It’s touching, really, the number of people who still believe that their assets are best looked after by corporate giants. Go to any of the many question and answer websites that specialize in domain names and you will be told that it’s best to go with the giants like GoDaddy and Enom because you don’t have to worry about them failing and losing your domain name. “They’ll be around for a while!” is what you hear. Makes you wonder where in the world these people have been hiding the last year and a half. Haven’t they heard of AIG, Lehman Brothers or Merrill Lynch? Try General Motors. Sure, only Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail; the others were considered too big to fail by the government and kept afloat with taxpayer money.
In the arcane world of domain registrars, any ICANN accredited registrar (and that means any and all legitimate registrars regardless of size!) is considered too big to fail by ICANN, and its domain names will be protected by shifting them on to another registrar. Your screen won’t go blank for an instant as ICANN processes your name. Try Googling “ICANN continuity” if you want to read the small print.
Is this same degree of protection accorded to small domain name resellers? Yes. Resellers are nothing more than agents of ICANN accredited registrars. If your domain name is registered in your name (if it isn’t registered in your name you don’t own it), then you are registered with an ICANN accredited registrar regardless of your reseller and the accredited registrar’s responsibility vis-a-vis your domain name is the same as with any other domain under its aegis. If you’re curious as to your accredited registrar’s identity, ask your reseller. If he won’t tell you, it’s time to take your money somewhere else because ICANN regulations require him to do so.
This is not to say you shouldn’t consider the big registrars like GoDaddy and Enom when doing your domain name shopping. Both are excellent companies and some people prefer doing business with the giants. Others look for smaller companies for various reasons. Just don’t imagine that big necessarily equals safe or that small always means danger when looking for cheap domains and inexpensive web hosting.