Network Solutions follow-up

The last of the two domains I registered on February 14 was finally live on Feb 24th.. after several calls to NSI technical support (and probably total of 2 hours on hold). Even though both of the domains were included in the initial trobule ticket on Feb 17th, only one of them was fixed and operational on the 19th. The second domain took additional five days to get online. Good going, NSI!

One thing I did learn, though: apparently it is possible to have the reservation deleted. In other words, if you or someone else looks up a domain name using NSI’s home page and they “do you a favor” by reserving the name for the next seven days “so that the scalpers can’t register it” (I can’t really see how that improves the situation — they have no way of knowing who checked the availability of the domain name initially), you can call NSI’s tech support and request the name to be removed from the reservation list immediately, thus opening it up for reservation at other registrars.

Stay away from NSI!

Network Solutions — Pay More, Get Less

The two domains I was forced to register via Network Solutions (see the previous post) are still not live, two days later. I set the name servers correctly immediately after the domains were registered, created the corresponding name server records, and tested them. Then I waited. 24 hours.. no live domains. 48 hours.. no live domains! I called NSI’s technical support and, after about 30 minutes on hold, was told to preferably use their internal managed name servers, or if I really had to use my own name servers, reassign the name servers to the internal, then back to my own. In other words, “flip the switch” few times. Click. Click. Click. And then call them back some hours later if nothing happens. For this I had to pay $20 more per domain per year! Generally at GoDaddy the domains are live instantly, and at latest within an hour or two after registration. No fuss. I’m sure the same is true with many other good registrars out there, Network Solutions is just not one of them.

Network Solutions Uses Creepy Marketing Tactics!

Network Solutions is now apparently resorting to rather questionable marketing tactics to be able to continue to charge the excessive $35/year for .com registrations while stellar competition (such as GoDaddy) offers the same for $9.99/year and you get better customer service and easier to use management interface.

There are many snazzy AJAX-based whois tools on the web, such as Some of them abuse the collected lookup information so that when a user finds a cool sounding domain name that is available but doesn’t register it right away, the owner of the whois-tool goes and registers the domain name and slaps a $5,000 sticker on it. Few people go for that, but what if the increased sticker was $35? This is what Network Solutions now does! If you look up a domain name at, and it is currently free, the cost is $9.00/year. That’s ¢95 less for the first year than the same registration through, for example, GoDaddy. But if you don’t register the domain right away, let’s say you wait couple of hours, Network Solutions snaps it up, and the price suddenly increases to the NSI’s old $35/year (since now you don’t have the option to use a competing registrar). Lookup at, for example, GoDaddy tells that the domain name you looked up “is already taken”. Command line Whois, on the other hand, says:

This Domain is available at
13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300


This Domain is Available – Register it Now!
600,000 domain names are registered daily! Don’t delay; there’s no guarantee
that a domain name you see today will still be here tomorrow!
Register it Now at

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Network Solutions, LLC
13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300
1-888-642-9675 fax: 571-434-4620

Record expires on 14-Feb-2009.
Record created on 14-Feb-2008.
Database last updated on 14-Feb-2008 17:20:18 EST.

Domain servers in listed order:

Swell, eh? When you don’t have what it takes to offer better service than the competition, then you use shady tactics to extract money from the unwilling clientele. NSI is a bit akin to SBC/AT&T in that both originate from the time when they had the monopoly in their respective business areas. Times change, but procedures and even more importantly the old corporate mind-set stick hard.

Today I registered two domain names through NSI at the elevated $35/year cost because the names were needed, and because my boss looked up their availability earlier today using Network Solutions homepage. I will be transferring the domains to GoDaddy shortly, and will from now on advice everyone stay away from NSI (well, I already have been doing so but this is yet another reason to continue do so).

Firefox, IE not able to resolve domain names

Today I spent some time trying to figure out what was wrong with my daughter’s Windows XP Pro PC whose Internet browsers (both IE7 and Firefox 2.0) had stopped resolving domain names. Direct access to IP numbers worked as long as the web server being accessed was not redirecting to a domain name, and the LAN domain names (provided by a WINS server) were resolving correctly. Further, NSLOOKUP was working normally, and I could telnet from a command prompt both to LAN and WAN targets.

Some web-searching later I came across a thread in Tek-Tips (“Browser cannot resolve domain names”) that seemed to describe a similar scenario. Disappointingly, despite of many suggestions that were offered and tried, the person with the problem had ended up reinstalling WinXP to solve the problem.

So what had changed? I couldn’t remember making any changes on that PC, though of course my daughter could’ve made some change (if she had she didn’t admit to it 😉 ). But in the end it was Mea Culpa. In the Tek-Tips thread someone mentioned that the possible culprit could be a problem with a deterministic network driver. Hmm. To get some network application working on that computer I had disabled Kaspersky Internet Security firewall last night. It turns out that disabling the firewall disables DNS resolution on the computer (NSLOOKUP works because it talks to the name server directly). Shutting down KIS entirely didn’t make a difference, but once I re-enabled the firewall, things returned back to normal. I suppose had I uninstalled KIS it would have no longer interfered with the name resolution like it did when it was simply turned off.

For some reason it was not possible to respond to the thread in Tek-Tips Forums, so I leave this follow-up to the problem here. Maybe this info will save someone from having to reinstall XP in order to restore network access on their PC.