Networking

Network Solutions registers every domain that you check

Domain registrar Network Solutions has been caught front running domain names. Domain names searched via its whois tool are immediately locked, preventing the customer from acquiring the domain from other registrars. The domain name is automatically released if no purchases are made from Network Solutions after five days.

Domain registrar Network Solutions has been caught front running domain names. Domain names searched via its whois tool are immediately locked, preventing the customer from acquiring the domain from other registrars. The domain name is automatically released if no purchases are made from Network Solutions after five days.

The Vice President of Policy at Network Solutions, Jonathan Nevett, has responded. Rather than reassure, the explanation confirms its unpalatable practice:

After the search ends, we will put the domain name on reserve. During this reservation period, the name is not active and we do not monetize the traffic on these domains. If a customer searches for the domain again during the next 4 days at networksolutions.com, the domain will be available to register. If the domain name is not purchased within 4 days, it will be released back to the registry and will be generally available for registration.

The irony here is that Network Solutions excuses its actions to its desire to "protect" its customers from front running:

This protection measure provides our customers the opportunity to register domains they have previously searched without the fear that the name will be already taken through Front Running.

What is your opinion of this entire snafus?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

10 comments
shashi b
shashi b

Hi: I work at Network Solutions. We know how important this issue is for everyone, and not only did we listen, we're acting. The issue lies with domain tasting abuse, a practice where registrars hold domain names for their clients. ICANN can vote an important issue to resolve to resolve front running for once and for all. We are advocating that ICANN acts now, and we have published an official statement on our web site to that end. Please excuse this URL, but given the seriousness of this issue, it was appropriate to provide a link: http://tinyurl.com/63yaox Shashi

PapaWhiskey
PapaWhiskey

Snafus? This isn't a "snafus", it's fraud. So what do we? Do we get angry, but do nothing about it, or do we vow not to do any business with Network Solutions? I've used Network Solutions in the past for domain registration, and for the purchase of SSL certificates, but I will go elsewhere in the future.

admin
admin

Just use Godaddy.com, they are cheaper.

Jaqui
Jaqui

I will never do a domain name search until I am going to buy the name, it isn't as uncommon as it should be for the registrars to do this, though most will sell a locked domain, at a much higher cost than registering a domain name.

petals28
petals28

One of my domain is blocked by Network Solution after even after a month it is not realeased. Same thing happened with Register.com. They are doing the same in blocking the domin searched.

kenbarrett
kenbarrett

Could it be you are checking within the five day window, and that results in pushing back the release date? Try waiting a week (not that we should have to be doing this).

paulmah
paulmah

What is your opinion of this entire snafus?

kkernspa
kkernspa

I could see them holding the name for perhaps 4-6 hours to allow someone accessing their site to get the name they inquired about without someone swooping in and grabbing it. But 4 days? That seems a little excessive (not a little...quite excessive).

armstrongb
armstrongb

On 1/7/08 I went to Network Solutions and Go Daddy. I searched for 3 of the same domain names on both sites. I ended purchasing all 3 domain names from Go Daddy because the price was 1/3 of what Network Solutions charges. I had a browser window open with each vendor and was at the purchase page. There appears to be no lock on the domains I purchased from Go Daddy even though I searched for them first on Network Solutions. I did not experience the annoyance and possibly anti-competitive behavior as you described. Thankfully.

kenbarrett
kenbarrett

It's simply B.S. If they have registration authority they need to be prevented from doing this. Network Solutions if Front Running.