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Free domain registration, but hurry
HAGERSTOWN, Maryland (CNN) -- Want to register a domain name but cringe at the fees? One company will offer registration for an entire year, no cost, no strings. But Web address wannabes better hurry. RegisterFree.com is waiving its fee for only one hour Thursday evening.
The Maryland-based company usually charges about $20 a year for domain name registration, cheaper than most of the dozen or so businesses that offer the service.
Network Solutions, the world's largest registrar of domain names, charges at least $70 for two years. Others offer similar or slightly lower rates.
"We're going to give away domain names in .com, .net, and .org for nothing. No strings attached, period, end of story," said Antony Van Couvering, president of RegisterFree, in a statement.
The free-for-all will take place between 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST on March 23. The offer is limited to 1 domain name per customer, according to the company.
"This shouldn't be expensive. In fact, it should be free, and that's our ultimate goal," he added.
Some companies already offer free registration, albeit, they require customers to host with them. RegisterFree does not have this obligation.
Think you might miss out on the Thursday evening stampede? RegisterFree will have more hour-long windows of opportunity in April and May. Van Couvering said he hoped that other companies would drop their prices as well. "It's not costing these companies anywhere near what they're charging," he said.
But don't bet on it. Representatives of other domain registration companies seemed unphased by the announcement.
"Not everyone wants a Yugo," sniffed Cheryl Regan, a spokeswoman for Network Solutions, which had been the sole domain registrar until competitors sprang up last year.
Regan declined to discuss whether Network Solutions would lower its prices, but said the company regularly offers specials and provides unmatched customer services.
"They're just doing it as a P.R. thing," said Tracy Harris, who works for NSI Web, a corporate Internet site hosting company not affiliated with Network Solutions.
RegisterFree is owned by Name Engine, which offers global domain name registration, search and monitoring services for many Fortune 500 companies.
Changing the name game
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