How to Transfer a Domain from Network Solutions to pairNIC

I am a big fan of pair networks web hosting, and today, I am an even bigger fan of pairNIC — the domain registration arm of pair.  Ever since I’ve been on the internet, all of my domains have been registered with Network Solutions because, for many years, it was difficult to move your domains from one registrar to another — using an antiquated Ack-Back system was an invitation to make an irrevocable paper mistake — and only now is the domain transfer process more forgiving, but not necessarily easier, to make happen.  I’m going to step you through the process of transferring your domain from Network Solutions (NetSol) to pairNIC because you will save a lot of money and hassle if you follow me.

In the domain transfer process you’ll witness, I moved 24 domains from NetSol to pairNIC.  I did a test move using WordWank.com, and when that proved to be successful, I moved 23 more domains.  You can bulk move a maximum of 10 domains at a time to pairNIC.

I most recently broke up my domain moves into bundles of 10, 8 and 3 — just to keep my credit card company happy with a variety of charges.  Identical charges from one vendor in a short amount of time can look like fraud and I always want to avoid having to actually interact with the fraud department for my credit card if at all possible.

If you transfer a domain to pairNIC, you pay $10.00USD for each year you choose to increase your hosting.  If your existing domain expiry is, say, January 1, 2012, moving your domain to pairNIC for $10 will advance your expiration date by one year to January 1, 2013.

Unlike NetSol, pairNIC bundles lots of freebies with their domain registrations.  If I want to get the best price on registering a domain with NetSol, it would cost me around $250.00USD for five years of domain registration, five years of private WHOIS registration, where my personal contact information is hidden, and for five years of domain forwarding — I have about 20 active domains and 65 other domains that point to my active domains.

pairNIC, on the other hand, charges around $65 for a five-year domain registration — and that price includes FREE contact privacy in WHOIS and FREE domain and email forwarding!  By choosing pairNIC over NetSol, I save over $185.00USD for a five-year sign up, and if you multiply that savings by 85 domains — it would cost me $15,000.00USD more to stay with NetSol than to move my domains to pairNIC.

Here’s the simple math for NetSol:  85 domains @$250.00 each for five years with private registration and web forwarding = $21,250.00USD.

Here’s the simple math for pairNIC:  85 domains @$65.00 each for five years with private registration and web forwarding = $5,525.00USD.

Um.  One word reaction:  “Wowser!”

NetSol also told me I was a “Gold VIP” because I had so many domains registered with them — but I have absolutely no idea what a Gold VIP means — because I’ve never seen a single benefit to being one.

Beyond the money savings of pairNIC over NetSol, there is also the issue of getting help.  NetSol is a labyrinth of hassles trying to get someone cogent on the phone who understands you and speaks English.  Email contact is difficult because English does not appear to be the responders first language.

pairNIC, in my experience, are fast responders and they give lots of detail and immediate help and action.  They understand you and you understand them.

Some may argue you should never have your web hosting and domain registration with the same company in the same building — because if they both go down, you’re down.

My philosophy is if my DNS dies, I’m dead no matter what happens because it would be impossible to do a domain transfer anyway because the registrar’s system would be dead in the event of a catastrophic event — so I choose to be, perhaps, more foolhardy and host both my websites and my DNS with pair and pairNIC — in exchange for ease of communication and a history of rock-solid support.  If the pair and pairNIC data centers catastrophically melt at the same time, I’m sure they have some sort of emergency backup plan to place their redundancies in live positions.

While I moved 21 domains this week, we’ll concentrate on one — 10txt.com, the home of “Ten Sentence Stories” — as the domain of choice for his How To.

The first thing to do is to use a WHOIS service to lookup the domain you want to transfer to see how the world sees your domain.  I like CentralOps.net as my WHOIS looker upper.  Here is my public information for 10txt.com.  My private information is hidden from view, and I hate that advertisement NetSol places in the middle of my returns.  Classless.

There are three things you have to do to transfer a domain away from NetSol and into pairNIC.

