Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm In a situation that's slightly different from this question.

We currently host our own web server and mail server. We're moving to a SaaS accounting and practice management service. One option is to also let them host our website and email.

Part of their process requires us to provide them our username and password to our domain registrar.

Here's how our situation is different from the other question.

  • We're already registered for the next 10 years. (We have 9 years left.)
  • Our registrar doesn't provide DNS services. AT&T, our ISP, does.
  • Updating the administrative and technical contacts should be a one-time thing, right?

Given that situation, can anyone imagine any legitimate business reason for them to require the username and password to our registrar account?

Aren't we risking giving away our domain name by turning that information over to them?


Edit: I told them I didn't have any problem letting them change our DNS records, but that our registrar (networksolutions.com) didn't have anything to do with that. AT&T (sbcglobal.net) is our SOA; I have instructions for how to tell AT&T to change our DNS records.

Their response: We will be hosting the new site, so there will be no other way to change your DNS unless we have the domain registrar since we use the domain providers nameservers.

My interpretation: The domain provider's nameservers are what I'd see if I did whois.

$ whois my-domain-name.com
[snip]
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Referral URL: http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/
Name Server: NS1.SBCGLOBAL.NET
Name Server: NS2.SBCGLOBAL.NET

So they need to talk to the people who administer NS1.SBCGLOBAL.NET (AT&T), right? Is there anything NetworkSolutions can do to change those DNS records?

There is something NetworkSolutions can do, but I'm not sure it applies to us. (Emphasis added.)

Advanced DNS Records are pre-configured to utilize your Network Solutions® services. [catcall: We have no Network Solutions services besides registration. We currently have our own web server and our own mail server.] Advanced users may wish to modify these records in order to add new hosts to the domain, change IP addresses, or modify where email messages are delivered. This option is helpful if you want to keep one of your Network Solutions services active (e.g., your emailbox) and host your other service (e.g., your website) with another provider.

In order to use Advanced DNS Manager, your Domain Name Servers must be moved to Network Solutions managed Name Servers.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

No, they shouldn't need your registrar information. They may want the login details for your ISP so they can, for example, change the mail routing to point to their servers. They may not be trying to do you harm, they may just assume that your registrar is also providing DNS.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. I didn't assume they were trying to do us harm. Just trying to assess the risk. –  Mike Sherrill 'Cat Recall' Dec 5 '11 at 12:27
1  
+1 - If it's a simple web form requesting this information, they probably did not anticipate your arrangement (still, rather presumptuous on their part - they should only ask for what they know they need). If their tech team is asking you, it represents a lack of effort on their part (they should have researched your configuration/asked questions - in which case they would know they didn't need this information). –  danlefree Dec 5 '11 at 13:18
    
@danlefree: It's a human, not a web form. I've updated my question with their latest response. –  Mike Sherrill 'Cat Recall' Dec 8 '11 at 14:55
    
@Catcall - You stated "we currently host our own web server and mail server" so that statement was made on the basis that you didn't plan to start hosting with the SaaS provider. –  danlefree Dec 8 '11 at 17:12
    
@danlefree: Well, I think your comment was good anyway. What they probably need to do is to move our nameservers. (But they haven't told me that.) For our registrar, they can do that as an additional technical contact. –  Mike Sherrill 'Cat Recall' Dec 8 '11 at 17:19
add comment

What is most likely happening here (assuming no nefarious intent) is that the SaaS outfit is used to dealing with clients who have limited technical expertise. In such situations it is easiest for them to get access to the registrar controls and make any necessary changes themselves, rather then trying to talk the client through those steps. This avoids any confusion about responsibility if something goes amiss. You wouldn't want a client to cancel your service because he couldn't follow the directions about how to change the DNS settings!

However, such a company should (assuming that their employees are not required to slavishly follow a predetermined script) be happy enough to let you handle these details if you insist on doing so.

share|improve this answer
    
I can see the logic in letting them access a user account to communicate with our ISP. But once the SaaS company is the authority, they no longer need access to that account, right? There should probably be a clause in the contract stating they won't change the password. And we'll change the password after they transfer DNS authority. Does that sound reasonable? –  Mike Sherrill 'Cat Recall' Dec 5 '11 at 12:49
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.