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I recently bought a ‘.com’ domain name from 1and1, in the UK. The whois information lists my home address and phone number, which I would like to remove / hide.

1and1 seem to get a bit of a kicking at times for customer support and such like, but I have found them very good until my current problem. For some reason, 1and1 do not offer ‘private registration’ services for their UK based .com customers. I really don’t know why, as other UK based hosts seem to offer the service … some even for free.

Is there a way to hide my home address and phone number from the whois database, but continue to use 1and1 as my host ? Or is it a case of I will have to transfer the hosting of my website to whoever provides the privacy protection service ?

  • Note that it's not the host that provides privacy, but the domain registrar or 3rd party privacy service. – MrWhite Dec 22 '14 at 11:15
  • @w3d - Thanks for the comment. Whois shows the registrar as '1&1 INTERNET AG'. And I use them for my hosting, too. Does your comment mean I can 'RE - register (or transfer ?)' my domain name with, say, godaddy, but still use 1and1 as my host ... I don't have any problems with them other than the present privacy thing. – John Dec 22 '14 at 11:23
  • Yes, you could do that. The host and domain registrar are two different entities. (Not that there is usually a restriction that you can't transfer a domain to another registrar in the first 2 or 3 months are registration. I believe this is 60 days with 1and1.) – MrWhite Dec 22 '14 at 11:33
  • Thank you, for helping me understand. I bought the domain a couple of months ago (I'm slow) so I wouldn't have to wait so long to sort things. I guess I should drop a line to 1and1 support and explain what that I'd like to stay with them but move the registration to someone else. – John Dec 22 '14 at 11:49
  • Call 1&1 and ask. Often, there is a 3rd party option that the registrar has an agreement with even if they do not offer the service directly. So you may be in luck! If you do have to switch, I highly advise switching to a high quality registrar/host. 1&1's reputation is not poor, but they are well known for tons of low quality domains which can effect SERP placement. However, I have to say that 1&1 has not really come up in my naughty list for sometime or much if at all. It may be that their reputation has increased over the past year or so. That would be good news!! – closetnoc Dec 22 '14 at 18:36
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No. The whois privacy service has to be provided by your registrar, because the registrar is the only one that can change the Whois information for your domain.

If 1and1 is not offering the service to you, then you can't use it. The only way is to move to a registrar that offers such service.

Please note there is a difference between the registrar and hosting provider. The former is the one that registers and manage your domain, the latter is the provider of the web hosting.

They may match, but this is not mandatory. You can register your domain with FooRegistrar and host your domain on Heroku, or another platform.

The whois service has to be provided by your registrar, in this game the hosting provider has nothing to do.

  • "...provided by your registrant" - presumably you mean "registrar"? – MrWhite Dec 22 '14 at 11:30
  • "Please note there is a difference between the registrar and hosting provider." I think that sums up my thought process ... I had not separated the two services. I was thinking along the lines of, 'I bought a .com from 1and1, so I have to use them for everything related to it'. Thank you. – John Dec 22 '14 at 11:47
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I use 1&1 for some of my domains, and they do offer whois privacy protection. As stated by @w3dk, it may be through a third-party service. However there are some domain extensions like .uk or .us that do not allow whois privacy or proxies, but those rules are set by ICANN and/or the countries involved, and not by the registrar.

Personally, I only use 1&1 to register names for cheap or in bulk, until I'm read to host, and then I switch to another host and reregister with them. If you are looking for a reputable host and registrar in your country, "123-reg" claims to be #1 in the UK, and that you retain ownership of domains using their privacy service, but everything I've read about domain privacy in general states that the proxy owns the domain.

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