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I have several unhosted .com and 1 .net domains registered 2 years ago and expiring soon which I wouldn't like to keep with the current registrar dynadot.com. The domains will expire on 07.12, and on 06.11 I scheduled them for deletion (as it takes 30 days for the registrar to delete a non-expired domain), though generally would like to keep them for future, but the time when I will actually begin working on them is uncertain.

I queried the registrar how can I prevent the domains to be released into an auction. Per their Terms of Service (which I didn't read on purchase) they release only the expired domains to an auction. As my domains are not expired yet, but scheduled to deletion, and on domain expiry date they should already be deleted, they should not be put into an auction. The registrar told that even after a domain was deleted in a regular order (during a 30 day deletion period prior to domain expiry date) the registry (Verisign) does not actually delete the domain name (it's record) and may sort of actively release it somehow. Can I do anything so that after the deletion period the domains won't be repurchasable for anyone but me? (At least the 2 .com domain names which are sort of unique i.e. for which there are no already purchased same domain names with a different extension). Can I somehow use Ethereum Name System for this?

The registrar told that several days before the end of their 30 day "deletion period" (i.e. several days before 07.11-12) I can still renew the domains scheduled for deletion. Would you advice to renew the domains which have been registered thus long ago (for maybe some advantages in Google search which may prioritize older domains)? Generally I would repurchase them in the future, but this lousy registrar doesn't provide any means for securing the domain names (irrespective of their extension) as some sort of intellectual property.

The domains were unhosted during these 2 years and very few people know about them, so they shouldn't have gotten much traffic.

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    I am confused. You say they are "expiring soon" and at the same time you say "several days before the expiration date of the deletion period I can still renew the domains" Are you talking about 2 different moments in time? Also, watch out, there is what is called a "grace period" during which time you can renew an expired domain for a hefty fee. To avoid headaches, if you want to renew the domains, do so before they expire.
    – Steve
    Jun 27 at 3:50
  • If you are hoping that you will be able to re-register domain names that you voluntarily allowed to drop, this is very dangerous. Pretty much any expiring domain name is snapped up these days, even a lousy name provided it's got some history or residual traffic. And lists of expiring domain names are readily available to anyone, so anybody can see the names. Plus, you'll lose some possible SEO benefits (domain age). If you are unsatisfied with the current registrar, the solution is to transfer the names somewhere else, and this is easy.
    – Anonymous
    Jun 27 at 12:50
  • @Steve I corrected the post by adding clarifying details about the situation. Sorry for the confusion. Jun 27 at 14:09
  • @Anonymous Per this registrar's Terms of Service they may put an expired domain to an auction lasting 7 days. As my domains will be deleted by their expiry date, they should not acquire the "expired" status and, as the registrar told, would not be put to an auction. And as the registrar told, when a domain will be deleted, it's "domain age" will be deleted too. I thought to get the domains deleted entirely from the registry, yet the Verisign seem to not delete the domain record. Jun 27 at 14:36
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    To answer the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) part of this question, ENS is a separate DNS-like name registration and resolution system that is not a drop-in replacement for DNS, and does not help you register, upkeep or drop-catch DNS names under the official ICANN DNS root. Sep 12 at 19:23
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Domain ownership does not work that way, sorry.

You are trying to force a thing to work a way it does not work, based on a wrong concept.

What you're really talking about is preventing anyone else from using your domains after you let them lapse. So in effect you would control the domains. In other words you want to have effective ownership of the domain name, without paying the annual renewal fee. Your logic is that this way, you control them for free without having to pay the $15/year registration fee.

That would be "something for nothing"!

There is already a system for that. It is the domain name registration system. It costs about $15 per domain name per year, depending on your vendor.

Are we talking about web hosting here?

If you are paying more like $15 per month, then you are actually paying for a "bundle" of two totally separate things:

  • domain name registration (typ. $15/year)
  • web hosting (typ. $10-30/month)

Obviously there is tremendous cost savings in "un-bundling" those two separate things. The web hosting is by far the most expensive, and you just don't need it for a domain that is parked and awaiting future use.

A lot of web hosting companies will cheerfully "toss in" a "free" domain name when you rent web hosting with them. That puts you in an awkward position when you want to stop web hosting but keep the domain. If they don't offer a sensibly priced standalone domain registration, then you may need to transfer the domain name to a different registrar that does. GoDaddy is a popular choice for instance, but nobody ever got fired for using Verisign/NSI.

