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The Internet

Tucows Opens Domain Name Registry 61

Tucows.com is still working on the site, but their Open Shared Registration System should be ready to go by November15. There's an API to proxy through their accredited server into the domain name database. Anyone can write their own client software based on theirs, which is GPLed. Their take is $13/year, easily the lowest yet: the idea is for others to customize their own client software, add value, resell domains, and start the price war.
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Tucows Opens Domain Name Registry

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  • Actually, the $13 is an all in fee. $9 to NSI, $4 to OpenSRS. Our $4 goes back into the pool to support the development, pay for hardware, bandwidth et al.



    Unlike a lot of domain resale programs, this is not an extra fee that is tacked on top of NSI's $70 reg fee.



    -RWR, OpenSRS Maintainer

  • It's good to see the Open Source paradigm come to the bitter and twisted world of domain registration. I hope this does well.

    It's also good to see a website go live with even less content than mine did! Lets hope they're dreaming up some intelligent, robust methods to impliment their scheme.
  • Just went though the OpenSRS site again, but found it to be almost useless for general information/overview. Are there any other related links that anyone knows of?

    I've been stuck at a show this week - getting the site updated is a huge priority but it's been real rough getting decent connectivity. Anyways, I'm sitting on a ton of info that will likely go up this weekend, including a new iteration of the contract, v1.3 of the API documentation, the getting started guide and (cross your fingers) the first release of the client code.

    -RWR, OpenSRS Maintainer

  • Name.Space is the company you're talking about. This company has been doing registrations for new TLDs for 3 years. The windows software you're talking about only changes your DNS to point to one of the many name servers that carry Name.Space's zones. The .com .org .net space is way too crowded, and NSI will have to open the root zones for these new TLDs sooner or later... So it's not just a novelty registration..
  • I thought that CORE and ICANN both get a cut too somewhere in the range of $29. I may be wrong but I would think that the actual base cost will be TUCOWS' $13 cut PLUS CORE and ICANN charges... for a total of around $42.

    Nope, $13 all in.

    -RWR, OpenSRS Maintainer

  • www.joker.com is cheaper. 20.45 Euro, or around 67.60 cdn for two years or around $20/year us I believe
  • What does the following snippet of info mean?

    the main points of the agreement focus on;
    • Protecting the intellectual property of Network Solutions used in the deployment of the OpenSRS server at TUCOWS.

    I interpret it as meaning we can't move our domain names from NSI over to OpenSRS. If anyone finds out a way to do it, let us know!



  • So, will they be providing a ratings system for our domain selections:

    * 4 cows for the domain name frootlupz.com
    * 0 cows for the domain name sexwithfrootlupz.com

    ...

    -------------------------------------------
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So, I'm assuming that the post I'm replying to wasn't a complete come-on to get people to angrily reply and waste their energy. It sure sounds like one, though.

    Domain names are a product it takes almost zero skill and resources to "produce". They are grossly, horridly overpriced today. The faster the price falls, the better. As for your "destructive competition" theory, bollocks to that. I can only wish that Network Solutions will some day be driven out of business and bankrupted.

  • So where is the best place to get a domain name registered and perhaps have some web pages hosted. I can't get anything better than modem phone line access. DSL has been a long time coming and still no success.

    Perhaps someone can share their shopping experience?

    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • I thought that CORE and ICANN both get a cut too somewhere in the range of $29. I may be wrong but I would think that the actual base cost will be TUCOWS' $13 cut PLUS CORE and ICANN charges... for a total of around $42.

    Anyone have anymore info on these other costs?

    Peter Gogas
    ddpg@tekindex.net
  • You can renew with anyone you want... NSI can't hold you prisoner... My company Name.Space would be happy to renew your domain registration.
  • For hosting you might try Hurricane Electric [he.net]. Their servers use Linux and let you use PHP3 and MySQL. All starting at $9.95 a month. They're fast for me, they're only a hop or two from MAEWest (maybe not a good thing) and overall I'm quite happy. I've only used them for a month though, so YMMV. They currently register through NSI so you'd have to register it yourself using one of these alternate Name Servers.

    There was another hosting service that advertised on Slashdot a while back. I don't have the URL handy, might not have it at all anymore.

