[okfn-discuss] Most "open" way of registering a domain/get a hosting?

William Waites ww at styx.org
Wed Jan 4 16:44:00 UTC 2012

On Wed, 04 Jan 2012 14:13:04 +0000, <jonni.jemp at gmail.com> said:

    > hi i mormally lurk but re. hosting have found gandi.net not so
    > supportive so switched over 2 years ago to trick.ca, a
    > telekommunisten hosting service, but is prob. too small scale a
    > service for your needs?

Since the original poster asked particularly about domain name
registration, I'll expand a bit about the way trick.ca works. They
have an account with Key Systems GmbH (http;//rrpproxy.net/). Key
Systems is a registrar that offers unbundled access to the domain
registration plumbing and their direct clients are resellers like the
Telekommunisten. This unbundling of the infrastructure is something
that I am not aware of other registrars doing and is the key idea
where "open" is concerned, in my opinion. It means a level of access
and control that is not otherwise possible without going and becoming
a registrar yourself.

The Telekommunisten are all about supporting cooperatives and
community organisations and individuals and moving resources into the
collective or "common good" domain so support "open" in this way
(indeed generally take a stronger position on this topic than the
OKF does, but that's a separate discussion). My domain names are
lodged with them.

Also for hosting of small uncomplicated web sites, their microhosting
is pretty good. For more complicated things its a question of finding
which commodity server farm suits your needs best. I would recommend
Hetzner for real machines and ARP Networks for virtual
machines. Hetzner is cheap and competent, ARP Networks is clueful and
doesn't oversubscribe their underlying hardware nearly as badly as
most of the others do and provides you with a level of access that you
don't generally get with any of the other providers (don't want to run
linux? prefer FreeBSD or OpenBSD? fine, it's your virtual machine, do
what you like).

For DNS I also use Hetzner's nameservers in a "hidden master" setup.
If you're already a Hetzner customer this is something like EUR 2 /
year and means you have proper control over your domains. But doing it
this way also means you don't have a web interface. If you want a web
interface or HTTP API, I'd also suggest Key Systems via the

Hope this helps,
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