Bill Hartzer

Privacy Fail and Netsol Whois: Network Solutions Reveals Identities of Domain Name Owners Despite Whois Privacy

Networks Solutions, a popular domain name registrar, revealed the real identity of the domain name owner even though the domain name owner had opted-in and paid for their domain name privacy service. When a domain name is registered, buyers have the option of paying $9.99 per year extra to keep their domain name ownership private. But a loophole in Network Solutions’ own domain name management system reveals the real owner of any domain name, even those who wish to keep their names private.

If a domain name is registered with Network Solutions, and that domain name is currently using Network Solutions’ Private Registration services, here is how you can “get past” the private registration service–using Network Solutions’ own system to reveal the true owner of a domain name:

  1. Go to the Network Solutions “Forgot Password” page:
    https://www.networksolutions.com/manage-it/forget-login.jsp
  2. On the right side, under “Retrieve Your User ID”, enter the domain name as shown below:

  3. Click “Retrieve User ID”.

If you follow these steps, the domain name contacts are revealed (although the actual domain name owner(s) are being hidden in the whois of the domain name. See below:

In this specific example, I used the domain name Social.com because in this case the domain name is under Private Registration, meaning that the owner does NOT want to be revealed. However, using Network Solutions’ own services, you can see who really owns the social.com domain name. Below is a screen capture of the social.com domain name whois information, which is on privacy:

In this case, someone named “Alica Del Valle” actually is listed as the Primary Contact of the domain name Social.com. A Google search and perhaps some other creative searching and looking around (perhaps even using LinkedIn.com), may reveal the owner of the domain name’s contact information. But, as you can see, this is obviously a big fail when it comes to privacy on behalf of Network Solutions customers.

A hat tip goes out to fusible for mentioning this in a recent post.

Tips about Network Solutions Whois


If your domain name is listed with Netsol (Network Solutions), then it is a transferable domain. You can transfer that domain to another domain registrar and pay less than what Netsol charges. Or, if you’re unhappy with the Netsol whois and how it’s listed you can transfer the domain.

Transferring your domain to another registrar is easy, and many registrars will also include an extra year of registration just for transferring or will offer you a deal.

You have multiple domains at Netsol, then your should transfer those domains that offer a multiple domains transfer discount.

When in doubt, contact Netsol support or the support of your preferred registrar if you want to transfer your domain names.

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