This is an official discussion thread linked from the www.privacytools.io website. This thread can be used for troubleshooting, questions, discussions and if you look for alternatives.
Hey! I am thinking of getting a domain, however, I am not sure where to “buy” one. The only service mentioned in www.privacytools.io is Njalla. Does anybody have any experience with it? Also I don’t necessarily need a lot of privacy (I will probably not be using Google Domains, but that’s more of an ethical choice). Price is a concern.
Secondly, does anybody have any experience with their VPS? (or any other services) Here privacy is more important and price is still a concern. However, I don’t need a powerful server. I really don’t have any experience here, for instance, is Digital Ocean okay? Is it the worst I could ever consider? (this is just an example, but I am open to any alternative).
EDIT: I just found out an acquitance is using www.ovh.com, any thoughts on that?
PS1: When considering VPS privacy, my concern is not a money trail for instance, but the host looking into what’s on the servers or when do I log in. (any other advice on this matter will be appreciated, is it possible to fully encrypt the server so the host cannot know what is going on in there?)
PS2: I have heard of the OpenNIC, but as for now, I want something accessible to most of the population, I will probably register a domain in the OpenNIC once I have more experience with the subject.
https://nicevps.net/ claims on their front page:
We support Full Disk Encryption under KVM based Virtual Private Servers, installing from your own custom media or from official operative system ISO’s.
Though their cheaper VPS are never in stock lol
I’ve never purchased a domain from OVH, however the server that runs privacytools.io and all our services is from OVH, as well as my personal server
I am looking to register a domain to use for my personal email (via something like Protonmail or Tutanota). Privacytools.io recommends Njalla as did other users in a previous post of mine asking about a privacy respecting and reputable registrar.
However, 2 things concern me about Njalla and I am wondering if these concerns are warranted:
- The only thing they clearly state is they own the domain, not you. So ultimately, they could take it over I presume, if they hypothetically wanted?
As for first part, this is generally a red flag for me for any service. I want to know what they do with my information themselves, not just how they protect me from a registrar.
the agreement between us grants you full usage rights to the domain. Whenever you want to, you can transfer the ownership to yourself or some other party.
What agreement? Are the terms listed some place. I want to know what those terms are before agreeing to them, not after.
Also, while maybe I am over thinking it, do I really trust the people behind sites like The Pirate Bay to keep my personal information safe and respect my privacy/security? I vaguely recall them having a crypto miner on the site, maybe transparently, to help offset losing revenue to ad-blocking…which dont even get me started the trash ads they had on that site…
So in any case, has anyone had issues with Njalla or can explain why my concerns are not rational? Is there a better alternative?
The only thing they clearly state is they own the domain, not you. So ultimately, they could take it over I presume, if they hypothetically wanted?
Yes, and this is why I wouldn’t recommend using them. Not owning the domain is a very big deal.
There isn’t anything else like them but the next best option is probably Orange.
There’s really no other way to do anonymous domain registrations though, because of ICANN regulations.
I am on Gandi with Mikaela.info, as they sponsor FOSS and seem ethical. IIRC I pay ~23 €/year which I could get cheaper elsewhere (like a cloud-that-shall-not-be-named), but they include email hosting which paid separately could easily become either more expensive or more stressful for me.
You can see what details they publish at https://whois.gandi.net/ and entering
mikaela.info, however that may also depend on domain rules, do perform your research.
Mine is at i-83, it was the cheapest I found and the most important thing that VPS is currently doing is a Syncplay server or a Yggdrasil node. The catch is that you only have 20 open IPv4 ports with a high number, but that isn’t a problem for me as my hosting is done on GitHub pages and some content on IPFS (not on that VPS).
I have no idea on the privacy here, but I hear DigitalOcean being called as expensive and I removed my account so they couldn’t guilt me making temporary VPSes with referral credits.
I wonder if the host would care about that, but I don’t think it’s possible to prevent them from knowing.
I originally misread this and was going to warn you that OpenNIC won’t be accessible by most of the population. However I think OpenNIC won’t generally cost you anything and I am under impression that there is some sort of community there.
With OpenNIC I am personally waiting for them to come to DoH/DoT era, so I could at least configure it in Firefox.
Edit 2019-08-04: Linking to Discussion: Yggdrasil so people can see ideas on what Yggdrasil can be used for.
Njalla is more of a proxy than a domain registrar. Since you are required to give your information when registering a domain, they instead register it themselves and give you access to it.
What I’ve seen recommended is:
- Offering both domains and servers
- Offering many different payment methods including crypto, cash, paysafecard, perfect money, bank transfer, westernunion, some region specific (like SEPA, SOFORT for Europe) and SMS/Call
- You can contact them through Wire, Signal, Threema
- Can’t navigate their website, it’s a mess
- Most-likely not cooperating with US/EU (important for your threat model)
- Offering both domains and servers
- Accepting bitcoin
- Very cheap TLD prices
- Offering 2FA
- Free WHOIS protection
None of them, however, offer an .onion domain, like Njalla does, to my knowledge.