Welcome Domain Name Registrar Challenge East Region, fictionally hosted in Toronto, Canada. Canada is home to some good registrars, but none of them compete on their home turf in this bracket. The East Region features number 1 seed NameCheap, but will be challenged by Epik, Fabulous, and Hexonet, among others. The East features a number of mid-major programs that are developing winning programs, especially amongst the domain investment community. This is probably the toughest bracket top to bottom, and the winner of this bracket will surely challenge for a championship.
To see how the seeding was done based on data collected by yours truly, check out the article that introduced 2020 Best Domain Registrar Challenge. You can just cut to the chase and view the bracket in the webpage or download the PDF of the bracket if you wish.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of these registrars. All of these notes are my opinions. My opinions were based upon observations of services as provided on the registrar website.
(1) namecheap.com vs (16) mydomain.com
NameCheap features more than 10 million registered domains and supports ~420 TLDs. Established in 2001 in California, this domain registrar offers more than just domain registration. NameCheap also offers a fairly robust marketplace and a
BeastMode bulk search capability that is easy to understand and use. NameCheap also offers their version of privacy protection called WhoisGuard, best of all their privacy protection is free!
MyDomain has been around since 1998, but doesn’t support as many TLDs. Why MyDomain offers privacy, it costs $8.99 per year. While it’s unclear via their website exactly how many TLDs you can register there, a quick search indicates it can’t be many. This challenge was lopsided from the beginning, and as expected NameCheap, stock full of 5-star domains, blows the doors off of MyDomain
Final Score: NameCheap 101, MyDomain 60
(2) Hover.com vs (15) domainregistry.com
Hover is a major player in the game, coming in at a 2 seed, thanks to more than 10 million active domain registrations and support of over 430 TLDs. Hover offers free WHOIS privacy, and can be attractive to domain investors since the more domains you buy, the cheaper future purchases are.
Domain Registry was established in 1996 and makes their home in New Jersey. With just over 5500 domain names registered, they’re one of the registrars attempting to carve a niche out for themselves. Speaking of 1996, it appears they haven’t updated their website since that year. They claim “the cost to register a domain name is only $30 per domain per year“. They currently offer registration in .com, .net, .org, and .info. This game got out of hand early, as Hover ran away with the win.
Final Score: Hover 100, DomainRegistry 56
(3) epik.com vs (14) domaincentral.com
Rob Monster is Epik CEO, and is has a very active voice in the domainer community, especially at namepros.com. Epik was established in 2009 in Washington State, and has slowly grown to be a domainer favorite, thanks to their market place, escrow services, and many other domain investor centric services. Epic comes in at a three seed but is a team to watch in this bracket. Nobody wants to play Epik right now.
Domain Central is an Australian registrar with just more than 15K domains registered. You can register a domain with only four TLDs at Domain Central. .com, .net, .org and .biz. Free with every domain registration, they offer 2 email accounts. They do offer bulk registration, Sunrise domain name registration, and bulk domain search. Even with all of that, this matchup got away quickly from Domain Central. Epik’s team is highly motivated to be the major player in the domaining industry, so they jumped out big and stayed on top.
Final Score: Epik 89, Domain Central 64
(4) hexonet.net vs (13) domaine.fr
Hexonet has a large domainer following, with over a million domains registered, this registrar is fighting the good fight. Established in 1999 and based out of Germany, Hexonet boasts an aftermarket and preorder services. However, I do not see any mention of WHOIS privacy on their website.
Domaine.fr dubs themselves the “French Connexion”. Established in 1996 and headquartered in France, this registrar supports many country code TLDS (ccTLDs) you won’t find other places. Domaine also makes no mention of privacy, though their website is quite verbose, perhaps I’m missing it? No matter, Hexonet came in prepared and beat Domaine handily.
Final Score: Hexonet 71, Domaine 56
(5) spiritdomains.com vs (12) ename.com
Spirit Domains (AKA Segra) is the only registrar in the domain name registrar challenge based out of South Carolina. Established in 2017, this newcomer actively has around 25,000 domain name registrations. They also bolster an interesting keyword-based domain name suggestion tool.
Ename is a registrar based out of China, has ~25,000 active domains registered, and supports 16 TLDs. Their website renders initially in Chinese, but you can select
English in the top right corner to get a translated version. Even after translation, this website is difficult to read and view, but they do have a marketplace. They only accept payment via Ping An Bank or Union Pay, neither of which I’ve heard of. Unfortunately, do to this cultural barrier, Ename was out of place as the game began. Their lack of convention showed early as Segra was able to advance to the next round.
Final Score: SpiritDomains 77, Ename 53
(6) rrpproxy.com vs (11) domainpeople.com
Founded in 1998 and based out of Germany, this registrar is definitely one of my sleeper picks to make some noise in the Domain Name Registrar Challenge. Self-proclaimed “The Metaregistry” currently has more the half-a-million domains registered, and boasts a marketplace and a TLD launch calendar.
Domain People is a Canadian registrar with about 250,000 active registrations. In 1999, this Vancouver based company supports ~17 TLDs (per their website), and does not appear to offer free privacy. If you register 50 or more domains, you can contact their sales team for a discount. Maybe I didn’t do RRPP a just service, but this understated registrar came out with a bang and knocked the socks off of Domain People, start to finish.
Final Score: RRPProxy 77, Domain People 66
(7) alibabacloud.com vs (10) fabulous.com
Alibaba is the Google of China, a huge corporation with many services offered. To register a domain with Alibaba, you can go to alibabacloud.com/domain – trust me, it took a bit for me to find this! They do offer competitive pricing (.coms are currently $7.99), and robust services, if you need them. However, I don’t see mention of privacy. My advice to them is, if they want to get more domain registrations, they should work on simplifying their registration website.
Fabulous was established in 1999 but was bought out by DirectNic in 2017, however both registrars currently appear to be run independently, at least from a font-end perspective. Fabulous boast over 200,000 active domain registrations, currently supporting 38 TLDs. Moreover, Fabulous offers a tiered pricing plan, even if their retail pricing is higher than average. Both registrars show up ready to play, and this game was a nail-biter down to the very end. Tied at the end of regulation, Fabulous fired off a half-court heave in overtime as time expired, winning the game.
Final Score: Fabulous 117, Alibaba 114
(8) namebright.com vs (9) bb-online.com
Based out of Colorado and established in 2003, NameBright boasts “at-cost registration”, and free email forwarding and privacy with a domain registration. They also offer a premium marketplace with nearly 190,000 domain names listed for sale. Purely focused on selling and supporting domain names, NameBright is a DomainInvestor Friendly registrar.
BB-online has been around since 1997. Based out of the United Kingdom, it supports at least 106 TLDs, including support for sunrise and landrush for new gTLDs. They also offer back-order services! For my taste, their website is a little difficult to use, given the number of services they have to offer, I think it could be presented a little better. The eight versus nine matchup doesn’t always live up to expectations, but this one featured 22 lead changes and went into double-overtime. NameBright hit the game winning shot, which was a tip-in, as time expired.
Final Score: NameBright 99, BB-online 98
That wraps up the Domain Name Registrar Challenge East Region. NameCheap, NameBright, SpiritDomains, Hexonet, RRPproxy.com, Epik, Fabulous and Hover advance to the round of 32. Be sure to check out the updated bracket here.