How to configure WHOIS privacy settings at Porkbun
"Use privacy service"
If this option is selected, you're using our WHOIS Privacy service. This is the most common option at Porkbun since WHOIS privacy is free here. WHOIS Privacy is enabled by default, meaning that if you register a domain and someone queries our WHOIS server, we won't show your actual contact info, nor will we send it to the registry (for instance, the .design or .horse registry.) Please note that a few extensions, such as .us, don't allow WHOIS privacy. We warn you at checkout if a given extension doesn't support it.
Due to a change in industry regulation, Porkbun now offers a broader range of options for hiding your domain contact information from public view. Previously, your only options were to turn our WHOIS Privacy service on or off for a given domain.
We've now added a new option, "redacted." If your domain was public before May 23, 2018, on that day, it was redacted. Redacted is similar in functionality to WHOIS Privacy with a few notable differences:
- When a domain is redacted, we'll send the domain's registry your personal data, whereas when WHOIS Privacy is turned on, we won't send that personal data to the registry.
- Both redacted and WHOIS-Privacy protected domains will have your personal data hidden in Porkbun's public WHOIS database; however, "redacted" still shows the registrant's country, state, and organization name (called "COMPANY NAME" in Porkbun's interface.)
You probably want to use WHOIS Privacy to protect your contact info. When transferring a domain from one registrar to another, you may be required to switch to “Redact Privacy Data.”. There may be other scenarios where a registrant wants to publicly assert ownership of their domain and any intellectual property represented in the domain name while protecting their personal information from spammers and fraudsters. Redaction may be a good option for this as well.
If you want to change your WHOIS settings, you can do so within your account on the Domain Management page.
- Log in. You should arrive at the Domain Management screen. If you're already logged in, click on ACCOUNT in the top-right corner and select Domain Management.
- Locate your domain. To the right of your domain, you should see an eye icon under WHOIS.
Select the eye icon. A menu will dropdown give you the option of the following:
- Redact Privacy Data: Redacts your WHOIS Privacy
- Use Privacy Service: Uses our full WHOIS Privacy service
- Make Public: Turns off WHOIS Privacy and makes your registrant information public
Why is my domain redacted now? I want my contact info public.
To comply with new regulations and laws, as of May 23, 2018, domains already registered at Porkbun that had WHOIS Privacy turned off were automatically redacted in Porkbun WHOIS. However, as of March 24, 2021, we're again allowing you to make your privacy public so long as you agree that you understand the risks, although we strongly discourage the practice.
Setting WHOIS to the public not only reveals your confidential contact information to fraudsters and spammers, but it also might not have the intended effect of revealing your contact information on sites like whois.com and ICANN's WHOIS/RDAP portal. This is due to those services often querying the registry WHOIS rather than the registrar WHOIS. Since 2018, most registries redact WHOIS information regardless of the registrant's privacy settings.
Sorry, what we know of as WHOIS's role as a reliable tool for identifying registrants is a thing of the past. Basically, on the week of May 21, 2018, WHOIS started being split in two due to a regulatory change. Now, except for "thin" registries such as .com, different contact information will often appear in registrar WHOIS ( https://porkbun.com/whois) and registry WHOIS (https://whois.icann.org/en). So even if you're at a registrar that allows removing all privacy and redaction, most (but not all) registries still won't publish your contact info. This sometimes leads to confused customers contacting us asking why their contact data isn't showing in WHOIS even though they've set it to public. The contact info is public in Porkbun's WHOIS but usually not in the registry WHOIS.
Your best bet if you want to be easily contacted by the public is to keep your domain private or redacted but publish a contactable email address or contact form on your website. Or, if you want to sell your domains, list them in our marketplace, which creates an attractive landing page with a contact form.