The DomainHELP experts work in the industry and demystify the byzantine and Kafka-esque world of domain names and DNS.

Where can I register a domain with Ethereum?

By , February 16, 2019

Right now the only ICANN accredited registrar accepts ethereum payments is easyDNS.

You can also register .XYZ domains with Ethereum Name Service (ENS) enabled.


How to install dig on debian

By , June 22, 2018

If I’m working on a box that doesn’t have a nameserver installed and I want to do some diagnostics I can never remember the name of the debian package that contains the utilities such as host and dig.

The magic answer is dnsutils

$ sudo apt-get install -y dnsutils

How to disable DNSSEC on a domain

By , April 3, 2018

There are plenty of tutorials around on how to enable DNSSEC on a domain name, every once in awhile you may find yourself in a situation where you want to turn it off.

When that happens it is often misunderstood, and people think that by simply removing the keys from their zone and reloading it as a clear, unsigned zone, they’ve disabled DNSSEC. Read more »

How to find out who your Tucows reseller / domain provider is

By , October 27, 2017

Tucows is the second largest domain registrar in the world, however most of their domain registrants deal with them through resellers.

If you have a problem with your domain that requires Registrar assistance, you are supposed to go through your reseller.

If you don’t know who your reseller is, Tucows offers this utility to find out:

What to do if dnssec-keygen hangs forever

By , May 2, 2017


On some systems when you are trying to generate dnssec keys using dnssec-keygen, it just hangs (seemingly) forever.

As per Alexander Gurvitz’s post in the Ubuntu forums:

It is NOT a bug.
In order to generate SECURE keys, dnssec-keygen reads /dev/random, which will block until there’s enough entropy available on your system. Some systems have very little entropy and thus dnssec-keygen may take forever.
Possible solutions:
1. apt-get install haveged
haveged daemon supplies lots of entropy to /dev/random.

2. dnssec-keygen -r /dev/urandom
Will use “non-blocking” pseudo-random device (lower security).

3. Move mouse and tap on keyboard – kernel uses this as entropy source.

4. Buy a hardware entropy device.

Easiest/best solution is #1, most expedient if you can’t even do that is #2.

How to log HTTP_HOST in apache logs on machines with many hostnames

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By , July 30, 2015

Sometimes you find yourself operating web servers that handle many many hostnames, but they do not correlate to separate virtual hosts for each hostname.


  • URL Forwarders
  • URL shorteners
  • “Parked” pages (“This domain coming soon!”)
  • PPC platforms
  • Expired domain aggregators

You end up in a situation where a lot of domains are all coming through the same host config and ordinarily unless you are trapping for it in your code somewhere (“HTTP_HOST” environment variable) you wouldn’t know which requests are for which hostnames. Most of the time, you may not care.

Then the DDOS hits, or some other event where it suddenly becomes very important, urgent even, to know which hostname is causing all the problems so that you can pull the plug on it / reroute it someplace else or somehow put out the fire. Read more »

How to do a Whois lookup on the new Top Level Domains

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By , February 3, 2015

There are many new Top Level Domains coming out (over 500 have gone live at the time of writing, as many as 1300 to come) and your favorite way to conduct whois lookups may not be working for domains suffixes such as .guru or .xyz

From a unix shell you can usually specify the whois server to query using the -h switch, question is, which whois server do you ask? It’s easy, you simply query whois.nic.{suffix}. Examples:

.finance ->

.guru ->

Your command would then look like this: Read more »

Know Your Domain Rights

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By , January 18, 2014

Yesterday we wrote a guest piece for Techdirt that lamented the current “ad-hoc regulatory” landscape in the domain name industry.

We use the phrase “ad hoc” because given our experiences with both foreign law enforcement agencies and private lobby groups, they are issuing increasingly onerous “takedown” demands upon domain registrars with a complete lack of legal basis.

We recently won a ruling where we were able to free up a number of domain names were suspended and locked down (prevented from transferring out) through a complete absence of due process.

No sooner had the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) handed down their ruling, which upheld our arguments that we received a letter from a pharmacy lobby group “directing us to adopt practices and policies” which were not only in direct contravention of the current rules governing domain registrars, but also contradicted the fresh NAF ruling. Read more »

What the New Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Actually Means

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By , September 30, 2013

Last week I became aware of a flurry of attention around forthcoming Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. ran a twitter round-up under the hashtag #BeCASLReady and suddenly it seemed this was the next big internet legislative thing to be aware of up here in Canada.

So after our cursory examination of the text of the legislation, here is our take on it and what it means (usual disclaimers apply, we aren’t lawyers). Read more »

Where can I register a domain name using Bitcoin?

By , April 12, 2013

At the time of writing there are only two ICANN accredited domain registrars in the world who accept Bitcoin payments:

1) easyDNS (Canada)

2) Namecheap (USA)