Among dozens of popular registrars, Namecheap, Namesilo and Porkbun stand out thanks to the lowest prices on the largest selection of top-level domains (TLDs), including many country code TLDs. Besides low prices, they offer free WHOIS privacy, DNSSEC, strong account security, grace periods for renewals and multiple payment methods, including crypto.
Below is a quick comparison table for those in a rush to get their domain name.
|ccTLDs & ccSLDs||some||many||some|
|Let’s Encrypt SSL||yes||no||no|
- Porkbun promo code: AWESOMENESS
- Namecheap promo code: NEWCOM698
- Namesilo promo code: ITSYBITSYGUIDE
Table of Contents
- Porkbun: Registrar for Minimalists & Startups
- Namecheap: Registrar for Bargain Hunters
- Namesilo: Registrar for Pros & Bulk Buyers
- Bonus: Domain Name FAQs
- Conclusion: Porkbun, Namecheap & Namesilo
Porkbun: Registrar for Minimalists & Startups
Founded in 2015 and based in Portland OR, Porkbun is one of the younger domain name registrars that has seen extraordinary growth thanks to its focus on customer satisfaction. It offers a personal touch and a sense of humor to all its services and communications: with Porkbun you can try to do something as meaningless as dejigamaflipping your domains or faxing the support team, and there is a message even if you end up on the 404 page or dislike the ‘porkbun’ name at all.
Porkbun has an intuitive minimalist web 3.0 user interface with a wide range of DNS management tools. You have the flexibility to assign custom labels to each domain and bulk manage your DNS records. If you use Porkbun’s nameservers, its DNS resolves extremely fast: under 5 seconds for new records and under 5 minutes for modified ones. At this time Porkbun does not seem to offer premium Anycast DNS servers.
Porkbun includes free WHOIS privacy with every domain, operated though its own privacy service Private by Design. If you need to transfer your domains, you can enable instead the Redacted feature. Besides privacy, Porkbun also offers many security features: Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, domain password protection, DNSSEC and account hardening (2FA, WebAuthn and login notifications). Porkbun also offers generous auto-renew grace periods for expired domains that are then auctioned after 30 days through Dynadot*. You can also choose to sell your domains for a minimum $20 using Porkbun’s Marketplace.
Of course, the biggest appeal of Porkbun is its straightforward affordable domain pricing. It easily beats most prices compared to other high-quality registrars, even if just by a couple of cents. You can benefit particularly if you choose one of the new TLDs, whether something professional e.g. .DESIGN, something for a special occasion e.g. .WEDDING or something more generic e.g. .PAGE. Although Porkbun does not have a discount program, it offers additional savings for wire transfers from USA-based bank accounts.
In addition to traditional TLDs, Porkbun also offers a number of blockchain-based domain names. For example, it supports .LUXE on the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and a growing number of Handshake extensions such as .API, .DEFI and .STARTUP.
If you cannot decide which registrar works for you – Porkbun vs Namecheap or Porkbun vs Namesilo – here is why Porkbun may be better:
- low registration & renewal prices
- huge selection of new TLDs
- free automated Let’s Encrypt SSL
- clean minimalist user interface
Namecheap: Registrar for Bargain Hunters
Founded in 2000 and based in Phoenix AZ, Namecheap is one of the most established domain name registrars. With over 10 million domains under its management, Namecheap is a top-three registrar overall and the largest privately owned registrar in the world. The company is also known for publicly advocating for online privacy rights.
Namecheap has a feature-rich account panel that gives an overview of active domains and other services. You can categorize your domains and update DNS records in bulk. You can manage your domains both within your web account’s dashboard and through a mobile app on your Android or iOS phone. Namecheap also has one of the most advanced domain search tools called Beast Mode with multiple domain hacks and the option to export and share your search results.
While Namecheap is a US-based company, it offers free WHOIS privacy through a privacy service called Withheld for Privacy, an Iceland-based company that does not require personal data. If a TLD you have chosen does not support WHOIS privacy protection, Namecheap automatically enables Redacted for Privacy. Besides strong privacy, Namecheap offers affordable Anycast Premium DNS, free DNSSEC, TOTP account security, renewal grace periods and diverse payment methods.
As the name suggests, Namecheap is one of the best places for cheap domain registrations. While the renewal prices are not as cheap, they are much more affordable compared to domain registrars of similar size and popularity, e.g. GoDaddy. Moreover, if you buy 50 domains or more, you can join Namecheap’s VIP Rewards Club and save on renewals. And unlike many budget domain registrars, Namecheap has a very detailed knowledge base and dedicated 24/7 support.
Namecheap is famous for mind-boggling deals and promos, with many domains sold for 99 cents with code 99SPECIAL, including .XYZ, .BIZ and .MONSTER. Besides a large selection of traditional and new domains, Namecheap is one of the few places where you can register a variety of country code second-level TLDs such as .COM.AU
Many domain name registrars also offer email and web hosting services but those tend be dull and overpriced. Namecheap is probably the only domain registrar whose other products are equally innovative and budget-friendly. Its private email service is built on top of the Open-Xchange platform and is a cost-effective way to get a professional email. And its WordPress hosting service – EasyWP Turbo – offers the easiest way to launch a WordPress website on a budget.
