Why we do not offer Whois masking at easyDNS

Update: we have since flip-flopped on this.

Please See: The Official easyDNS Flip-Flop on Whois Privacy.

We get asked this a alot: Why do you guys not offer whois masking or whois contact privacy?

The brief background on this is: whenever you register a domain name, your contact details are published in a publicly visible database called “whois”, where your contact details are instantly harvested by spambots and marketers who proceed to email and postal mail you marketing offers, deceptive “domain slamming” attempts, ads for dubious products, and perhaps even telemarketing calls.

Nobody likes that, so over the years people started resorting to various tactics to protect themselves from the deluge of crap that inevitably comes with simply registering a domain name: throwaway email addresses in whois records, fake postal addresses, fake phone numbers, etc. The problem is, Registrants are obligated under their various end user agreements to provide true and accurate data (not doing so is grounds to lose one’s domain), and the US even passed legislation making it unlawful to use fake contact details in a domain name registration.

Our response to this, years ago, was MyPrivacy.ca which protects your email address from being harvested from your whois records, but leaves your other data intact. We didn’t see it as a revenue opportunity, in fact we made it free and opened it up to competing registrars, many of whom started recommending it to their customers. We just wanted to drive a stake through the heart of the whois spammers.

It wasn’t long though, before many registrars took it a step further and created the concept of “whois masking” or “contact privacy”, where all of the domain-holder contact details would be masked from the public whois. Of course, this was heralded as a “value-add” and most outfits charge extra for it.

In today’s long overdue post, we’re finally revealing why so-called “whois privacy” puts your domains at risk, costs you more and doesn’t really protect your privacy.


Update: re ns2 timeouts

The issues we experienced with timeouts when querying ns2.easydns.com were cleared up as of approx 3:45pm(EST) on Tuesday Nov 11.

We are still working with our provider to determine the root cause of the issue.

ns2 timeouts

We have been experiencing intermittent connecvtivity issues with
some of the nodes in our ns2.easydns.com anycast cluster.

We have escalated the issue to our providers and are working with
them to resolve the issue.

More info will be posted as it becomes available.

thank you

MobileMe and easyDNS…

A number of customers have been registering domains to point to their new websites published via iWeb on their MobileMe accounts. Unfortunately, while MobileMe instructs how to point “www.yourdomain.com” to their services, they don’t have a way to easily point just “yourdomain.com” to their services. This is especially important as not everyone on the internet will type “www” before a domain name when looking for a website (such as “www.google.com” versus “google.com”).

Realising this is an issue for some of our customers who have DNS-Only services, we have implemented a work around. Simply follow the instructions on MobileMe to have your “www.yourdomain.com” CNAME point to “web.me.com”. These are correct, and are very important. However, one last step is to leave your “yourdomain.com” record in the “hosts” block pointing to the word “PENDING”. It should look something like this:

A record (host): yourdomain.com

…with your CNAME looking like this:

C name (alias): www.yourdomain.com
Points to A record (host): web.me.com

Once entered, click “next” to submit your changes, and “next” again after you have confirmed all looks well. These updates may take a few hours to propagate across the internet before you can see them.

If you have any questions at all, please contact our Support Dept., and we would be happy to assist you.

gmail / google mail forwarding fixed

It turns out the problem sending email to gmail / google was some sort of change they’ve made on their end which has, in the words of Postfix creator Wietse Venema “screwed up their support for RFC 2920 command pipelining. “

This seems to have affected at the very least, anybody using Postfix 2.x as an MTA. More info, along with the fix see this post, if you’re running a postfix MTA you’ll need to do this until google fixes their system.

We’re in the process of updating our configs and the mail should resume momentarily. No mail was lost, no animals were harmed, everything was just deferred and will be dequeued starting….now.