  • Unfortunately, $70 per domain is the cheapest available right now; but at least you get the domain for two years.

    I highly suggest register.com [register.com]: They make it extremely easy to change administrative contacts, IP addresses/nameservers, and whatever else that's relevant to your domain name.
  • They are already planning on doing this.

    From their Client FAQ page: [opensrs.com]
    Our current development track includes a NT DLL Client for OpenSRS. We are planning to ship Perl "wrapper" functions for the actual C function calls for the Linux/Solaris environment, and see no reason why we should not ship something similar for the NT environment.

    Later...

  • I remember a while back there is/was some site that let you register your own domain name AND extension (e.g. www.my.page) or something to that nature, and I also remember getting a "domain" during some promotional day where registration was free. I think there was also a deal where you had to download a certain program (windows native if I remember correctly) that would actually allow you to view the little domain you created. Could anybody elaborate on this? Perhaps if the requirement to download the program were done away with, this could be a viable method of domain registration that could further lower the prices for a domain and help eliminate domain name abuse.
  • This is a silly argument. If it were true it would apply to everything which is subject to competition. The price would drop, profits would wither etc. Having low cost (or free) alternatives keeps the businesses honest and competitive. It prevents them from gauging the consumers and that a Good Thing.
  • damnit.. this was supposed to be attached to the most recent poll..

    ignore me :)
  • Realistically, no company is going to sell registrations for less than $15 or so. If you really want to, why not register it yourself? I'm sure we'll see some clients appearing on freshmeat a short time after this gets started. At that price, service is what counts, not price. A dollar or two don't make much difference compared to a difference between good service and No Service Inc.

    OTOH, if you depend on this, you're taking the risk that they'll remove the system and force you to pay huge fees.

  • People haven't done this before because Network Solutions has SOLE CONTROL of the .com, .net, and .org domains, and nobody but them, until very recently, could insert names into the root zones.

  • Totalnic [totalnic.com] is the cheapest. $14/year.
  • What do you mean you still have to pay InterNIC? (You mean Network Solutions, right?)

    You don't. You pay the accreditted registrar who registered your domain for you. In this case, tucows. (yes, Network Solutions sees some of this money)
  • Yea, I also like the fact that you can edit the dns entries on them for your domain. I have a domain through Hurricane Electric. And all I use them for is dns routing. As my ip changes occasionally and I don't have the ability of running a dns server. Note: I wouldn't suggest something like this is your ip changes constently aka dialup/cable modem.
  • I find CheetaWeb [cheetaweb.com] is a great place. They have PHP4 beta, mySQL, Perl, SSI, shell, you name it.

    Great place, the admin is friendly, always willing to help (then again, I volunteered my account as the default testbed for anything new that might go horribly wrong, so I probably get some slack there =] )

    Oh yeah, it's Mandrake running on a P450, couple hundred meg of RAM, blah blah. Unless you're serving an ebay or CDROM.com mirror, it's great.

    ~Sentry21~

  • Here's [bizreport.com] an article about reacto.com [reacto.com] which appears to be doing something very similar to TUCOWS, except, erm, they're charging $130,000 to set you up to allow you to sell domains.

    Or have I missed the point of reacto.com?
  • Cost is $4.95/mo for 6 month prepay. Save some people some time going there.
  • I like MailBank having registered my surname. It means that it's available to everybody with my surname instead of just to the first SOB that gets it and decides to keep it for himself.

    Good point. I now have a notice on my web page that I will provide free e-mail and/or web site redirect aliases to anyone with a Weaverling surname -- for free.

    Their rates are also cheaper than registering the domain yourself.

    Not cheaper than free! It's just one entry in a table and an occasional forwarded mail message. $9.95/mo (what mailbank charges for an alias) is ridiculous. Registering 12,000 names and common words is also insane.

  • While I hardly think that the 70 dollars that Network Solutions charges for domains is a reasonable price (except for the unarguable fact that people pay it, same reason SUVs are 30 grand), Network Solutions does run the root DNS servers, as well as those for .com, .net, and .org. Keep in mind that without these servers no domain name resolution would be possible under the current system and someone has to do it. This is not a service that I am really interested in seeing cost undercut, I would rather a bit more robust than needed system actually.

