What is domain privacy? Do you really need private registration?

You are required to provide current contact info with your domain registration. But do you have to share it with the world?

No – not if you’re smart about it.

When you register a domain name, you’re required to provide your registrar with contact details including your name, physical address, e-mail address and telephone number. ICANN provides tools that allow anyone to search the information you provided.

While there are some legitimate uses of domain registration data, more are nefarious. So we don’t think anyone should leave their info hanging out for public (and possibly criminal) consumption.

Domain privacy: Why you need it & where to find it

ICANN’s primary purpose is to provide accountability in case of technical or legal issues. More often, though, it acts as a vast repository of convenient contacts for spammers, scammers and legit but annoying marketers.

That is so uncool.

Because there’s a legitimate need for the contact information, you can’t get out of providing it. But you also don’t have to put your name, address and phone number on the internet essentially waiting for just the right Nigerian scammer to come along.

Thanks to proxy registration and domain privacy, you can trust your contact info to a service who’ll keep them private. In the event someone has a bona-fide need to contact you, they’ll go through the proxy whose information is listed in your record.

Even if someone has an actual product or service to sell, cold-calling contacts found via domain registration search is pretty much the internet equivalent of door-to-door sales. Before private registration was available we got those e-mails and calls all…the…TIME.

Now? Never.

For years we’ve bought domain names only from registrars that offer private registration. Since moving to private registration, we have never been contacted by someone who found our info using a domain registration info search.

Should you buy domain privacy?


Yes, you should get domain privacy. But you shouldn’t have to pay extra for it.

Check out our domain records. See our contact info there?

Here's an example of what you'll see when your domain uses private registration. Our registrar, NameSilo, supplies contact info. They'll pass on any legitimate contacts to us.

If you’re dead set against transferring your domain names to a registrar that includes privacy, then yes – pay for it. The annoyance isn’t worth the money you’ll save. But if you’re willing to transfer your domain registration you can keep your info private without the extra charges.

Our pick for private registration: NameSilo

We have been with NameSilo since mid-2018. We transferred all our domain names to them for a few reasons:

  • Domain privacy is automatically included and NOT an extra charge like some domain name registrars.
  • NameSilo makes it super easy to transfer.
  • It’s easy to manage domain names (we do this all the time for clients and see a lot of registrars’ dashboards.…NameSilo rocks).
  • NameSilo has the cheapest domain name prices we have ever found, but (more importantly) we still get great tech support and customer service.

Before NameSilo, we used Hover and Namecheap. Both were good, but Hover was pricey and Namecheap charged extra for privacy.

If you’d like to transfer (or register) a domain, you can get $1 off and get privacy included at NameSilo with the promo code FEARLESS.

Questions about domain privacy? Or domain registration in general?

If you’re buying your first domain (or, you’ve already purchased a domain and are rethinking it), you’ll find everything you need to know in our post “Domain Names 101: What to know before buying your first domain name.” Is there anything else you need to know about domains, or domain privacy? Ask Ava below. She’s memorized everything we’ve written on the topic, and is great at breaking things down.

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