Login to your NetSol management area.  You will need to be the Admin contact for your domain to make the transfer work, and you can’t have made any recent changes to your account contact information and you domain must have been registered for at least 61 days.  Here is the current NetSol information for 10txt.com

The first thing you have to do is turn off Private Registration.  I guess that’s to make sure your new registrar can contact you in case there is a problem with the transfer.

The second thing you have to do is turn off NetSol’s “Domain Protect” feature if you have it enabled.

The third thing you have to do is check the box to “Request Authorization Code” that will be used by pairNIC to ensure the transfer request is legitimate.

You will need to perform those three steps for each domain you wish to transfer to pairNIC.

Now login to your pairNIC account and enter the domain or domain names you want to transfer.

While you’re entering the domain names into your pairNIC account, an email will arrive from NetSol with information that includes your Authorization Code to transfer the domain.

Go back to your pairNIC account and enter the proper Authorization Code in the appropriate box for each domain.

When you’ve successfully entered the authorization codes, you will get a confirmation screen from pairNIC that looks like this:

A few minutes later, pairNIC will send you an email with information about the transfer.  You will have to click on a special link in the email to confirm you want to transfer your domain to pairNIC.

After clicking on the link in the email, you’ll be taken to a web page where you will confirm the transfer and agree to pairNIC’s terms of service.

When you get this confirmation screen, all the heavy lifting has been completed for the domain transfer and all that’s left is the waiting.

pairNIC will send you this email to warn you that everything on the pairNIC side went well, but that NetSol will have to do the final “approval” for the domain transfer.  Don’t worry.  The process is now robotic and automatic.

Here is my pairNIC domains screen.  You can see at a glance which domains are active — meaning I can change the DNS and set up URL forwarding — and which domains are still waiting for completion.

You’ll soon get an email from NetSol confirming the transfer and giving you one last chance to opt out if you changed your mind.  If you want to move forward with the transfer, there’s nothing else for you to do except to sit and wait.  The email includes a drop dead date and time — four days away — that becomes the moment the domain will transfer from NetSol to pairNIC.

A few hours later, you will get this suspicious email from NetSol asking you to call them to “Confirm” your transfer request.  I had no interest in calling NetSol to be hard sold on staying with them.  I decided to ask pairNIC if there was any legal requirement for me to contact NetSol after they just sent me a drop dead confirmation date and time for the transfer handover.

pairNIC immediately responded that everything looked good on the transfer and that there was no official reason for me to call NetSol as part of the transfer process.

I decided to ignore that email from NetSol and I was glad I did.  Nothing terrible happened.  All domain transfers went off without a hitch and I didn’t respond to any of the 24 “Transfer Confirmation Requests” NetSol sent me after the fact.

But wait!

NetSol aren’t done trying to scare you!  They will follow up later in the day with another email that tells you the “Domain Protect Status” is turned off for the following domains.  They’re telling you something you already know, because NetSol forced you to turn off domain protect in order to transfer your domains!

When the drop dead date and time arrives four days later, NetSol will send you this glorious confirmation that the transfer is approved and done.

pairNIC will also quickly email you to confirm the domain transfer is completed on their end, too.

All your DNS entries remain the same on pairNIC as they were on NetSol — and that’s great unless you were using Web Forwarding on NetSol, then you’ll have to go into your pairNIC account and set up the Web Forwarding to be pairNIC-specific.

Here are all the domains in my pairNIC account listed as “Active” and no longer pending completion.

Click on a domain name, and you’ll be taken to this page where you can edit name servers and set up other features for your domain:

Now we finish where we started.  Here is the updated WHOIS lookup for 10txt.com.  My privacy is maintained, and pairNIC doesn’t insert any needless advertising in the return.

If you want to register a new domain, give pairNIC a try.  If you want to transfer your domain away from your current registrar to pairNIC, I wholly encourage you do to so because you get so much more value for each dollar spent — and I only have 65 more domains to transfer to pairNIC!

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