Information about Moving Domains to BigBiz

At BigBiz Internet Services many of our customers have moved their domains to us from competing ISPs. Reasons vary; price, performance, and service are often cited. We welcome new customers with established domains and are committed to help you smoothly move your domain to our servers with as little service interruption as possible. In fact, we even give you a nice break -- your first month of service is FREE!.

We put together this little guide of things you should know about moving domains to ensure a smooth move. Contrary to popular belief, moving a domain is much more difficult than establishing a brand new domain.

Your domain record is kept in a database at InterNIC, included in your record are contact information for the domain administrator and billing contact (most likely it is you), and the technical contact (probably your ISP), as well as information on which nameservers are used to service DNS requests (machines operated by your ISP).

If you like, you can enter your domain here and see the domain record
To complete a domain move we would need to change the nameservers on your domain record to the following: Depending on which registrar your domain is at, you may be able to log in to their web site and make the changes yourself. That would be the preferred method as it is quickest and easiest.

Using EMAIL to make domain changes at Network Solutions

The remainder of this page is for using the email method to do domain changes if your domain is registered at Network Solutions. Make sure the Administrative Contact in your record is a current e-mail address, if it is not there could be significant delays in processing the domain change (see below).

Periodically (approx. once per day), the nameserver information is released to the Internet at large by updating the root nameservers. There are about a dozen or so root nameserver machines, operated by InterNIC and some large institutions, which basically answer requests to obtain DNS information about your domain. Their job is to reply to such requests with the nameserver information in the domain record. Subsequently another request is made to the nameserver your ISP runs to obtain information about how to reach your domain, namely the IP address.

So basically the organization is such that the root nameservers point to your ISP's nameservers, and in turn your ISP's nameservers answer requests to map your domain name to an IP address. This organization allows users from all over the Internet to quickly obtain your IP address, which is essential for browsers to make connections to your web site.

When you move a domain from one ISP to another, several things need to take place.

  1. Your new ISP needs to assign new IP addresses for your domain and set up their nameservers to answer requests
  2. The root nameservers must be updated to point your domain to your new ISP
  3. (afterwards) your old ISP needs to remove your information from their nameservers, and release your old IP addresses for reuse.
  1. This is handled by your new ISP, they should be familiar with the procedure.
  2. This requires filling out a form to request a domain record update, the technical contact will be changed to the new ISP, and the nameservers will be changed to point to your new ISP's nameservers.
  3. You will need to request your old ISP discontinue DNS service for your domain. Naturally you should not make this request until your domain at the new ISP is up and running, or else you would be caught in a situation where your domain is not working at both ends.
Here at BigBiz Internet Services we can make your domain move as smooth as possible with the following action plan, which we recommend to all our customers.
  1. Fill out our domain agreement form so we know the name of the domain you want to move.
  2. When we receive your order, we will send in the change request to InterNIC. We will lookup your domain record, and change the technical contact and nameserver information.
  3. InterNIC will process the change request and mail a copy to the administrative contact (hopefully that is either you or your ISP) to acknowledge the changes. This is a safety measure to insure that nobody can change your record without your consent. This takes approx 1-2 days to process.
  4. When you (or your ISP) receives the e-mail from InterNIC, there will be a field where you need to put an "A" to acknowledge, or an "N" to Not Acknowledge. You will fill it in with an "A" and send it back to InterNIC.
  5. It takes about a day or two for InterNIC to change the domain record after receiving your acknowledgement.
  6. Root Nameservers are updated 1 business day later. The new information takes about 1 day to propagate across to all the machines connected to the Internet (due to caching of your IP address, see TTL discussion below).
  7. At this point your new domain is now visible to everyone on the net except for anyone using your old ISP for nameservice. If your old ISP runs a dialup service, perhaps their dialup customers are still pointing to your old site. Now is a good time to request your old ISP to discontinue DNS service for your domain.
So, from the day the request is made to move a domain until the new domain is active takes about 3-6 days. To ensure a smooth transition, when we receive a request for a domain move, we immediately set up your account, complete with the new IP address, a working temporary domain name, web space, etc... During the 3-6 day period while your domain records are being updated, you can begin uploading your web site and testing it. As soon as the root nameserver update occurs, your site should already be ready for business.

Those are the basics of moving a domain. We take care of most of the work, all you need to do is Acknowledge the domain record change.

What happens if the Administrative Contact email address is not current?

There will be a problem sending you a request for acknowledgement so the domain change cannot be processed in the normal way. To process the domain change, you will need to Fax the request to the InterNIC. DOnt worry, we can still help you, please tell us this is the case and will forward you the NIC ticket number you will need to fax.

Fax on company letterhead (if available), the NIC number, state you acknowledge the change, sign and date it, and you might want to include your drivers licence or other substantiating proof that you are the administrative contact. InterNIC will only process the change if they are reasonably certain that the request is valid and authorative. Also include your current email address and explain the email address in their records is an old one and no longer valid. Their fax number is (703) 742-9552.

You could avoid all these problems by keeping your email address in the records up to date, but you probably didnt know that.

I hope this guide has helped you understand whats involved with domain moves. We look forward to working with you. Please dont hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.