A name registrar is that sort of service provider everybody needs at some point when they get serious about their online presence and want to have their own identity thus domain.
Basically from the times when Internet was young their main function is to keep that record of who owns a name and to broadcast that to the world. Some of them lately pivoted to the cloud business but still their main service is the same.
Because you do not interact often with this kind of service, one tends to become conservative and compliant. I was usually just paid every 4 or 5 years an extra fee to keep the domain registered and interacted with them when some settings were changed.
Then this year suddenly my former registrar (you will see why former) RomArg a Romanian registrar decided somehow to focus just on their cloud business.
So how do you go from a mainly registrar business to a cloud business as smooth as possible ? Here comes RomArg:
- send to your client a bill for $45 informing them that this is the new annual fee for your “enhanced” account, which besides your domain nameserver hosting has a crappy shared virtual machine instance attached, with less memory and CPU than the basic $5/month from DigitalOcean that includes much more features.
- threaten the client that they have 15 days to pay the bill or their domain will be parked and all nameserver records of the domain removed from their infrastructure, basically racketeering.
I was like WTF !!! literary are they morons ?
I mean their core offer was:
- nameserver hosting for the domain
- an old and buggy cPanel version to administer the domain records
- no record protection. They actually demanded $40 for this basic feature offered by any other register so I never actually activated it.
- user/pass access, no TFA no e-mail notification that someone was logging in in your account. I was always very wary of this as there were countless stories of stolen domains due to this type of lack of security on the Internet.
- no dynamic DNS. For this I was lucky that my main ISP has the tendency of not changing your assigned IP often . Only when some event happens on the infrastructure and some components end up being rebooted I was getting a new IP.
- no card payments, I had to do an OP in local currency. The charges are in $ but paid in RON at a crappy exchange rate so $45 ends up being $48 in real value.
So here comes the change to www.namecheap.com. I am not going to insist on namecheap offer but I just list the features that made the cut for me :
- free nameserver hosting for the domain
- a nice modern web interface for the domain configs. Think about the same as DigitalOcean or AWS DNS configuration screens.
- free record protection
- access into the account using TFA with YubiKey !!! I really love this as lately I am a YubiKey addict.
- free dynamic DNS that is easy to integrate with my EdgeRouter Switches. You can define very easy dynamic DNS subdomains.
- PayPal payments. I can finally use my profits from my blog adds to pay for may domain.
I have to thank RomArg that after being for more than 15 years their client they forced me to open my eyes and move to a real registrar.
The moral of the story is that sometimes you have to be woke up from the complacency by some stupid marketing move made by your service provider.