Free CO.CC domain for life!

Anyone remember my post on how to get your very own custom e-mail address for free? Well for those that don’t, let me sum up really quickly: I posted about how users can get a free CO.CC domain, and use Google Apps to get their very own custom e-mail address. However at the time of my post, CO.CC was free for only the first year; afterwards users were forced to pay a $4 renewal fee. It looks like the owners of the company that runs CO.CC have had a change of heart because now users can get CO.CC for free for life – no upfront or renewal fees:

2009-11-07_114049

Of course, as you see by the chart, a free for life CO.CC domain is available for personal use only; commercial use will incur an annual $3 renewal fee. Also, note:

  1. Not all CO.CC domains will be free. Some may cost money while others will not. For example: dottech.co.cc was free while helloworld.co.cc cost me $4 a year. If you search for a domain and the result shows that you must pay for it, simply search for a different domain name.
  2. You can only have four free domains per account. I assume that if you create a new account you can register four more free domains, but I am not sure if that it is “legal” to create multiple accounts or not.
  3. Every CO.CC domain comes with a CC.CC domain. While the CO.CC is fully customizable to fit your needs, the CC.CC is specific to being a “web store” and you cannot change that.

CO.CC comes with all the necessary domain management tools/settings allowing you to do many things with your CO.CC domain, including but not limited to creating a custom e-mail address, using the domain for your website, etc.

The great thing is, you don’t need a credit card to create a CO.CC domain, although you do need to fill out a fairly extensive form when registering.

After you have created your free CO.CC domain, you can also get awesome paid web hosting from InMotion Hosting (dotTech favorite – I loved them when I was with them) or free web hosting from 000WebHost (never tried 000WebHost but their name keeps popping up when I hear about free web hosts).

So what are you waiting for? Go grab your very own CO.CC domain! To get started you can access the CO.CC homepage from the following link:

CO.CC homepage

Thanks Peter!

Update: Wheezer brings up a good point about CO.CC’s privacy policy. So I looked at the privacy statement. For the most part, I find it to be fine because they clearly state they will ask for a user’s express permission when sharing private information with a third party.

However, I got a little bit uneasy when I read this part:

Only If We Have To As stated previously in this policy, we will not share your personal information except with a third party to assist us in the processing or securing of your personal information or when we are required by law unless we have given you notice and choice, in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary in order to conform to the edicts of the law, or we must comply with a legal process served on our web site. We may also need to give out your information if one of our partners requires it, but these situations are rare.

What makes me uneasy is the fact that at this point they are not clear if they will ask for express permission from you before they give out your information or not. I mean, before that part they are very clear that they will ask for express permission. At this part they are not. Maybe a lawyer can figure it out better.

That being said, I usually wouldn’t encourage this, but if you don’t feel comfortable with a company’s privacy policy, they will never know if the information you entered is not accurate.

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29 comments

  1. Lawrence

    I have been using co.cc for quite some time now, but there was recently a change which I am confused by. I have two accounts – one with four free domains and one with two free domains. On the one that only has two, I tried to get a third. I searched for it, it was available for $0. I clicked “Continue to registration”, then it told me…
    “To register more than one domain name, please complete a survey or sponsor co.cc”
    …and gave me two links: “survey” or “sponsor”. I tried the surveys, they were all crap like “are you a sex god?” or “Win a free KFC gift card!” What I am confused at is this: why won’t it let me register more than one domain name (I already had 2 on that account), and what should I do?
    After looking at those surveys, I think I’ll sponsor them instead. It’s only $10, and I don’t particularly have a use for knowing whether I’m a sex god if they are going to spam me and put all kinds of cookies and things on my computer, which they quite obviously are.
     

  2. Teri Greene

    So they might give your name to advertisers? Virtually every Privacy Policy I’ve read at commercial sites says they’ll give your name away. You should check them again at any place you’re signed up. They just don’t say, “give your name to advertisers”; they say things like, “enhance your experience at our website.” To them, enhancing your experience means tracking you to deliver ads that fit your interests.

  3. buyerbeware

    i registered a domain, but can’t figure out what to do next, so i deleted it all. also the promises made can’t possibly be used against them in the future should some unsuspecting patron be injured due to the use of the free domain. the posts above adequately point out that the site is a sham and can excavate information from your domain and provide it to anyone, anywhere, for whatever reason they see fit. they do give fair warning that they will never give your information to anyone else unless they absolutely want to. but thanx for providing the information for others who will use it without proper scrutiny. keep up the good work for those of us who are just starting out all over again.

  4. Johnson

    The initial post caught my eye because who doesn’t want a free “lifetime” domain? Like Wheezer, I do not usually read the T&C and Privacy Policies either. Until lately. (Too long a story to tell – suffice to say it was a bad ending). Wife is an attorney (try living with that when you screw up!) so I had her look at said document. I thought I was going to need to call paramedics. She was laughing so hard she literally couldn’t breathe and was turning blue.

