How to Configure WHOIS Privacy Service at Porkbun
Domain privacy (often called Whois Privacy) is a service offered by a number of domain name registrars. Configuring your Porkbun WHOIS Privacy service settings is very simple. There are actually two options for your domain privacy:
- WHOIS Privacy service
- Redacted WHOIS information
While we recommend reading through this article to know your domain privacy options, we’ve made it easy to get a brief overview, too. Check out the TL;DR video at the bottom for that!
Porkbun WHOIS Privacy Service
If you’ve selected the “use privacy service” options (details further below), you're using the Porkbun WHOIS Privacy service. This is the most common option at Porkbun since our WHOIS Privacy service is free. 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 domain extension doesn't support it.
Redacted WHOIS Information
The second option for your domain privacy setting is redacted WHOIS information. 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.
With the regulation changes in place, we've now added a new option, "redacted." If your domain was public before May 23, 2018, on that day, it was redacted. Redacted domain privacy 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 service-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).
Should I Use Porkbun’s WHOIS Privacy Service or Redacted WHOIS Information?
You probably want to use WHOIS Privacy to protect your contact info. When transferring a domain from one registrar to another, however, you may be required to switch to “Redact Privacy Data.” There may also be other scenarios where a registrant (that’s you) 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 those cases, as well.
How to Change Your WHOIS Privacy Settings
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 our WHOIS Privacy service turned off were automatically redacted in Porkbun WHOIS. As of March 24, 2021, however, 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.
Showing WHOIS information to the public not only reveals your confidential contact information to fraudsters and spammers, but may not have the intended effect of revealing your contact information on sites like whois.com and the ICANN 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 WHOIS's role as a reliable tool for identifying registrants is a thing of the past. Essentially, 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). This means even if you're at a registrar that allows removing all WHOIS 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 be public. In these cases, 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 on the Porkbun Marketplace, which creates an attractive landing page with a contact form.
WHOIS Privacy Settings Explained
Looking for the TL;DR version? Check out the video below about WHOIS Privacy settings and redacting WHOIS information. 👇