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I have a few domains hosted at GoDaddy, and it's posting my address, phone number, and email address on my whois results.

It looks like they charge an exorbitant $10/year for "private registration" to hide this. Is that correct? Every other company I've used does this for free.

This means that my domains at GoDaddy will effectively cost me twice as much per year. Is there any way around this? e.g. I believe I can go into my GoDaddy and just change the details, but someone told me that doing so would hamper my ability to defend my ownership of the domain if it was contested. Any truth to that?

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Are you sure that other service providers offered this for free? In order to comply with the ICANN requirements they need to be able to reach you at the contact info provided in the WHOIS database. When a company hides your details they usually put their own contact info in instead. If mail is sent to you at their address they will forward it on to you. So they usually charge for this service from my understanding because it is not quite as simple as hiding your contact information from the WHOIS search. – Sherwin Flight Apr 19 '12 at 8:35
up vote 8 down vote accepted

There is no way around this. If you want to use godaddy as your registrar that's the price you have to pay for private registration. If you can get a domain name with private registration cheaper elsewhere, and cost is an issue to you then register your domain at the cheaper registrar.

From this question asked previously about entering fake information when registering your domain:

ICANN (not the domain registrar) requires that all information in your registration be valid.

If any dispute arises (see the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy rules here) you will be contacted via the means specified in your domain registration. Notice that section 14 of the rules is a section that defines what happens as part of a 'default' (in other words, they can't contact you): They'll proceed with a judgement, and you won't get a say in the proceedings.

ICANN has the power to take a domain from you and give it to somebody else.

So yes, it's important that you include valid information in your registration information.

For a comparison of a what a private domain registration looks like (compared to a regular domain registration) see this: http://www.domainsbyproxy.com/popup/whoisexample.aspx

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Thanks. I just wanted to make sure I had understood that paying for the GoDaddy private registration was the only way. (Besides transferring domain) – CaptainCodeman Mar 10 '12 at 23:00

Name Cheap and other registrars usually offer this service free for the first year. If you are doing this for search engine reasons and you don't want to leave a footprint its best to use multiple registrars so all your sites don't look like they come from the same source.

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