    And for those that may argue that people pay 70 dollars for the domains because they have no choice that is hardly true, you can use subdomains (witness ae.breakset.com, candra.breakset.com, etc) as well as bastardize the country TLDs and get yourself a .nu domain for 40 bucks or whatever the price is these days.
  • Finally we get to see an end to NSI's ugly system. If I had to interact with that one more time...
  • by dr ( 93364 )
    Not that it's any excuse but, it's almost 3am and I've been up since 6am (mostly coding) ... :)

    Just went though the OpenSRS site again, but found it to be almost useless for general information/overview. Are there any other related links that anyone knows of?

  • I may be wrong, and probably am, but this is going to be one of the first times that open-sourcing something affects everyone across the board, regardless of whether you are directly using the software or not it's going to save everyone some bucks. Sadly that's what sticks in peoples minds. I for one will be glad to not have to give any more coin to NSI, I really don't trust them as much after that whole email fiasco.
  • by dr ( 93364 ) on Wednesday October 27, 1999 @10:44PM (#1582151) Homepage
    You still have to pay InterNIC... what's the point?

    Ahh, but you won't have to pay as much (hopefully). This in turn will result in more money in your pocket each year (for beer). And it will add up to a bunch of savings for those of us who seem to have collected a bunch of domains during our travels (legitimately, not due to so-called squatting).

    As a side note, I'd like to express my awe at the whole first post game. I still don't get it. Let it go already. Maybe the first 5-10 posts should display the user's IP so we can ridicule those who have nothing better to do at 2am than wait around to make the first post, with no inciteful text in the posting.

  • by Joel Rowbottom ( 89350 ) on Wednesday October 27, 1999 @11:18PM (#1582152) Homepage
    This looks very much to me like a quick cheap way to become a registrar without (a) paying NSI's $75 registration, or (b) without becoming a CORE registrar with all the bond and financial baggage which comes with it.

    I suspect a lot of people out there will be very happy with this, mostly the small-time 'Net companies who have a rack in Telehouse and deal with lots of smaller clients. Having said all that, I know of at least one project [indom.com] which is creating a not-for-profit registrar along the same lines as the UK's Nominet [nominet.org.uk] registry, doing it on a membership basis. It'll be interesting to see how it all develops in relation to this project.

    You mention "price war". If the "cost price" is $13, then I can see people doing domains at $13.01 - after all, with the sheer volume of domains registered it'll all add up just like call minutes do with UK dialup ISPs. The real benefactors of this are likely to be the ICANN/CORE registrars who do domains at $10 or so, who will swallow the glut of the business.

    It's a pity it still has to go through NSI after all that though. And the site itself is mostly "coming soon" messages :(

    BR,

    Joel.

  • And moreover, if a first post appears at 2am, it doesn't mean that the first poster was awake. Only that his cronjobs ran on time, and duly noticed the new story.
  • by weave ( 48069 ) on Thursday October 28, 1999 @02:24AM (#1582154) Journal
    There's a big downside to cheap registration services. At least at $70 a pop, it kind of tempers most people from going nuts. Now that we can see really cheap domain registrations, anything that makes sense will be gone in no time.

    Scumbags like mailbank.com have already registered over 10,000 surnames, just so they can sell mail aliases and web aliases back to people. Imagine, now they'll be able to afford to get every surname in the phone directory, if not already taken.

    All I know is, I'm damn glad I grabed *MY* surname already, cause after this is done, the only available domain names left with be crap like.

    • wqprjhqwmn.com
    • wxttvnmyttp.org
    • xzwscyoow.net
  • by AME ( 49105 )
    I think some would consider the first-posters to be inciteful, though not necessarily insightful.

  • Does this mean i can finally have a .com and rid myself of my .cx domains because this will actually be cheaper??? Why havent people done this before? Or have i missed something?
  • Scumbags like mailbank.com have already registered over 10,000 surnames, just so they can sell mail aliases and web aliases back to people. Imagine, now they'll be able to afford to get every surname in the phone directory, if not already taken.