    Bottom line – their policies are an impossible maze of inconsistencies, contradictions, incomprehensible admissions, promises impossible to keep, and full of indemnifications. If nothing else it could be described as one big CYA document. But there is so much more.

    She thinks this was drafted by a committee – or a crazy person – or an attorney (oxymoron?). No normal individual could come up with this logorrhea. Essentially the only thing they don’t promise to do is come drive a stake through your heart. But they don’t promise they won’t.

    Even if you feed them somewhat less than accurate demographic information, they still have your IP address, and even the best anonymizers can be broken. Her very useful expensive professional advice? – caveat emptor! – because all it’s likely to do if it blows up in your face is cause hassles, not cost you money or jail time. (I’m so lucky I could just scream)

  5. johnny

    Ashraf,

    Thanks for the tip on these free domains.
    I just registered one. Seems like a lot of good names available if you want to spend a few bucks.
    Again, thanks for this and thanks for all your great reviews, and now I’m done boot licking……….

  6. a simple happy man

    Hi Ashraf and everyone

    I think that all the jargon is pointing to the fact that they are doing the best that they can to provide good people with a decent service that can be used appropriately to help them use a domain in a way that is usefull and pleasant, BUT because some people will abuse any kind of service and do more than is deemed ethically or morally correct and they couldn’t care less who they offend or harm then they have to state “be prepared that this might happen and we’re covering our own butts and putting up our umbrella by telling you this….just in case it does… whatever it is!”

  7. WECH

    free domain for life is very attractive for techies
    The statement “We may also need to give out your information if one of our partners requires it, but these situations are rare.” is all-pass card for them.
    “may” “need to” “require” “rare” are vague that apply to “any” way they deem suitable, and the “partners” can be anyone that paid the ad, you don’t even know who they are and what’s their policy. The statement put in the end also tricky, as it can suppress prior statement. as [I love you for the rest of my live, but in rare case I may change my mind]. That’s how I read it.
    As long as you have the “provided privacy can be used in less favorable way to you” in mind, and utilize it accordingly, it’s good freebie for as long as they stay in business.

  8. tejas

    @Ashraf:
    [[ Also, I believe “By their very nature, CO.CC may carry offensive, harmful, inaccurate or otherwise inappropriate material, or in some cases, postings that have been mislabeled or are otherwise deceptive. We expect that you will use caution and common sense and exercise proper judgment when using CO.CC.” may have to do with the fact that anyone that creates a “domain” is actually creating a subdomain on the CO.CC. I believe they are trying to cover their butts so they don’t get sued for what someone else puts on his/her domain.]]

    I agree with your conclusion. They are covering their hind quarters against things that may appear on a co.cc domain.
    And I think the following is just more of the same.

    [[“CO.CC does not endorse, support, represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of any communications posted via the Service or endorse any opinions expressed via the Service. You acknowledge that any reliance on material posted via the Service will be at your own risk.”]]

  9. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Wheezer: The “We may use third-party advertising companies to serve ads on our behalf. These companies may employ cookies and action tags (also known as single pixel gifs or web beacons) to measure advertising effectiveness. Any information that these third parties collect via cookies and action tags is completely anonymous.” part is actually fairly normal. Every website basically has it… even dotTech (that is how Google Adsense works – see privacy statement).

    Also, I believe “By their very nature, CO.CC may carry offensive, harmful, inaccurate or otherwise inappropriate material, or in some cases, postings that have been mislabeled or are otherwise deceptive. We expect that you will use caution and common sense and exercise proper judgment when using CO.CC.” may have to do with the fact that anyone that creates a “domain” is actually creating a subdomain on the CO.CC. I believe they are trying to cover their butts so they don’t get sued for what someone else puts on his/her domain.

    However, I do agree with your point on “CO.CC does not endorse, support, represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of any communications posted via the Service or endorse any opinions expressed via the Service. You acknowledge that any reliance on material posted via the Service will be at your own risk.” I do find it questionable myself but not enough to turn me off from the website.

    @sucata: All of them are only available for one year. They will renew at the end of the free for free for as long as you want.

    @Ambuj Saxena: Is that a good or bad thing? Lol.

  10. Wheezer

    @Ashraf:
    You seem to have gotten my point and found areas that made me suspicious too. When I put them all together, I just don’t like it.

    Here’s one thing that I don’t like:
    “We may use third-party advertising companies to serve ads on our behalf. These companies may employ cookies and action tags (also known as single pixel gifs or web beacons) to measure advertising effectiveness. Any information that these third parties collect via cookies and action tags is completely anonymous.”

    Ok, so if I assume (you know what they say about assuming…) that they’re telling the truth about this being “completely anonymous,” they’re still going to place what sounds like tracking cookies on my computer. Sure, I’ll zap’em off with cCleaner and have Iobit Security 360, but still, they’re going to put them on there.

