Friday, January 16, 2004

Free domain names

The cost of domain names has been coming down for years. And now, you can even get your domain name for free. And the catch?

Well, you will have the domain extension TK, not COM, ORG or even BUS. That is because the island nation of Tokelau is offering free domain names.

"Tokelau is a small island, consisting of three atolls, some 500 miles from Western Samoa and is inhabited by less then 1500 people. Living on just 17 square kilometers (12 square miles) and the only way to get there is by traveling by boat for some 42 hours. Because the island is so remote and has little means for trading and development, it is also quite poor. Enough statistics and facts, why are we giving away free domain names?"

Ahem, and the catch?

Well, first of all you don't own the license rights to the particular domain under the free plan. If you want to own the name, you have to pay an annual fee. Secondly, you have to actually have a site up and running getting at least 25 hits per 90 days. This is to avoid domain name land grabbers. The normal service is $9.95 per year for your site with domain license in your name. If you want to glom on to a name that you wanted but was already taken, like perhaps, then there is another $9.95 per year fee.