If your domain registrar *cough* GoDaddy *cough* is charging you for it they are ripping you off.
It’s been free on most domain registrars since a year ago due to GDPR regulations.
It’s free on Google Domains, NameCheap, and other reputable domain registrars.
Here’s NameCheap’s statement on it:
” WhoisGuard by Namecheap is a service that offers privacy protection for your domain, keeping your sensitive data safe. Because your data is as important to us as it is to you.
WhoisGuard hides this information from spammers, marketing firms, and online fraudsters… Because at Namecheap, we care about your privacy protection.“
But If you think Namecheap is being generous, don’t be fooled – Because of new GDPR regulations, revealing personal info is illegal thus WHOIS records are illegal.
NameCheap was forced to make this change (they used to sell WhoIS) and they did a PR spin on it when realities it’s just to comply with GDPR.
I have used NameCheap for years and really like their chat support, but I will call them out as I see it.
For buying domains, I do recommend either Google Domains or NameCheap.
Google Domains has fewer upsells but each domain costs a little more than NameCheap. And because it’s Google, you aren’t going to get much customer support from them whereas, with NameCheap, I’ve literally hit up their 24/7 customer service chat and asked them to set up a domain for me and connect it to my website.
Domain registrar companies to avoid:
Did I mention GoDaddy?
They are more expensive than Namecheap AND they will upsell you on “protection” that is so crappy they won’t protect you from anything. And they have poor customer service (as of the last time I checked, you couldn’t even chat with their customer service on their website. Namecheap on the other hand responds fast to your chats and if you don’t know how to set your domain up, will set it up for you.
I wouldn’t even search your domain on GoDaddy, they’ve used to buy up domains people search and resell to those people at a higher price when those people come back the next day to buy again.
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_tasting
“By February 2007, the CEO of Go Daddy reported that of 55.1 million domain names registered, 51.5 million were canceled and refunded just before the 5 day grace period expired and only 3.6 million domain names were actually kept.”
“In January 2008, Network Solutions was publicly accused of this practice when the company began reserving all domain names searched on their website for five days, a practice known as domain name front running.”
Another thing to watch out for: when these domain companies try to upsell you on HTTPS/SSL Encryption, don’t buy it. Yes SSL is a must-have BUT you can get it for free. I actually go over how to get it here (read the second to the last paragraph).