    Then there’s this:
    “By their very nature, CO.CC may carry offensive, harmful, inaccurate or otherwise inappropriate material, or in some cases, postings that have been mislabeled or are otherwise deceptive. We expect that you will use caution and common sense and exercise proper judgment when using CO.CC.”

    I’m just not sure what to think of this. Since CO.CC doesn’t provide hosting service, what are they talking about? It sounds like they’re saying that their web site may provide info that is “harmful,” “mislabeled” or is “otherwise deceptive.”

    The part of that statement that I do agree with is “exercise proper judgment when using CO.CC.”

    Here’s another paragraph that makes me wonder:
    “CO.CC does not endorse, support, represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of any communications posted via the Service or endorse any opinions expressed via the Service. You acknowledge that any reliance on material posted via the Service will be at your own risk.”

    I looked for their defenition of “Service” in the agreement and couldn’t find one. That leaves me thinking they are talking about their company.

    Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but combined those points have the BS detector in my brain going off like crazy.

    I don’t like being dishonest either, but I may end up using less than accurate info to get the free domain. I just don’t like doing that though. My own ethics are one of the only things that I can be proud of and that nobody can take away. I’m going to have to give it some thought. I’m not sure that having a free domain is worth it.

    I sure do appreciate your getting the word out there about this freebie though. Along with all the other ones you let us know about!

  11. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Wheezer: I looked at the privacy statement. For the most part, I find it to be fine because they clearly state they will ask for a user’s express permission when sharing private information with a third party.

    However, I got a little bit uneasy when I read this part:

    Only If We Have To

    As stated previously in this policy, we will not share your personal information except with a third party to assist us in the processing or securing of your personal information or when we are required by law unless we have given you notice and choice, in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary in order to conform to the edicts of the law, or we must comply with a legal process served on our web site. We may also need to give out your information if one of our partners requires it, but these situations are rare.

    What makes me uneasy is the fact that at this point they are not clear if they will ask for express permission for you before they give out your information or not. I mean, before that part they are very clear that they will ask for express permission. At this part they are not. Maybe a lawyer can figure it out better.

    Also, if you can quote a part of the statement which makes you uncomfortable I will be sure to try to help.

    Lastly, I usually wouldn’t encourage this, but if you don’t feel comfortable with a company’s privacy policy, they will never know if the information you entered is not accurate.

  12. Wheezer

    I was all ready to sign up and had filled out the registration form. Then I got to the privacy policy and terms of service. I usually don’t read those things. Who does? But something inside told me I should take the time to read these. (That “something” might have been Ashraf’s article about the ELUA Anilizer program a while back.)

    I closed the page without submitting the form.

    Looks very suspicious to me. My feeling was that they’re going to do whatever they want with the personal info they require. Yes I saw where they keep saying that they’ll ask your permission first. But did you notice that within a couple sentances they say they’ll give it away to advertisers anyway? Of course they use different words, but it still means the same thing.

    Please don’t think that I am referring to the sentances where they talk about giving personal info to any law enforcement agency or whatever if they are legally required to provide the info. That goes without saying for any company anywhere in the world. I have no problem with that part of their statement.

    Then in their terms of service, as I read it, they’re saying they can’t be held responsible for anything they say anywhere, including their web site, because that info may not be accurate.

    So, again as I see it, they’re saying that we can’t believe their privacy statement because it may not be accurate. Meaning that we can’t believe that they will try at all to keep our private info private. This also holds true for anything they say anywhere on their site about anything.

    I hope others will comment on how I read that stuff. I sure hope I’m wrong because I’d like to take them up on the offer of a free domain. Yet that old saying comes to mind: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

    This is one offer I’m gonna pass on. Unless someone can point out how I’m wrong.

  13. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Shi: The “account setup” consists of you deciding what you want to use the CO.CC domain for. You can set it up as a simple forwarder, customize the zone records, or point it different name servers. If you want to use it with Google Apps, you will find that option under the URL forwarding tab.

    The CC.CC account comes automatically with a CO.CC account. If you don’t want it just ignore it. No harm, no foul.

    @karen: I was going to say I am experiencing no problems =D.

  14. karen

    co.cc appears to be down right now. I actually signed up for a free domain and went to google to set up the Google Apps/email and when I went back to co.cc to set up my domain I can no longer get to a page where I can log in.

    Same issue happens if I go to the domain directly. It gives a link asking me to set up the domain within 48 hours, but when I follow it I get a blank page.

    Any ideas?

  15. Shi

    thanks for article. However could you explain a bit more about domains and how to use one for personal use. I signed up and found a co.cc name for free. It only gives one year subscription not a life. Is this right ? It also auto generates a cc.cc which it asks for payment. I dont want a cc.cc account so what do I do? I have gone as far to dialog of showing both co.cc and cc.cc accounts asking to setup within 48hours.

  16. Opus

    When I clicked “start here” & got my requested name as available, it says $3 annually. I did not fill out their form. Does it provide a free choice it you do?

    You are providing a prodigious gift for us!