Network Solutions hasn’t always been a domain registrar. The company started out as a technology consulting firm back in 1979, with a primary focus on utilizing IBM. Ever since, the organization has evolved parallel to the advancements in technology.
A couple of years after the company was established, they started collaborating with the government on domain names. In fact, they ended up being the only contractor that made an offer for the National Science Foundation’s project!.
Suffice to say that domain registration services have always made up a considerable portion of this company’s operations. But over the years, they ventured into other sectors. Network Solutions now offers web development, web hosting and digital marketing services. Here’s what you can expect from this renowned domain registrar.
One thing that Network Solutions prides itself on, and one that really makes the company stand out entails their long-term domains.
By now, you’re probably aware that it’s not possible to buy a domain name forever. If you want to retain ownership, then you have to keep renewing.
But Network Solutions offers a pretty good deal of a 20- or 100-year long domain registration. It means you can register your domain for a long enough time that only your grandkids will have to renew it. Better yet, you’ll never have to worry about losing it because you forgot to renew in time.
Network Solutions gives you several other features that you’ll find useful once you get your domain. For instance, the platform has a specific section dubbed “online account management” that lets you manage everything related to your domain.
In addition to domains, this registrar also offers sub-domains. These are very resourceful for individuals looking to organize their websites more neatly. As an example, sapphireshotel.cm could have a subdomain titled menus.sapphireshotel.com.
It’s not unusual for website owners to get so caught up in their work that they forget to renew their current domains. Other than the long-term deal that Network Solutions offers, the platform also has an auto-renew feature to help you avoid this problem.
This way, your domain gets renewed automatically right before it expires. However, if you prefer to renew manually, you can turn off the auto-renew in your account or contact their support team.
Keep in mind that this should be done at least 90 days before the expiration date, otherwise your domain will still be renewed automatically.
Another thing we like about Network Solutions is the fact that it really streamlines your domain search. If there’s a specific domain name and extension you’re eyeing, the platform has several options to help you acquire it. These include:
- Certified offer service – this feature lets you make an offer to the current domain holder anonymously. If the account holder is pleased with your offer, they may just give it up.
- Advanced search tool – if you’ve ran out of ideas, Network Solutions’ domain name generator can help. All you have to do is key in relevant keywords, and a list of possible domain names will pop up.
- Back order – each day, Network Solutions displays a list of domain names that are about to expire. If you’re interested in any of the domains, you can bid for it. If the domain expires, the company conducts an auction and gives the domain name to the highest bidder.
- Premium resale domains – this platform also lets you view registered domain names that are being sold by their holders for a specific price.
Ease of use
For the most part, getting started on Network Solutions is a fairly easy process.
However, it may be a little time-consuming if you’re subscribing for their hosting services alongside the domain. In this case, the first step will be to pick a suitable hosting plan. Next, you’ll head to the domain section, where you’ll be prompted to register a new one.
But before you’re allowed to create an account with Network Solutions, you’ll be taken through a couple of add-ons, all of which are related to your website’s security. You’ll also be required to provide your personal data, create a password and choose a security question.
The one thing we feel that Network Solutions can improve on is their proprietary control panel. It’s not the most user-friendly one, and it can make it difficult to access certain features.
On the brighter side, Network Solutions offers to take domain management off your hands if you sign up for their Platinum program. If you become a member, the company assigns an expert account manager. This individual manages your entire domain for you with the aim of maximizing its value.
Compared to other domain registrars, Network Solutions falls behind when it comes to its customer support services.
The company offers support through four different channels: a support ticket system, live chat, telephone and knowledge base.
Their knowledge base or “help center” showcases a wide range of articles to help you sort issues on your own. We like how their articles are written in an easy-to-understand style. Some even have pictures, just to clarify certain points.
If you prefer talking to one of their agents directly, then you can do so through the live chat, telephone or support ticket.
Sadly, their live chat is not available round-the-clock. Rather, the chat business hours are scheduled for Monday to Friday, between 8AM and 8PM EST. It means that if you encounter any issue during the weekends or outside these hours, you’ll have to look for another means to contact them.
Another thing we didn’t like is the way Network Solutions recommends its customers to only use the direct phone line support for “urgent matters only”. So once you press the “contact us” button, you’re first presented with alternative ways to self-diagnose your problem.
Even though Network Solutions has a community forum, it’s not the most user-friendly platform to navigate. For one, you have to be a registered user to access it. Secondly, you won’t get answers from the experts. You can only receive advice from fellow Network Solutions members.
The majority of providers are very transparent about the prices of their domains. You get to know the specific amount of money that you need to pay annually for your domain registration.
Unfortunately, Network Solutions does not display the same level of transparency. You have to dig deep to know how much they charge for their domains. And even then, you can’t be certain that that’s how much you’ll pay as you may end up with unknown items added to your cart without your consent.
This company charges a fixed $20.00 for the .com domain for the first year, and $37.99 to renew every other year.
To add to this, the platform requires you to pay for domain features you’d usually get for free from other providers.
For instance, domain forwarding- the feature that redirects other domain names to your website- will set you back $12.99 a year per domain.
Similarly, if you want to enjoy domain privacy that allows you to hide your personal contact information from the public, you’ll have to pay $9.99 a year per domain.
Network Solutions is a suitable domain registrar if you’re looking for a long-term solution. Unlike other registrars that offer a maximum holding period of 10 years, this company lets you keep your domain for up to 20 or 100 years.
It means you can pay the cost upfront and never be bothered with renewal fees. You also won’t have to worry about losing your domain because you forgot to renew it.