Domainjackers are sharpening their knives

After your domain has expired, it goes into a forgiveness period where you can still renew it, however after a couple of weeks, a hefty late-renewal fee will kick in. If you allow this forgiveness period to lapse, the domain is up for grabs.

Domain prospectors have already seen it on the "soon to expire" list, and have already collected your WHOIS data, and have used a variety of web analysis tools to determine how much "organic" traffic the site gets. If they can monetize that traffic enough to earn back the cost of registering the domain, then they will snatch it up the very millisecond it becomes available.

All of this - the analysis and the buying - is fully scripted and automated.

Their revenue streams are a) monetizing any accidental visits the domain gets, b) selling the domain to anyone, and c) ransoming the domain back to you.


One company I work with even became the victim of a particularly creative domain jacker, who (prior to expiry) scraped the content of our web site. After capturing the domain, put up a copy of our content along with ads for Açai Berry. As a result, the search engine was none the wiser that our official site had changed, our new site would not rank in search engines, and our customers got wrong data. If the crook had setup an online retail store, our customers would have been none the wiser and would have paid the scammer for our products, and been mad at us for non-delivery!

And the way that happened was a cautionary tale. You can prepay domain registration up to 10 years in advance. The cheap manager had chosen to renew year by year, "like a magazine subscription", relying on "auto-pay". When the credit card had expired, the auto-renew failed. The manager responded to the email by updating the auto-pay information, and thought nothing further of it. The manager lost the business' primary domain, and a domain prospector got it. The point is, auto-renew can break. Keep several years prepaid on domains you depend on, and you won't have that problem!

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  • " The point is, auto-renew can break. Keep several years prepaid on domains you depend on, and you won't have that problem!" And monitor your domains or use some services monitoring those kind of things, like certificates. That could also be useful to catch another unwanted changes like in contacts or nameservers. Sep 12 at 5:27
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Harper - Reinstate Monica offered a very well put explanation as to why what you describe in your question will not work. It goes without saying, you're going to have to take a different approach.


Do Not Let the Domains Expire - Renew Them & Transfer Registrars

As far as I know, this is the only means that satisfies the end of securing your domains and moving them to another registrar. Here is an article on how to transfer a domain.

Aside from renewing the domains during the forgiveness period, there is nothing you can do after deletion to ensure that the domains will only be re-purchasable by you.

If for some reason you cannot cancel the process you've already set in motion, you will have to resort to this.

Re: Ethereum

I don't know a whole lot about crypto but I highly doubt that you can use the Ethereum Name System for this. The link you sent leads to a page to register for a .eth name.

Edit: Per Max's comment:

ENS is a separate DNS-like name registration and resolution system that is not a drop-in replacement for DNS, and does not help you register, upkeep or drop-catch DNS names under the official ICANN DNS root.

Re: securing the domain names as intellectual property

It is not possible to permanently buy a domain, this is not how domain registration works. However, there are leases for indefinite lengths.

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    I was flip-flopping about posting my comment about ENS in an answer so it wouldn't get buried, but the gist is that you're right that ENS is unrelated. ENS is a separate DNS-like name registration and resolution system that is not a drop-in replacement for DNS, and does not help you register, upkeep or drop-catch DNS names under the official ICANN DNS root. Sep 12 at 20:18
  • @MaximillianLaumeister ah I didn't see your comment. Yeah that makes sense. Why would it get buried? Something on SEs side suppressing it? Sep 12 at 20:30
  • That's the reason you didn't see it, it got buried ;) If you go to the comment section under this question and click "Show 6 more comments", then scroll down to the bottom, you can find my comment there. If you give it a vote up, it might keep it from being collapsed by default alongside all the rest of the comments! When there are a lot of comments on a post, SE by default collapses the ones that haven't been upvoted enough compared to the others. Sep 12 at 20:35
  • For ETH/ENS/Domains have a look at medium.com/the-ethereum-name-service/… Sep 13 at 0:46
  • @MaximillianLaumeister " ENS is a separate DNS-like name registration and resolution system that is not a drop-in replacement for DNS, does not use the official ICANN DNS root" More or less true. See medium.com/the-ethereum-name-service/… ; so they do use ICANN (in fact IANA) DNS root, by design, contrary to a project like Handshake whose goal is to replace IANA DNS root by something being fully decentralized. But a too big subject to convey here in comments of this question and even maybe on this Q&A site. Sep 13 at 0:48

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