Changing domains? Check out these 3 cheap registrars

How to get or change your domain for $10 a year or less

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1&1 Internet

Like all the ICANN-accredited domain registrars in this roundup, 1&1 Internet offers multiple levels of service. The basic package includes registering a domain and providing basic tools for establishing e-mail addresses and a Web presence at that domain for $8.99/year -- the same price as Name.com and almost $2 less than GoDaddy.

Like all registrars, 1&1 Internet also offers upgrade paths through multiple levels of hosting, depending on server space, bandwidth and features like e-commerce that pile on large monthly fees.

On the face of it, the registrar provides a pretty decent deal. While both 1&1 Internet and GoDaddy offer only one mailbox at each domain before they start charging extra, 1&1 Internet's base package provides twice as much e-mail capacity (2GB) as and lets you set up a twice as many e-mail aliases -- 200 versus 100.

1&1 Internet also offers anonymous domain registration as a freebie to help keep your contact information private. (Domain ownership is a matter of public record; some registrars will substitute their contact information so you can't get stalked or spammed.) All three registrars in this review provide anonymous registration, but GoDaddy charges $8.99 a year for the service.

The Web mailbox you get from 1&1 Internet is fairly rudimentary. Its plain-vanilla interface provides e-mail basics such as formatting, attachments, custom folders and spam filtering (using preconfigured settings and your own blacklists and whitelists). This is nice, but it's nothing you can't get from GoDaddy or Name.com.

However, 1&1 Internet does offer a few unusual and handy features, such as the ability to forward e-mails at a single address in your domain to up to three other addresses.

On the downside, 1&1 Internet encourages you to upgrade to a fee-based service called MailExchange to get virus protection and calendaring, which Name.com and GoDaddy give for free.

Budget domain registrars

Starter WebsiteBuilder lets you build a basic five-page starter site quite easily.

1&1 Internet's Starter WebsiteBuilder is a handy little bundle. Many people using starter domain packages prefer to forward visitors to a pre-existing blog or social networking site. But for those who don't, Starter WebsiteBuilder lets you build a basic five-page starter site quite easily.

It provides a more intuitive and streamlined process for creating starter sites than Name.com's convoluted approach, and its templates and toolbars provide more graphic options than the starter site builders at either GoDaddy or Name.com. And for those who wish to exchange files using FTP, 1&1 Internet lets you create special FTP accounts that let visitors sign in before downloading.

While 1&1 Internet's basic domain registration package does have not the most exhaustive list of features (especially when compared to Name.com), it's quick and easy to set up, and is well suited to people who need a working e-mail address and a basic one-to-five page HTML-based Web site at their new domain. Its prices are more reasonable than GoDaddy's and its basic mail package is more generous.

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