Transferring to a <strike>better</strike> cheaper place

Gandi logo
DH logo

I’ve recently received an email from my (now old) registrar asking me to renew my domain name. I decided to compare with others and I found Dreamhost. This is my first registrar to registrar domain transfer and the transition has been a bit troublesome :/ Why transfer the domain to another registrar if your current one just works ok ? Answer: More “advantages” for less price… keeping my comparison table short (there are more goodies to take into account):

  • Gandi: 14€, Dreamhost: 7€
  • Gandi: No hosting, Dreamhost: Incredible hosting possibilities
  • Gandi: No referral program, Dreamhost: $97 new clients you enroll to DH
  • Gandi: Poor and slow support, Dreamhost: Awesome and fast support

BUT (OMG, why there’s always a big “but” :_()… Dreamhost L0 (domain registry only) option, does not allow you to transfer nor customize your own subdomains nor DNS RR ! That’s a huge drawback which (imho) is not well advertised on their web nor wiki. On Gandi you get full control of your domain’s resource records :/

So now how do I migrate my >20 subdomains without paying extra fee for it ?: DIY. So I set up an external DNS server at home (I already had an internal one for my LAN). BUT (oops, yet another one)… make sure you keep it secure using views and disabling recursion for the external view among other settings and make sure you audit your BIND config remotely.

And finally, make sure you have redundant nameservers, just in case your primary one goes down. How do I find a cheap service on that last subject ? Just Google for it. One of the best ones I’ve found (just comparing features for now, not tested) is FreeDNS, so I’ll give it a try and post something about it on a next post… because there’s yet another hidden “BUT” that needs to be solved somehow (hint: FreeDNS’s 20 subdomains limit).