.

    2. I look at it the other way around: it seems like a pity that the domain name infrastructure does not support fully anonymous domain names.

  3. Did you read the terms of service for the new privacy service? They say, among other things, “We will disclose the complete contact information that has been registered for the Gandi handle that is attached to a domain name: … to any third party that requests it”. That seems to make the privacy service completely useless.

    1. Thank you for sharing this with everyone John!

      Indeed, it is a privacy service, and gives domain name owners at more privacy in the ownership of their domains.

      What it does NOT do: put the ownership of your domains at risk! At all times, it is very clearly the domain owner that is in control of the domain. There is no “proxy” service, or other company that is involved: at Gandi, *you* own the domain, period. With 100% domain name ownership does come some legal obligations, one of which is that you must be able to be contacted at any time by a third party. This is imposed on all ICANN accredited registrars.

      If you would like to discuss this point directly with Gandi, I warmly invite you to visit the Gandi Bar at :)

    2. Yes, I did read that. Elsewhere it said that it would be turned over to authorized requesters under French law.

      It may not be perfect, but it’s a lot better than nothing.

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