What Do YOU Use To Check For Domain Names?

By Mark O’Neill

One of the things I like to do is research and buy web domain names. I am NOT a cyber-squatter mind you but I like to think up creative URL’s, see if they are available, buy the domains for a year and see if I can make a project out of them or not. If not, I release them out into the wild for someone else to snap up.

But I have never been able to find a decent domain searching tool. I have been using Yahoo Small Business‘s URL search engine and on occasion, I have also been using WHOIS. But I’ve been wanting something else, something with a bit more….of a punch I guess.

Today, Web Worker Daily pointed out a really interesting domain searching tool called Domize which is rather interesting. But I still feel kind of unimpressed with these tools. For a start, where is the support for foreign domains? What if I want a German .de domain? Next, where’s the skimpy bikini model on the screen cooing and complimenting me on my domain name choices? I mean, come on man! Do I have to do everything around here?!

Does anyone know of a really fantastic free domain checking tool that they use personally and would recommend? Preferably ones that don’t push you towards GoDaddy afterwards and just tells you instead the availability of domain names. Real time checking-as-you-type is a plus as well as foreign domain support.

Plus I seem to vaguely remember that there was a service or a webtool a couple of years back that alerted you when certain domains were released back onto the open market. So if you were waiting for a certain domain to be freed up, you could put a watch on it and you would be alerted by email when it became available again. Does anyone know if such a service still exists?

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21 Responses to What Do YOU Use To Check For Domain Names?

  1. I understand your frustration- seems every time I think of a decent or interesting url name its either ‘squat upon’ or used already (and many of times not very well, in my opinion.). What I propose is even another level of what you’ve suggested – what if you could search not ony url names but blog, email, etc. all at the same time for availability. It would save much time and frustration in trying to sign up for one or even multiple services with the same name.

  2. I understand your frustration- seems every time I think of a decent or interesting url name its either ‘squat upon’ or used already (and many of times not very well, in my opinion.). What I propose is even another level of what you’ve suggested – what if you could search not ony url names but blog, email, etc. all at the same time for availability. It would save much time and frustration in trying to sign up for one or even multiple services with the same name.

  3. I hate to say that but I use Network solutions to check domain names availability. I especially like them for the mobile version of the tool, which works great on iphone (I get most of my URL ideas on the go, not when I'm watching TV). So i use them. I know they have an RSS feed thing going on where they can let you know when a domain becomes available too, if that's what you're looking for.

  4. I hate to say that but I use Network solutions to check domain names availability. I especially like them for the mobile version of the tool, which works great on iphone (I get most of my URL ideas on the go, not when I’m watching TV). So i use them. I know they have an RSS feed thing going on where they can let you know when a domain becomes available too, if that’s what you’re looking for.

  5. I buy a mix of domains – some to work with and some to squat on.

    I bought "dotcomgo.com" a few days ago. However, most of my sites are blogs/forums and the domain is much more worthy of a hosting company/web development company, so I plan on squatting on it until I've found either a buyer for the project, or someone to team with to work on said company.

  6. I buy a mix of domains – some to work with and some to squat on.

    I bought “dotcomgo.com” a few days ago. However, most of my sites are blogs/forums and the domain is much more worthy of a hosting company/web development company, so I plan on squatting on it until I’ve found either a buyer for the project, or someone to team with to work on said company.

    • This sometimes doesn't work – sometimes a registered domain has blank spaces in their registrar account where the nameservers of their hosting company should go. This displays the same message as if the domain isn't registered at all, I think, though I may be wrong and it might just be a 'similar but different' message.

      Having said that, it's how I do it and I've learnt that over 90% of the time it's right to assume that the domain is unregistered.

      Some of these websites/widgets/applications, however, also give information as to the current registrar (if the domain isn't unregistered) and the account in the registrar, allowing you to send an email if that information is there enquiring about maybe buying the domain.

      So basically, it's a domain checker, registrar, who-is and email application all in one :-)

    • This sometimes doesn’t work – sometimes a registered domain has blank spaces in their registrar account where the nameservers of their hosting company should go. This displays the same message as if the domain isn’t registered at all, I think, though I may be wrong and it might just be a ‘similar but different’ message.

      Having said that, it’s how I do it and I’ve learnt that over 90% of the time it’s right to assume that the domain is unregistered.

      Some of these websites/widgets/applications, however, also give information as to the current registrar (if the domain isn’t unregistered) and the account in the registrar, allowing you to send an email if that information is there enquiring about maybe buying the domain.

      So basically, it’s a domain checker, registrar, who-is and email application all in one :-)

  7. What if I want a German .de domain?

    Then you're out of luck unless you know a guy in Germany to serve as the contact on the WHOIS page, since Germany doesn't give them out unless the guy on the WHOIS lives in Germany. :D

  8. What if I want a German .de domain?

    Then you’re out of luck unless you know a guy in Germany to serve as the contact on the WHOIS page, since Germany doesn’t give them out unless the guy on the WHOIS lives in Germany. :D

  9. This has to be one of the VERY best 'Product' opportunity ideas for any of those Peep's out there who just love outsourcing to E-lance & co.

    Get some foreign chap who works for next-to-nothing, but who is a genius script-writer to write the code for you.

    You then set up your own service for free. Send the details to all of those in a hurry, but who want the 'pleasant' experience you mention. Bung on some high paying banner ads, and Hey-Presto….You're rich.

    I'm just too dang lazy, (wish I wasn't)

    Pete.

    PS….Check my blog to see just HOW lazy I am.

  10. This has to be one of the VERY best ‘Product’ opportunity ideas for any of those Peep’s out there who just love outsourcing to E-lance & co.

    Get some foreign chap who works for next-to-nothing, but who is a genius script-writer to write the code for you.
    You then set up your own service for free. Send the details to all of those in a hurry, but who want the ‘pleasant’ experience you mention. Bung on some high paying banner ads, and Hey-Presto….You’re rich.

    I’m just too dang lazy, (wish I wasn’t)

    Pete.

    PS….Check my blog to see just HOW lazy I am.

  11. I just go to Google and type .co.uk whois for .co.uk domains and type just whois for other domains…. .com, .net etc.

    For .co.uk domains I normally use either nominet or demon whois.

  12. I just go to Google and type .co.uk whois for .co.uk domains and type just whois for other domains…. .com, .net etc.

    For .co.uk domains I normally use either nominet or demon whois.

  13. I've used DynDns.com for the past 5+ years. I don't think it does Foreign, but it has a lot of other options, including Dynamic Hosting services. There is a lot of management options with them.

  14. I’ve used DynDns.com for the past 5+ years. I don’t think it does Foreign, but it has a lot of other options, including Dynamic Hosting services. There is a lot of management options with them.

  15. Pingback: Vérifier la disponibilité des noms de domaines | Travailleurs Du Web