Why I've Started to Move My Domains from internet.bs to namesilo.com
Domain registrars have their pros and cons just like any service. Here's 5 main reasons why I chose NameSilo over everyone else.
As you start racking up years in the software development industry, you’ll see many different services come and go.
Not only that, but services that were once amazing in the past may become less awesome in the future due to competition that offer better features for the same price.
This happens in nearly every tech industry. Back in the day, AltaVista was the best search engine ever, until Google popped up and destroyed them by offering a superior service (minimal UI and better search results at the time).
Domain name registrars are no different and at some point in your journey, you may want to jump ship to a different domain registrar. Here’s my story.
Why Did I Switch from internet.bs?
For longer than I can remember I’ve been using internet.bs to register domain names. This site, along with all of my course sites are / were set up with them. I also set up a bunch of domains there for my freelance clients too.
Price wise, they are really good. You can grab a .com domain name for $8.99 per year and it comes with free WHOIS privacy for life (not just the first year).
Other more popular registrars will charge around $3 per year extra to guard your WHOIS contact information from being public and typically charge around $11 per year for a .com domain. In the end, that’s about 65% more expensive per year than internet.bs.
So why would anyone switch away from internet.bs? Here’s why:
internet.bs Doesn’t Let You Change Your Own SPF Records
Nope, SPF isn’t just an acronym for sunblock (Sun Protection Factor).
An SPF record is just a standard TXT record. If you ever plan to send emails out in bulk which originate from your domain, such as
email@example.com then it’s imperative that you set up custom SPF records.
If you don’t configure your SPF and DKIM settings at the domain level properly then you will run into serious deliverability / spam issues.
Anyways, they have that TXT record hidden from their web UI and you need to contact support to request a change to it.
To change your SPF records with internet.bs you have to:
- Open their web chat and wait 1 minute to 1 hour for a live rep
- Explain the situation to them
- They will put a request in to level 2 support
- You’ll wait a few hours to a few days for them to make the change
The above process may take an entire business week. That’s an eternity because if you were able to change your own SPF records, it would literally take you 5 seconds to update it in your DNS records by going in there and adding / editing a TXT record.
For over 2 years I’ve asked them to please allow it every time I had to request a change but they always reply saying it’s for my own protection. Since they allow for e-mail forwarding, you could potentially break your own e-mail forwarding if you set it up incorrectly.
That’s kind of nice, but honestly, I know how to change it. I don’t want that protection.
internet.bs’ e-mail forwarding feature is not protected by TLS
This one really hurts. If I sent or received an e-mail using
firstname.lastname@example.org it’s done over plain text because they didn’t bother setting up TLS for their e-mail forwarding service.
That’s just unacceptable and a 100% deal breaker for me. You see a big fat red insecure icon next to the email in gmail and your communication is out in the open for any bad actors who are interested in reading it.
That might have been OK in 2005 but not in 2018+.
HTTPS and security is so important that I made a whole course on the subject.
internet.bs’ Dashboard for Managing Your Domains Feels Ancient
It’s not like I’m sitting there managing my domains for 3 hours a day but I like cool looking interfaces that are pleasant to use just like anyone else.
They recently updated their UI but it still feels really old. It just doesn’t feel nice to use and they make things as time consuming as possible for doing basic DNS record management tasks.
It’s like someone threw it together to do the bare minimum and zero thought was given to making the usability of it exceptional.
Put the 3 things together (mainly the first 2) and why would you ever stick to using them if other services exist who offer the same price and fix the above problems?
Why Did I Switch to namesilo.com?
The decision to switch to NameSilo was simple:
- NameSilo lets you buy .com domains for $8.99 and offer free WHOIS privacy for life
- They let you create / edit your own SPF records as if it’s any other TXT record
- Their e-mail forwarding is protected over TLS
- Their front line support team is on the ball
- Their dashboard is a step up from internet.bs
If you want to relate this to a fantasy world, it would be like a Knight upgrading from a cracked wooden sword to Excalibur by switching from internet.bs over to NameSilo.
Let’s Talk about NameSilo’s Support
I’ve contacted NameSilo’s support a couple of times, mainly to ask questions and I always get a response from someone who feels like they are a developer themselves, and have a deep understanding of domain name related knowledge.
It felt like I was sitting next to the person while having a casual conversation instead of being fed a copy / paste scripted answer. I really appreciate that because I do the same thing when it comes to offering support for my courses.
Prior to doing the transfer I opened a live chat with NameSilo’s support and within about 15 minutes of using their service I uncovered 2 potential bugs.
One of them was, I got logged out of their live chat after my login session expired naturally. When I came back, I explained what happened and immediately was informed that he opened a ticket in their system to look into that.
That’s pretty sweet. I actually felt like I didn’t waste my time reporting a potential bug because I was informed action was taken to fix it in the future.
The other potential bug was related to how NameSilo auto-imports your existing DNS records as a convenience. It failed to work when I did a transfer so I had to manually put them in myself (which took about 3 minutes).
But, the reason it likely failed was he said my SPF records looked really suspicious and that the formatting did not match the standard way to do it. Guess what, I didn’t even set them, they were set by internet.bs, so it’s possible my SPF record was never even being used because internet.bs didn’t set them in a normal way.
Anyways, long story short, he said maybe their parser gave up because it wasn’t designed to deal with such a malformed TXT record. That was added to another ticket. No harm, no foul because at the end of the day I got around this by just putting everything in myself, which only took a few minutes.
I only mentioned those 2 things because it showcases how well both issues were handled. All of this happed in a span of a few minutes of live chat too.
That’s not to say internet.bs’ support was awful. In the times where I did need to get help, they were always pleasant about it. It just took a while usually.
Most of My Domains Are Already Transferred to NameSilo
Needless to say I’m going to move all of my domains to NameSilo as they start to expire on internet.bs. I’ve already moved most of them.
Edit: I’ve now moved all of them. Here’s how I transferred my domains with zero downtime.
I’m not alone too. Over 450,000+ people have transferred their domains over to NameSilo while only about 45,000+ people transferred away from NameSilo. That means they are growing their customer base 10x faster than they are losing it.
To top it off, transfers are free, in the sense that if your domain is going to expire in 6 months and you transfer it to NameSilo, you can purchase 1 year’s worth of renewal on it from NameSilo and you’ll get +1 year added to your expiration date at the cost of the 1 year’s renewal.
In the end, that means in the above example your domain would expire in 18 months. You don’t lose that 6 months you had previously and you don’t pay extra for it.
What domain registrar do you use? Let me know below.