    Just thought of another great scam this open registration system will allow. A site like mailbank.com has a form where you type in your surname to see if it is available for getting a vanity domain name from them based on that surname. They search their database of 12,000 names and tell you if you can do it.

    Imagine now, their form can go further. If your name is Nigel Poncewattle and you enter poncewattle into their search box and they don't already have it registered and it's not already registered elsewhere, they can instantly register the domain poncewattle.com, then come back and say "Congratulations" and resell a piece of it to you (and others.)

    In my opinion, NSI should have been allowed to keep the three main TLDs and other registrars should have begun other TLDs so turds like me who wanted their surname as a domain name could have registered something more appropriate like weaverling.nom instead of weaverling.org

  • This is fantastic news! It makes my skin tingle to think how worried NSI should get over this and why. :^)

    This will also give service providers/web developers a better handle on "one-stop shopping" for their customers - go to ONE place and send ONE check to get a domain name and hosting, and not have to muck thru NSI's slow response times.
  • And now, to keep everyone happy; "Linux is GROOVY, /. is cool and I hate Gill Bates

    Hey! What did I ever do to you? I, for one, am not being kept happy with remarks like that.

  • From the TUCOWS SRS site
    http://www.opensrs.com/OpenSRSDRAv1.0.1.txt

    2.8 The Reseller agrees to assist, when requested by TUCOWS, in the facilitation of transfers of SLD
    registrations from another registrar to TUCOWS and vice versa pursuant to NSI's policy on Changes in
    Sponsoring Registrar by SLD Holders appended to the NSI Agreement as Exhibit B thereto (the NSI
    Change in Registrar Policy?).

    I haven't read through the NSI policy yet, but it seems to me that this implies that they may be hoisted on their own petard

    This would be good news for ISP's renewing long standing customers TLD's
  • The API documentation listed its functionary in C. Natural, but I'm going to make a command-line interface out of it - or one in Perl.

    I think I'll discourage my clients (eh, friends; who would I be fooling?^) of using .fi -domains even more now. That system just is not up to automatization.
  • If I don't pay the renewal on my domain name, I lose it right? The question is: Since, I got it from Network Solutions, am I forced to renew it there? Or can I renew it somewhere else cheaper. What exactly am I get from Network Solutions, I would guess that it's a refereal from their top level name servers. Can someone explain this, or point to some information on how the system works?
  • Cool news, but NSI still have the monopoly (Score:) by mmerlin on 05:38 AM October 28th, 1999 EDT (#) (User Info) http://www.dv3.com What does the following snippet of info mean? the main points of the agreement focus on; Protecting the intellectual property of Network Solutions used in the deployment of the OpenSRS server at TUCOWS. I interpret it as meaning we can't move our domain names from NSI over to OpenSRS. If anyone finds out a way to do it, let us know!

    Actually, that bit simply refers to the back-end piece that allows the OpenSRS to interface with NSI-SRS. It is a completely proprietary interface that we were required to sign a contract to use.

    -RWR, OpenSRS Maintainer

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Price wars are good for the consumer, so the wisdom goes. Sure, if you are a so-called pennyless student, you win. Short term, everyone wins. Long term, everyone loses, heres why...

    As the profit margin goes down, the incentive to produce/maintain/whatever the commodity/service reduces to the point that:
    1. The existing players find something else to do, and
    2. New players decide that there is no point in entering a market with no money.

    Over the much longer term, when most people have left the market, the prices will rise and the cycle will repeat.

    Extending the obsession with OSS and 'Free' to everything else will result in a collapse of the current economic system. Yeah, right, there are going to be those that trot out the tired old argument that "the model is changing" and "this is the way of the future", but this has already been said in the old USSR and still is in Cuba.

    And now, to keep everyone happy; "Linux is GROOVY, /. is cool and I hate Gill Bates

  • http://www.2day.com [2day.com] will let you register a domain for free with NSI, then you have 2 or 3 months to pay NSi the $70 per domain. If your domains are available, go get 'em now!
  • If I want to register a domian name before Tucows gets all of this together what is the best/cheapest place to do it? I have two domains I want to register and don't have $140 bucks to drop on them just this minute.

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!

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