If I purchase a domain, I'm usually required to enter an address. Usually, the address can be accessed publicly by any sort of WHOIS lookup. I'm uncomfortable publishing my real home address; what do people usually do? Lie? Purchase a P.O box?

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    Related indeed. However that question and its answers are focused on whether it's OK to provide "fake" information or not, while this one is concerned with "privacy".
    – dan
    Jun 18, 2013 at 18:26
  • This will depend on the Registry, but... if you are registering a UK domain (Nominet) as a private individual then it is free to opt-out of the public whois database.
    – MrWhite
    Jun 18, 2013 at 22:08
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    Today, with GDPR it will be private. As for specific domain registrar, check out the review: medium.com/@JohnBeardslee/…
    – Stas
    Dec 22, 2018 at 23:32
  • The medium.com URL points to a post for an account that has been removed. web.archive.org does not have an entry for this URL.
    – thisgeek
    Sep 23, 2019 at 15:11

2 Answers 2


Not disclosing your personal contact information is a common concern, since as you state, it's otherwise publicly available at domain registrars, and any site that implements WHOIS lookups.

There are Domain Privacy options available at most domain registrars however, for example: Private Registration

These will prevent the public from seeing your home address and contact information (including email address), while staying within ICANN guidelines since the registrar will act as the administrative contact and forward important emails regarding the domain to you.

It's not a wise choice to provide false information during domain registrations because if there's ever a challenge for your domain name (UDRP) you'll lose the decision due to violating their terms requiring that all registrants provide valid information at the time of registration, as well as maintaining valid contact information throughout ownership.

Additionally, the registrar may seize, or even delete the domain, if notices from them are not properly delivered. For example, some registrars confirm if addresses are valid on a periodic basis, and request that you update them if not. So if you don't receive these notices, you might have a serious issue with your domain...

You can use a P.O. Box, however, that's more expensive on a monthly basis than just adding a privacy option for a year during registration and renewals (and all your other contact info will be blocked too).

Tip: If you do opt for the privacy option during registration, look for discount "codes" so they're more affordable for the first year.

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    This is great info, thanks. Does the privacy option dictate ownership in any way? Meaning, if I use the privacy option, would the registrar own the domain, whereas I would own the domain if I used my home address?
    – Newtang
    Jun 18, 2013 at 21:25
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    You're welcome! The domain privacy option doesn't affect your rights at all - you'd still own it.
    – dan
    Jun 18, 2013 at 22:38
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    Note that the ability to use a "P.O. Box" as the address is very much dependent on the Registry - many Registries do not permit this. For example, .at (nic.at), .de (denic) and second level .uk (Nominet) domains are not permitted to use a PO Box for the postal address.
    – MrWhite
    Dec 10, 2017 at 1:47

The simplest solution is to choose a registrar that respects your desire for privacy. I use Gandi.net though there are most certainly others. I don't work for them or have any financial incentive to recommend them, I am just a happy customer.

I'll make this a community wiki and please add any registrars that also do private registration by default.

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    I would only add to do a price comparison between registrars (i.e., registration cost plus privacy option vs. registration cost that includes privacy), as well as other features included with the registration.
    – dan
    Jun 18, 2013 at 22:51
  • Oh wow, I found this topic as I found a scary email from Gandi asking me to update my info and I thought all that is available publicly. When checking with whois, turned out everything says REDACTED FOR PRIVACY. I was already very satisfied with Gandi, now I'm extremely happy with them.
    – insideClaw
    Nov 21, 2023 at 0:11

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