I have heard terms "domain reseller" and "domain registrar" and that "domain registrar" is better than "domain reseller". What is the difference between the two?


Being a domain name registrar, I can confirm there is no requirements for networks, DNS servers and so on.

A domain name registrar is an organization or commercial entity that manages the reservation of Internet domain names. A domain name registrar must be accredited by a generic top-level domain (gTLD) registry and/or a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registry.


A reseller is someone who simply resells the domain registration service, they are not domain name registrars themselves.

  • I find your statement that there are no requirements for network or DNS a serious overstatement. Just reading the ICAAN requirements makes this notion impossible. icann.org/resources/pages/approved-with-specs-2013-09-17-en
    – closetnoc
    Apr 29 '17 at 3:26
  • The little link you posted on my 3 year old comment doesnt work. & unsurprisingly - you are wrong. registrars.nominet.uk/registration-and-domain-management/…
    – user29671
    Apr 29 '17 at 6:24
  • The ICANN link works and your reply with a specific registry agreement does not make a point. Also the start "networks, DNS servers" is vague (a registrar does not necessarily provide DNS service, etc.), so difficult to argue. But in short (and as you start with authority I can say I work in registries and registrars since 20 years) various registries can force technical and non technical constraints to registrars, including even things similar to ISO27001 certification. You can count on the bar being always put higher on things like that. Dec 2 '20 at 22:49
  • Its probable that your response to a 6 year old question clicked on a link that indeed wasnt working at the time of comment response 3 years ago. My link did make a point, it proved that at the time of writing, a domain name registrar did not require "networks, DNS servers, support, and so on." as was suggested elsewhere on the page. My response did not attempt to cover all possible registrars and any changes in the future. You could make a fresh answer if you have new information.
    – user29671
    Dec 12 '20 at 11:37

Registrars are the companies that actually buy licenses to sell TLD's at a registry (those who manage the DNS server for a TLD) such as Verisign for .com. Domain resellers, often hosting companies, resell these TLD's from a registrar as it's much cheaper - otherwise hosting companies would have to buy licenses to sell TLD's themselves, which is extremely expensive.

  • "Domain resellers, for example hosting companies" - some hosting companies are domain registrars as well.
    – MrWhite
    Nov 20 '14 at 11:11
  • @w3d You're right. Nov 20 '14 at 16:15

Domain registrars are required to have certain infrastructure elements such as networks, DNS servers, support, and so on. Resellers resell through registrars and are not required to have anything much at all. Think of a reseller as an affiliate.

  • Thanks! Just to give an example, are the well-known brands like Godaddy or Network Solutions resellers of VeriSign Global Registry Services for .com TLD?
    – Martin
    Nov 19 '14 at 22:58
  • Network Solutions is VeriSign- the same company with a new(ish) name and GogDaddy is the original competition to Network Solutions and Thank God(!) for that too because Network Solutions was charging $49 per domain name per year with no breaks in the price. When I was a web host, I switched over to GoDaddy faster than a jack rabbit! My experience with them has been flawless. I could not say that with Network Solutions. But I had an advantage with NetSol in that they wanted me to work for them at the highest level since they could not recruit Cricket Liu. I could always get my stuff fixed.
    – closetnoc
    Nov 19 '14 at 23:16
  • @closetnoc Domains are the only thing GoDaddy doesn't suck at ;) Nov 20 '14 at 16:17
  • @WilliamD.Edwards That's all I use them for. I think most web hosts are terrible these days. People ran to the lowest price or free cutting out the web hosts that gave a damn (like me). How is RackSpace? They made me a hefty offer about 7 years ago.
    – closetnoc
    Nov 20 '14 at 16:28
  • @closetnoc I agree. It's quite easy to start a crappy host these days... :( Nov 20 '14 at 16:35

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