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Good webapp for checking availability of domain names?

My wife wants to register several new business domains. She is non-technical so would appreciate a solution that doesn't involve nslooukp and the command line. I used to have a desktop tool but oddly must have cleaned it off my machine by accident. Is there a website or tool that you trust?

I've already had one recommendation for betterwhois - are they trustworthy?

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What do you mean by safe? –  Nifle Oct 5 '10 at 18:18
    
Do you mean safe in the way that nobody will hijack the domain names ? –  S.Hoekstra Oct 5 '10 at 18:20
    
@Mark: I'm closing this since there is another question about finding domain names. If you would like to clarify what you mean by "safe", and that other question doesn't address the issue, then we can reopen this one. –  Senseful Oct 5 '10 at 20:56
    
@Senseful I suspect "safe" is referring to whether the sites being used to check for name availability will turn around and register the searched names, such as certain services did in the recent past. I think that extra qualifier makes this question worthwhile (not covered in the other q), perhaps a little extra detail would be useful here. –  Grant Palin Oct 5 '10 at 22:42
    
According to @Mark Levison: In the context of domain name registars safe is a whois system that isn't linked to a domain front running scam. –  Senseful Oct 6 '10 at 2:45
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marked as duplicate by Senseful Nov 16 '10 at 10:40

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4 Answers

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I've been using domaintools.com various services for years. Its http://domain-search.domaintools.com/ give easy keyword search for domain names. It's "safe" enough for me.

However, a desktop tool querying DNS servers directly may be "safer" for you. Did the desktop tool you deleted, offer domain search by keyword?

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I completely forget how the tool I deleted worked. Personally I don't have to go domain name hunting more than once annually. –  Mark Levison Oct 6 '10 at 14:19
    
Does something like softpedia.com/get/Network-Tools/Traceroute-Whois-Tools/… meets the non-commandline criteria you're looking for? –  sabre23t Oct 7 '10 at 15:43
    
I tried domain-search and it worked for me thanks. –  Mark Levison Oct 8 '10 at 16:16
    
Interesting the GUI Traceroute tool would have worked too. –  Mark Levison Oct 8 '10 at 16:17
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Here are a few that I've tinkered with before. As far as I know they are safe to use.

They each work a bit differently, and have different options, but are quite useful when doing some brainstorming on domain ideas.

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I've been using nwtools.com for years (easy to remember alias domain).

It's funded by adverts, but is safe to use.

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Check out Bust a name. It's a great tool to allow you to enter a few keywords and it will tell you what combinations of those words are available domains. They also have an instant search function if you want to see if a particular domain in registered - Instant Domain Search also has the same functionality.

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