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Thread: What do domain registrars actually do?

  1. #1
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    What do domain registrars actually do?

    This question isn't Ubuntu-specific, but I'm sure someone here can provide a good answer.

    I'm wondering what domain registrars (Godaddy, bluehost, etc.) actually do when you register a domain with them. As far as I understand it (please correct if I'm wrong), the only thing that you really need to do if you want to own a domain is to 1) create a record with ICANN, which costs a few cents a year to maintain, and 2) get your domain put into DNS servers. So if you have the resources and knowledge to do both of these things yourself, than what value do registrars add to the process beyond convenience?

    I have my own web server and access to my hosting provider's DNS servers, so why can't I create a domain record with ICANN myself, instead of paying someone else to do it? Are there technical reasons that everything has to be done through a middleman, or is it all just political/bureaucratic/another way for someone to profit?

    Also, if there is no way to avoid registrars, is there anyone who will just register the domain for me, and nothing else? Everyone I find offers "free" (ad-based) hosting and automatically makes me use their DNS servers at first (which I immediately switch over to my provider's servers), and I feel like these things waste my money and time. I don't want the price of "free" web or DNS hosting factored into the registration cost.

    Thanks in advance for any information.
    Last edited by pytheas22; September 2nd, 2008 at 08:49 PM.

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