Are you wondering if you should buy domain name privacy?
Most web hosts offer this as an addon in their web hosting plans or give it to you for free. It isn’t mandatory to have it but can be really helpful to you and your business.
This is because when you buy a domain name, your personal information is made available to the public. And while there’s a good reason for this, it could compromise your professional and personal life.
In this post, we’ll walk you through what data is publicly exposed and how domain privacy can help you. At the end of this post, we’ll also list the best places to buy domain privacy packages.
What is Domain Privacy Protection?
When you register a domain, you are required to enter your personal information such as name, physical address, phone number, and email.
These details are made publicly available in the WHOIS database (also known as ICANN Lookup).
To explain this further, you need to know what ICANN and the WHOIS database are.
What Is ICANN?
ICANN, also as known as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, was launched in the 1990s. It emerged because the internet was growing so rapidly, there was a need for a formal organization to put policies and procedures in place.
ICANN operates as a non-profit corporation based in Los Angeles. Aside from being the governing authority over the internet, ICANN also manages the WHOIS database.
What Is the WHOIS Database?
The WHOIS database lets you see who owns a domain name. You can search for any domain name and find the owner’s personal details such as name, email ID, mailing address, and phone number. You’ll also find other details such as the registration and expiration date of the domain.
This means when you register a domain name, your personal details are made publicly available in the WHOIS database (also known as ICANN Lookup).
Now that you know what ICANN and the WHOIS database mean, let’s explain why your details are displayed publicly.
- The WHOIS database serves as a central directory for the ICANN and other network admins to identify and fix problems.
- It also makes domain owners accountable for the type of website they set up using the domain name.
- If you’ve bought and parked a domain, interested buyers can track you down and offer you a deal to buy it.
- It can also come in handy if someone is using your trademarks on their site or has violated your license, plagiarized content, or ripped off your design. You can use the WHOIS database to find the owner and resolve the issue.
So there are legit reasons why your details are made public. But it can also expose you to spam, hackers, and malicious threats.
Your data can be easily sold to on the black market to unsolicited spammers, telemarketers, and fraudsters.
To avoid unwanted calls, phishing emails, and spam messages, you can buy domain privacy protection.
What Is Domain Privacy Protection?
Domain privacy protection ensures your personal information is hidden from public view in the WHOIS database.
Usually, your web hosting provider will offer this service. They simple replace your details with their company information. So anyone who looks up your domain name in the WHOIS database will see generic information like this:
If you’re still not undecided on whether to buy it or not, we’ve detailed 6 reasons why you need domain privacy protection below. If you want to buy it right away, skip ahead to the best domain privacy providers.
Top Reasons Why You Need Domain Privacy Protection
When you buy domain privacy protection, here are the benefits you’ll get.
1. Personal Safety
The virtual world opens tons of opportunities but it’s also riddled with online stalkers, identity thieves, and fraudsters. With easy access to your details, you can be flooded with unsolicited emails and messages or, worse, you could receive spam phone calls.
They can steal your personal information and use it for malicious purposes. Domain privacy will prevent your information from being shared with unwanted people.
This also includes blocking domain flippers who are constantly on the lookout to buy in-demand domain names. By hiding your info, you won’t be bothered by persistent offers on your domain when you’re not interested in selling.
2. Website Security
Most people on the internet use their personal details such as their name as the admin or login ID. Hackers scan the internet looking for your personal details so that they can break into your website.
Domain privacy protection will safeguard your details and prevent domain hijacking and malicious transfers.
3. Business Location
There are times where companies do not want to disclose where they are located. They may be catering to a global market, or might be located in a different country from their target audience.
This is quite common with eCommerce and SaaS (Software as a service) companies.
If you want to make sure no one can track down your physical location, then you need domain privacy protection.
Once the privacy protection is activated, anyone that searches for your domain in the WHOIS Lookup will see generic information. They will, however, still be able to see when the domain was registered and when it’s expiring.
Now that you know how domain privacy can really help you, we’ll show you the best places to buy it.
Where to Buy Domain Privacy Protection
When you buy a domain name, your domain registrar or web host will most likely offer you domain privacy. Some companies give it to you for free or they may charge you a nominal fee.
In most cases, you’ll see an option to add it to your cart before you checkout.
Even if you have already registered a domain and want to hide your information now, you can still purchase privacy protection, though it may take up to 48 hours for the WHOIS database to refresh.
Here are the top places we recommend to buy domain privacy protection at affordable rates. Keep in mind these rates may change from time to time and can vary depending on the value of your domain name.
Bluehost is a very popular web hosting platform. In fact, it’s officially recommended by WordPress for WordPress websites. It offers domain privacy at $11.88 per year with every domain. And if you opt for one of the higher hosting plans (Choice Plus and Pro), domain privacy is included in the package.
Bluehost has an exclusive deal or our IsItWP users. You can use our Bluehost Coupon to save up to 70% off and get a free domain name.
Domain.com is one of the most popular domain registrars and best web hosting solutions. You can add privacy protection to new and transferred domains at approximately $8.99 per year. Plus, you’ll get a free SSL certificate.
To learn more about this, check out our extensive Domain.com review.
Network Solutions is a domain registrar and web hosting solution. It gives you access to all the things you need to start a website such as a domain name, web design, SSL certificate, and business email.
You can also transfer your domain name to Network Solutions. And it has a built-in WHOIS search to see what information is publicly available for your domain.
Private domain registration costs $9.99 per year.
FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Can I register my domain name under false information?
ICANN clearly states that if you provide false information, they can cancel your domain registration. You’ll also need to use the correct email address because ICANN will periodically ask you to verify the validity of that email address to keep your website live.
2. Is WHOIS database still functional?
Yes, WHOIS is still operational. However, the database has been subject to scrutiny by domain owners for making their information public without any restrictions on who can access this information.
3. Is the WHOIS database GDPR compliant?
ICANN is striving to meet requirements of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The database is temporarily blacked out in the EU.
It has also redacted personal information of people for privacy and security reasons in other countries depending on their respective laws.
4. How much does domain privacy protection cost?
Domain privacy has far too many benefits and comes at an affordable cost of approximately $9 to $15 per year.
5. Can I get domain privacy protection for free?
Yes, web hosts like Namecheap and Dreamhost offer free domain privacy. Godaddy offers basic domain privacy for free but this does not include protection against domain hijacking and malicious transfers.
That’s all we have for you. We hope you found this article helped you decide whether you need domain privacy or not.
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