Do you know that everyday domain owner’s private and confidential data is available to the spammers when they perform a WHOIS search? According to ICANN’s WHOIS protocol, when you register a domain, your name, address, phone number, and email; everything is publicly available on the Whois database. Anyone can get access to such data through WHOIS lookup. So, it is not surprising to find yourself plagued with spammy messages.
Thanks to fast-paced globalization and digitization, the world is closely connected today. And it takes just a simple Whois search to reveal all your private information in a click! As a domain owner, it is quite scary knowing the fact that spammers are constantly prying on your confidential data, taking a toll on your business safety and peace of mind.
So, how can you safeguard your domain information from appearing on WHOIS directory and eventually being accessed by spammers? The answer is – WhoisGuard. It protects your private and confidential data from being displayed on WHOIS database, preventing any unwanted spamming or cybercrime activities. But before you sign up for the WhoisGuard service, you need to determine whether is Whoisguard is worth it or not.
Here is a comprehensive WhoisGuard review to make your decision easier.
What Is WhoisGuard?
WhoisGuard is an addon service that domain registrars provide to hide your personal information from appearing on the WHOIS directory; rather, it is replaced by WhoisGuard’s basic contact information.
Let’s have a glimpse of what WhoisGuard precisely is:
Everyday domain owner’s information is harvested by spammers from publicly available WHOIS to send spam. WhoisGuard avoids these issues by placing domain owner’s information in WHOIS and by providing an option to redirect the emails to the customer’s registered email address. During the process of transferring the email, when the email content is scanned for junk email and regular email, thus only the relevant emails are delivered.
WhoisGuard protection is available as an addon to domain registration with their partner registrars.
How Does WhoisGuard Work?
You’d be thinking how WhoisGuard manages to hide your personal information from WHOIS lookup and keep your domain running at the same time, right? The process is quite clear and straightforward like any other domain privacy protection service. They will simply put their own contact details on your domain’s WHOIS lookup results, hiding all traces of your private data. That way WhoisGuard ensures your domain stays compliant with ICANN accreditation norms, while also safeguarding your data from spamming.
Here’s an example to help you understand:
WhoisGuard displays the person’s data on the publicly available WHOIS directory along with their contact information and email. However, when someone contacts you through their email, they will forward it to your registered email address after checking for possible cyber threats or spam. This is also known as “masking” your private information from being accessed publicly.
Do I Need WhoisGuard?
ICANN makes it mandatory for everyone who owns and administers a domain to provide their contact details, including phone number, email address and mail address while registering a domain. Anyone who owns a website, regardless of an individual, a business owner, or an organization is required to provide precise identification information at the time of domain registration. That means ICANN wants your personal information to be made available publicly on the WHOIS database.
The critical aspect about this is that only by knowing your domain name, anyone can look up the WHOIS search tool, available for free on the web, to retrieve your personal information. To prevent this, domain privacy is the only solution. With WhoisGuard, your confidential data is masked.
If you think the privacy of your domain and business information is important, then you certainly need WhoisGuard privacy. Domain owners who do not want their confidential data to be displayed and publicly accessed on WHOIS database should definitely activate this service when registering for the domain. Without WHOIS protection, your personal data is laid out for unsolicited sales contacts, marketing, spamming and there are possibilities of it getting hijacked as well.
Pros & Cons Of WhoisGuard
The Pros and Cons of WhoisGuard in detail:
- Safeguard Your Personal Details: Identity theft is one of the biggest cybercrimes today. Think about the amount of data you need to reveal while registering a domain! This is enough information for any con expert, a spammer, or a cybercriminal to wreak serious havoc on you and your business. WhoisGuard helps to mask this information, protecting it from getting into the wrong hands.
- Reduce Spamming: Using WhoisGuard privacy is one of the best ways to cut down on unsolicited and spammy emails. Your domain registrar will provide alias contact information in place of yours within the WHOIS directory, thereby, minimizing the chances of getting phishing emails. Be assured such spammy and phishing emails will not reach your email directly if you have domain privacy protection.
- Prevent unwanted marketing outreach: When you provide your contact details along with your domain name publicly, it will unsurprisingly invite uncalled attention from telemarketers, spammers, salespeople and con experts. It will not take long when you start to get calls and emails about online marketing, shopping, SEO and more.
- Protect Your Domain From Getting Hijacked: Domain hijacking is when a con expert or hijacker transfers your domain away and uses it for unethical purposes. So, when it comes to your business, WhoisGuard will hide your personal information and make it difficult for others to use this data to access your domain account.
Wondering is there any limitation to domain privacy?
- Lack Of Ownership: The only potential disadvantage is “ownership.” When your domain registrar masks your contact information with theirs, in the eyes of ICAAN, they become the owner of your domain name. However, this isn’t a major problem because in most cases, it is unlikely that the domain registrar will steal your domain or information.