To help you decide between registrars – Namecheap vs Porkbun or Namecheap vs Namesilo – these are good reasons to go with Namecheap:
- great deals on domain registrations
- many country code second-level domains
- high-quality email & WordPress hosting
- trusted brand & top-three largest registrar
Namesilo: Registrar for Pros & Bulk Buyers
Founded in 2010 and based in Phoenix AZ, Namesilo has been one of the fastest growing domain name registrars since its launch. It was one of the first registrars to offer free WHOIS privacy, transparent low pricing and further discounts on bulk purchases. After going public through an acquisition in 2018, Namesilo has strengthened its customer support and remained dedicated to further growth and transparency.
Namesilo’s user interface may feel outdated to most users but many techies and pros choose Namesilo precisely because of the infinite account options and advanced domain management tools. As the name suggests, Namesilo is particularly appealing to those managing larger quantities of domain names. You can organize domains into portfolios and operate all of them at once. With the free domain link service, you can also view all of your domains in one place, regardless of the registrars you use.
Agencies and web designers benefit from the feature called sub-account manager that lets different users configure DNS settings for shared domains. Hosters and other pros benefit from the reseller feature and advanced API integration with such popular billing systems as WHMCS, HostBill, Blesta and Clientexec. And domainers and anyone selling domains use Namesilo’s marketplace because it does not set any minimum requirements, provides advanced sales reports and allows for fully customizable parking pages.
Namesilo rewards bulk domain buyers with sizable discounts but even if you manage just one domain you can still join the discount program simply by adding account funds. Namesilo is one of few registrars that provide three-day domain refunds, both on registrations and renewals, except for bitcoin payments and not if you abuse the service through domain tasting.
Namesilo offers free WHOIS privacy though PrivacyGuardian and lets you customize your WHOIS records, including WHOIS email. Namesilo also ensures strong account and domain security features such as domain defender, account notifications and grace periods for renewals. Other handy features include pre-configured DNS templates for many online services, affordable Premium DNS, DNSSEC and custom nameservers if you use a professional DNS service such as ClouDNS*.
When you consider the dilemma of Namesilo vs Porkbun or Namesilo vs Namecheap, you may take into account the following reasons to choose Namesilo:
- domain discount program & bulk discounts
- refunds on domain registrations & renewals
- pre-configured templates & custom parking pages
- advanced tools for domain professionals
Bonus: Domain Name FAQs
How to find out who owns a domain name?
Because most registrants use WHOIS privacy, it may not be possible to know who is behind a domain name. Nevertheless, you can usually see contact details of the registrar and/or the privacy service they use if you do a WHOIS/RDAP search. Go to ICANN Lookup for most TLDs. For ccTLDs and many new TLDs, visit either your registrar, for example Namesilo and Namecheap, or dedicated national bodies/registries, for example, DENIC for .DE and EURID for .EU. If all you need is to look up a domain name’s DNS records, including A for the current IP address, NS for nameservers and MX for mail servers, you can use whatsmydns.net, a tool also used to check global DNS propagation.
How to sell a domain name?
If you registered a cool domain name but ended up never using it or if you wish to sell it for any other reason, there are numerous options to list your domain for sale. The easiest way to sell a domain is through your domain registrar such as Namesilo or Porkbun by setting up a parking/landing page. Besides simplicity, both Porkbun and Namesilo charge a smaller sales commission fee (7% and 7.5% respectively) compared to many competitors. Beware of those registrars that have a small commission fee but charge an additional percentage on account payouts, set high minimum payout amounts, have long waiting periods or require an ID to unlock the account before processing a payout. Besides listing a domain for sale, you need to find potential buyers. As an alternative to your registrar’s marketplace in this sense, you can choose such popular domain name sales services as Dan or Afternic.
How about a free domain name?
There are three main scenarios that lead to a “free” domain name: 1) the registrar is the actual user/owner of the domain, 2) the domain is in fact just an extension or a subdomain e.g. myname .BLOGSPOT .COM and 3) the free domain is part of a bundle with your web hosting or website builder. The first and second options do not offer true domain names, will cause much trouble down the road and are thus out of the question. The third option may seem tempting but there is often a catch: for example, the domain is free for the first year only and will renew at a much higher rate or the domain is free but WHOIS privacy is not included and costs as much as the domain itself. If the domain name is included for free for life, it usually means you are paying extra for your web hosting or website builder. Importantly, web hosting and domain names are two different products and should not be bundled together to avoid pain in the future. If you are on a tight budget, you may be better off getting a cheap TLD such as .WORK, .ICU, .TOP, .MONSTER or .ONE
Conclusion: Porkbun, Namecheap & Namesilo
Unless you need just one domain, you should consider getting your domains from different registrars depending on your preferences and TLD availability. There are many security benefits to managing your domains across several registrars: for example, if your account and domains are hijacked in one place, you still have full control over your other domains.
Similarly, it is a good idea to own several linked domain names for your website or brand. You can manage, for example, my .CHARITY at Porkbun, mycharity .COM and mycharity .ORG at Namesilo, and mycharity .COM.AU and mycharity .ORG.AU at Namecheap. That way, if one of your domains e.g. .COM.AU happens to be seized, you can still operate your website or email through .CHARITY at Porkbun or .COM at Namesilo.