Frequently Asked Questions

How does Instant Domain Search work?

We download huge lists of registered names from VeriSign and other gTLD providers every night. Almost all domain names that are in use are included in these lists, called zone files. We index the zone files, and host the indexes in data centers around the world.

When you first visit our web site, we determine which of our servers is closest to you, and set up a secure link from your browser to our server. As you type, we search our index for the exact match, and also try to come up with useful suggestions that you may also be interested in buying.

We use Facebook’s React JavaScript framework to render the search results, and node.js connected to a custom C++ server to handle searches and suggestions. The site is hosted on Google Cloud Platform.

The name I found shows as available on your site but it really isn’t. Why?

From time to time, we will list names as available when they’ve already been taken. This can happen when:

  • The name’s ownership is being disputed.
  • It’s about to expire.
  • It’s in the “Redemption Period” i.e., it recently expired.
  • The name has no nameservers.

On the other hand, we should never report a name as taken when it’s actually available. We only show names as taken when they are in good standing and have nameservers associated with them.

How does Instant Domain Search make money?

We make money when you buy domain names through one of the registrars we link to. These referral fees are what keep the site running.

How do you choose a good domain name?

Read our article Master Of Your Domain: Choosing a Domain Name.

Somebody stole a domain I found on your site. How can I resolve this?

This is probably a coincidence. Millions of domains are registered and expire every day. Please take note of the date and time of your search. Then compare it to the actual date and time the domain was registered. We care about your privacy.

You can get the date from the WHOIS record for the domain. This record will also show you which ICANN Registrar was used to register the name. To find out the exact time the domain was registered, find the registrar’s contact information, and phone or email them. Remember to ask them the time zone of the registration time they give you.

If the registration time follows closely the time you searched the domain name, please email us at with the name of the domain, and the time you searched for it on our site. We take these problems very seriously.

What is your privacy policy concerning my search results?

It is in our interest to keep your search results private. We make money when someone buys a name they found on our site through one of our listed vendors. We’re not in the domain resale business. That’s why we abide by the following rules:

  • Your searches are not shared or distributed, ever. We do not contact any third party to verify domain availability.
  • Our service does not preform WHOIS queries on the names you search for.

We try to select the best vendors in the industry, but we cannot be held responsible for their use or misuse of your domain searches once you click on their link from our site.

Instant Domain Search now encrypts all of your searches by default with HTTPS to prevent others on your network from reading your searches.

@kurtvarner: “ it’s the best out there. super fast.”

Performancing: “This is easily my favorite tool for branding. It’s great to find catchy domain names that are short. I recently used it to pull a 5 letter domain out of the hat and a few months later I have a growing strong brand.”

Advertising Age: “A nifty, real-time platform for brand-name brainstorming.”

Henry Wang: “Instant Domain Search helped us find the domain for $9 and saved us from paying hundreds for a premium name. Thanks a lot!”

Zach Baker: “We used Instant Domain Search to find out was expiring and pick it up for only $18!”

Richie Hecker, “I’ve bought over 200 domain names using your service. All great and amazing names. It makes name finding easy and actually fun.”

FAQ Index