This gives me great confidence in my newly-registered-through-101domains nix.ci domain :(
Long story short: they chose to register with a known-crappy company to get a specific domain name with predictably-bad results. Googling 101domains led to lots of bad reviews like this. I mentally contrast that against default position of going with one that usually does their job. Also, avoiding weird stuff on international level since it presents gotchas one often doesn’t see coming. That help would require a specialist just for the TLD plus them having different hours are good examples of why to avoid international. Then, they tried to upsell them like in the bad reviews (including linked one).
Sounds like they just took an unnecessary risk that backfired. Then they talk about how it illustrates why their doing stuff to put us in control of our data and stuff rather than them just screwing up. Many companies were paying extra for .com, net, or .org domains or hosting from reputable providers specifically to avoid this kind of stuff. So, stay away from shady providers is the lasting lesson.
I was surprised they didn’t mention moving from 101domains by the end of the article. They had contacted the .sm registrar directly; but it’s not clear if they paid them directly, transferred the domains to them and cut service with 101domains (which is what I would have done if possible; or at least go to a different registration service).
As far as scummy providers, maybe they just looked around at price and didn’t read reviews? I mean, a registrar honestly doesn’t do much (except try to upsell you). I honestly wouldn’t expect this situation to arise either. I’ve been using name.com for years .. but I can’t remember if I checked reviews or anything first before switching to them. I think I based my decision purely off of their UI demo. My old provider, names4ever, was bought out by Aplus and both their UIs were beyond terrible.
It would be fine for normal folks to overlook. DNS issues are one of those little details that can get non-experts in the networking or web fields. This company is security-focused going so far as reverse engineering parts of Intel chips. They also emphasized to the provider that the website was critical for generating revenue. So, a paranoid, security-focused company didn’t vet suppliers for things they considered mission-critical. Just seemed worth pointing out.
Btw, my advice to consumers is to check out every supplier if what they provide is critical to you. Use BBB, Consumer Reports, knowledgeable friends (esp in industry), or big picture of what you find in Google if nothing else. Don’t assume anything. I don’t currently have recommendations about web or domain hosts, though, since it would take quite a bit of time to review all of them. Lot of them these days.
I guess there are another few things to add to your threat modeling, if you haven’t considered it already: malicious or incompetent domain registrars and when-I-wake-up TLD administrators.
is it passé to mention namecoin?
If only there was a way to have a decentralized name registry that did not go fully trustless, requiring all the coin crap…
Would be nice if something like dename took off.
But it seems like nothing will :( No one wants a name service that is not already used by everyone.
Well, to be fair, today is the first time I’ve ever heard of dename. Definitely sounds interesting!
I have heard of Namecoin but I haven’t looked into it that deeply.
How would Namecoin have assisted in preventing this issue?
if enough people had clients supporting fully decentralised DNS, human failures such as those described here would be less likely (or replaced by technical problems, at worst). it would be nice if a decentralised solution got at least a bit of traction so they could just tweet something along the lines of “website still up at alternate.domain, visit us there!”
I agree that a decentralized DNS would be great, but I still don’t know how Namecoin specifically can help achieve that.
I thought namecoin was just used to buy .bit domains on ZeroNet?