When registering for a domain name through a major domain purchasing website, such as GoDaddy or HostGator, you will see a variety of options they try to up-sell you on.  One of these options is almost always some sort of private registration package.

Clients and friends always ask me if it is indeed necessary to buy the “private registration” option.  But to know whether or not you should have it, you need to first understand why it exists in the first place.

When you register for a domain name, you have to submit contact information that will be published.  This information includes your name, address, phone number and email.  ICANN, who is in a sense, in control of the domain naming system, makes this information public to anyone who does a WHOIS search on your domain.

For some people, having this information posted in a public place can bring up privacy concerns.  If you own a personal domain, you may not want somebody being able to easily find your street address.  However, if you are business entity, having your street address published is clearly not a privacy concern.

So do you need to buy private domain registration?  Well, if you are concerned about having your information public, you may want to pay the extra fee every year to have your domain registrar information hidden.  If your information being published is not an issue, than it’s better to save the money and not buy the service.