Changes between Version 8 and Version 9 of WebInfoPamphlet


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Timestamp:
May 19, 2008, 8:09:00 PM (13 years ago)
Author:
alfredo
Comment:

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  • WebInfoPamphlet

    v8 v9  
    9999First an explanation of what's what here because domain registration and hosting aren't the same at all and they are *not* being done by the same people not matter what they tell you.
    100100
     101Domain registration is an Internet-wide practice performed by a very few, select and highly specialized companies called "registrars". These are companies that have huge resources and experience and are required to demonstrate those resources and experience with the Internet's management authorities (like ICAAN).
     102
     103Their only role is to sign you up for a domain no one else has, take your yearly fee and put you on a database that has your domain, information about who owns it, and the IP addresses of the people who host the local dns for that domain. They also circulated this information to a network of servers called "DNS servers" (there are about two dozen of them world-wide).
     104
     105That's it. People type in the url and it goes to one of those servers to find out where the local dns is hosted.
     106
     107Local dns is something different. Here the provider has a set of records that have your domain name, your service year (www or mail or whatever) and the IP of the specific server this stuff is one (or servers if there's more than one). It's the system that tells your browser or email client where precisely to go to find a website or to send a specific person email.
     108
     109That's the difference: Like with an office or apartment building, domain registration is like the telephone directory: it gives the address to the building where the person you're looking for resides or work. Local dns is the office or bell directory downstairs that tells you precisely where, inside the building, that person can be found.
     110
     111If a provider controls domain register, that provider can actually prevent you from moving your site from his/her servers or demand all kinds of things from you before permission is given. That's why it's illegal. A provider cannot be a domain registrar.
     112
     113So how do they offer both? They're paying a registrar to do the domain work and passing on the charges to you. The only problem is they don't pass on the information about who the domain registrar is and so you can't make a change yourself. As remarkable as it may seem, this bit of high-tech flim flam is perfectly legal and providers (like tucows and godaddy) do it all the time.
     114
     115This practice runs counter to everything the Internet stands for. You can't move your site if someone else is controlling the domain and if you can't move your site, you are a prisoner. No matter what someone may tell you about a "contract" or anything else, you have the legal right to know who is providing your domain registration and the legal right to move your domain anyplace you want.
     116
     117In fact, you *do* have access to this information even though your provider may hide it from you. You use the whois command on a command line of any terminal hooked up to the Internet. For example,
     118
     119yourterminal$ whois mayfirst.org
     120
     121yield this information:
     122
     123Domain ID:D101505448-LROR
     124Domain Name:MAYFIRST.ORG
     125Created On:25-Sep-2003 18:44:27 UTC
     126Last Updated On:30-Jan-2008 14:13:08 UTC
     127Expiration Date:25-Sep-2010 18:44:27 UTC
     128Sponsoring Registrar:Dotster, Inc. (R34-LROR)
     129Status:OK
     130Registrant ID:DOT-4FPDSMK4ZL0F
     131Registrant Name:Media Jumpstart Inc.
     132Registrant Organization:aka May First/People Link
     133
     134
     135So we know two things right off -- this domain name is owned by the organization Media Jumpstart (our owning foundation) and it's registered at dotster (our domain registrar). All registration records give you this information. And at the bottom of the record it says:
     136
     137Name Server:B.NS.MAYFIRST.ORG
     138Name Server:A.NS.MAYFIRST.ORG
     139
     140which are the names of the local dns servers at May First/People Link.
     141
     142If you go to Dotster, login and you are the owner of this record (the registrant) you can repoint it to whatever provider IP address you want and that place will then assume handling local dns (and presumably many other services) for you. There may be some restrictions (like if you owe the old provider money) but if you're in the midst of a contract year or are paid off, you can make the move legally without any question.
     143
     144The right way to do it is: the person who owns the website should own the registration.