Network Solutions' Defensive Measure for Whois Searches |
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Network Solutions’ Defensive Measure for Whois Searches


Say you want to buy the domain name at Network Solutions, and you search the availability of that name. You see the name is available, but you would prefer to buy it at Godaddy. Ten seconds later, you look the name up at Godaddy to complete the registration, and POOF, the name is no longer unregistered, and it shows up as being registered by:


This Domain is available at
13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300

It now appears that Network Solutions is registering domain names that are looked up on their Whois system as a “defensive measure” against people who may be able to screen their searches, affording searchers the time to register their names without worrying about them being picked off. This seems like a drastic measure to try and stop an apparent leak in the system. The problem is that by doing this, Network Solutions is preventing customers from registering the domain name at the registrar of choice. The name is still available to register, but only if done at Network Solutions.

As DomainNameNews points out, just imagine the possible litigation they could be risking if someone searches for hundreds of trademarked domain names.

Read more details at Jay’s Domaintools blog.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (8)

    Todd Mintz

    Well, they have at least one:.)

    January 8th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Mike Sevenski

    Can anyone say Class Action Suit? This might even fall under RICO because it is extortion on a grand scale. I hope they are reading.


    I have no idea about any legal ramifications could be, but it just doesn’t seem right of them to do it.

    January 8th, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Ms Domainer

    Stinks, but that seems to be the future trend. As long as ICANN allows registrars and auction places to run amok with their greedy ways, then expect such tactics and more.

    Of course, one could register the domain at Net sol and then transfer it after 60 days. This is what I do when I “win” one of those goofy aftermarket auctions. The minute I win the domain, I put in for a transfer. The domain sits in my pending transfer queue, and when it’s ready, I get an email reminder to proceed with the transfer.

    One’s best bet for unregistered domains: go to the registrar of choice and sign up the darn thing. IMO: Stay away from Net Sol altogether: expensive and charges for everything.

    I recently transfered three domains away from them; when they asked how they could make my customer service experience better, I told them to stop being so greedy. Never heard any answer back from them.


    I’m also very cautious about doing domain searches at any registrar now. I only look up when I’m ready to buy.


    Ms Domainer

    January 8th, 2008 at 8:10 pm


    Thanks for your post. I work for Network Solutions and would like to point to a post that clarifies our position on Circleid.

    Thanks for listening – We are not monetizing these domains, nor do we intend to keep them after the holding period.

    January 8th, 2008 at 9:00 pm


    I am so glad I am part of a community and venture who hold themselves to such high standards.

    Imagine, NetSol protecting my best interests.

    I can sleep better.

    January 8th, 2008 at 10:51 pm


    Shashib, you and your company should be ashamed of yourselves. Enjoy your lawsuit, you crooks.

    January 9th, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Steve M.

    …and so the Network Solutions’ disingenuousness continues…calling their new front-running scheme (please; let’s call it what it really is, shall we Netsol) a “customer protection measure”…sheesh!

    And here’s what they’re really hoping to accomplish by removing their front-running tactic from the WhoIs look up…they know that the millions of unsophisticated domain searchers are those most likely to pay their top dollar $35 price/domain (as an aside; none of us has the right to tell another company what to charge for their products and services; even as ridiculous as we believe them to be)…while all of us more experienced/ knowledgeable folks who know–or will figure out–that we can just use their WhoIs search page to avoid their draconian domain grab…and stop frying them on the domains boards, blogs, and in the press (which is not going to happen anytime soon).

    So you see, they’re hoping to have it both ways…continue feasting on the uninformed willing to cough up $35/name…while allowing all of us (who don’t give them our business anyway) to continue to use their WhoIs in the hope that we’ll all shut up…

    …and the thing is…it just might work.

    January 9th, 2008 at 8:35 pm


    OK, so how do I purchase a domain name without it being grabbed by the registrar first?

    Elliiot’s blog says “people who may be able to screen their searches” So my important question is how do people screen network solutions searches? Does this mean a company like will register a whois name search done on the network solutions site and then charge you a huge big fee to purchase it from them?

    This is a really big problem. So I’m grocery shopping and walk downthe grocery isle and look at the ingredients on the last box of ABC cereal. is watching and notices I’m looking at the ABC cereal so they buy it and run to the end of the grocery isle and want to charge me $600 for a $3.99 box of cereal. Definitely unethical!!

    April 21st, 2009 at 9:43 pm

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