- Makes Your Business Appear Suspicious: Another limitation of WhoisGuard protection is that it makes the business look suspicious to your potential customers. When they want to buy products and services from your site, they will do background research to get more information about your business. When your information is not readily available to them, it will make doubt about the authenticity of your business.
- Your Personal Information Might Still Be Available: Even though domain privacy protection keeps your information confidential, there are chances that your domain registrar will disclose this data without knowing why it is required or not informing the domain owner. However, with Namecheap WhoisGuard, you can be assured that your information is private. You can also check the same using their WHOIS Lookup tool.
Where Can I Get WhoisGuard Privacy Protection For My Domain?
WhoisGuard privacy protection is provided by Namecheap, an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar and web hosting company. It has over 10 million domains and 11 million registered users globally. It is mostly considered for its economical plans, excellent customer support, and security guarantee. Therefore, Namecheap now offers lifetime free WhoisGuard privacy protection for everyone.
Unlike other domain registrars, WhoisGuard domain privacy protection is 100% free when you register a domain with them or sign up for their hosting plans. So, whether you scale up or down a hosting plan, this service will be available to you as long as your domain is hosted at NameCheap.
The domain privacy addon will be automatically added to the shopping cart for every eligible domain registration or renewal and the service will be enabled by default. There is nothing additional that you will have to do to get WhoisGuard privacy protection for your website.
How To Activate WhoisGuard In Namecheap?
Here are the steps to activate Namecheap WhoisGuard for your domain:
1. Use your username and password to sign in to your Namecheap account.
2. Go to your dashboard from where you can manage your domains.
3. Now from the left sidebar, select the option “Domain List” and click on “Manage”.
4. Click the “Protection” toggle next to the WhoisGuard logo to enable it.
In most cases, WhoisGuard is enabled by default when you sign up for domain registration. If not, you can follow these steps to activate it.
How To Check If My Domain Contact Information Is Private?
If you want to verify whether your domain contact information is private or not with Namecheap WhoisGuard, then you can follow the steps mentioned below:
- Go to the Whois Lookup Search Bar and you will see a search bar that says Whois Lookup.
- In the search bar, enter a domain name and click on “Search”.
If your domain privacy is protected through WhoisGuard, you will find that your contact information has been masked by WhoisGuard’s generic information.
Conclusion: Is WhoisGuard Worth It?
So, is WhoisGuard worth it? Definitely, it is! If you prioritize domain privacy and want to protect your personal information from being accessed by the public at large, then you must have WhoisGuard. It prevents unsolicited and spammy marketing emails and potential cyber threats like domain hijacking.
We recommend using Namecheap WhoisGuard because it is available for free always, unlike other domain registrars like GoDaddy. The latter would charge a hefty amount to provide this security feature, adding up to your cost of domain registration. Additionally, Namecheap provides excellent customer support for technical issues. So, I suggest Namecheap WhoisGuard for improved domain privacy protection.
You can share your experiences and suggestions about WhoisGuard privacy protection in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Namecheap WhoisGuard:
How do I access free WhoisGuard?
Free WhoisGuard is provided by Namecheap. If you buy a single domain, or register for a hosting account with Namecheap, you will get WhoisGuard as an addon. It will be added to your shopping cart during eligible domain registration or renewal. The feature will be enabled automatically when the domain gets live.
Is WhoisGuard really free?
Yes; Namecheap now provides WhoisGuard absolutely free for a lifetime for all eligible domain registrations. This is also applicable when you renew your domain registration.
Can WhoisGuard be used for all domains?
WhoisGuard is available for all eligible for most of the domain name TLDs. However, there are some registry restrictions and you cannot use the service with .co.uk, .ca, .cn, .co.in, .de., .com.es, .com.au, .me.uk, .es, .gg, .nyc, .org.au, and other domains. Please check before signing up.
Do I have the Option to Disable WhoisGuard if I want?
If you want your private information to be publicly listed in WHOIS database, you can disable WhoisGuard anytime from your control panel.
Is there an option for email auto-change with Namecheap WhoisGuard?
Yes, Namecheap offers an additional layer of security against spamming where your WhoisGuard email address is configured to automatically change at frequent intervals. That means even if your email address does end up on the marketing list, all details will be valid only for a short period of time. So, your personal information is anyway protected.
What if my WhoisGuard privacy protection has expired or I did not purchase at the time of domain registration?
Free WhoisGuard can be added to your domain at any time by following the steps mentioned in this article if you opt for domain registration with Namecheap. With the other providers, you can opt for the WhoisGuard service anytime at the applicable charges even if you don’t purchase it at the time of domain registration. Even if WhoisGuard has expired, you can renew it whenever required.