When you buy a domain name it will be automatically registered through an accredited Registrar. There are over 1,000 accredited Registrars to choose from. Think of them as companies that compete to register domain names. Each Registrar chooses how much to charge to register domain names. This is why the same domain name may cost you $9.99 with one Registrar and $25.00 with another.
So who controls your domain name? It will be the company where you buy it, either the Registrar or your Web Hosting Provider. Some Registrars provide additional services such as Web Hosting, however, all Web Hosting Providers are not Registrars. If the domain name is purchased through a Web Hosting Provider who is not a Registrar, that Web Host will have the domain registered through their Registrar of choice.
What Registrars or Web Hosting Providers do to register your domain name is invisible to you. All you have to be concerned with is who to pay to renew your domain name before it expires, which is the company you bought if from originally.
What is important to note is that if you purchase a domain name directly from a Registrar but have your web site hosted elsewhere, it will be necessary to change the Nameservers to point to your Web Host Nameservers.
A Registrar gathers contact information and technical information. The technical information about your domain name is forwarded to InterNIC, a central directory known as the “Registry” whose goal is to let other computers on the internet know how to find your web site.
How to buy cheap domain names is easy enough as so many Web Hosting Providers offer a free domain name if you sign up for one of their hosting packages or buy one of their products. I prefer spending about $10.00 for a domain name through a Registrar and have no strings attached. If you plan on having multiple web sites then purchasing all your domain names through one Registrar is the way to go as you can manage all your domain names in one place.