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Free Domain .NOM.ZA

Key Facts
Editor's Rating2.96
User Rating(4.00 based on 1 vote)
Is Activeyes
Years in service9
Is GeoTargetableno
Is Indexed in Googleyes
Is TLDyes
Supports IDNyes
Free Domains1
Special ConditionsPersonal use only with no financial gain. Possibly limited to South Africans.
DNS RecordsA, AAAA, NS
CountrySouth Africa
Find left-hand column values meanings in the glossary.


Free domain NOM.ZA is an interesting case indeed. It's a second-level domain under the .ZA namespace, but it's wholly a recognized "TLD" in the same sense as is. is meant for individual personal use. No registrations by companies are allowed, so a registration for any common brand name will likely be declined. In fact, their TOS states that "use [...] is expected by individuals wishing to register their given, legal, or last names."

Additionally, you don't get to own a NOM.ZA domain, you only get custody of it. But you have to allow others to register further subdomains under your domain, for example, if your name is Bob Smith and you register, you have to allow Alice to register lest your domain be reassigned by a common vote.

This is particularly interesting, NomZa is being run by individuals (who aren't financially compensated), for individuals: Supposedly, after 1000 domains get registered, "a general meeting of the domain custodians will be called in Johannesburg [...] to decide on the future" of the domain. Really a communal endeavor.

If you don't use your NOM.ZA domain for a period of 60 days, you agree to relinquish the right to it, so no squatting (which is thwarted anyway).

Finally, NOM.ZA is part of the ISC's DLV registry, is a recognized ISPA member, which implies it is here to stay, and is available on IPv6.

User Reviews and Comments

Free Domain .NOM.ZA

from Rosenberg
Rating: 4 out of 5


- A free, legitimate domain name.

- You don't have to be a South African to register.

- Websites using this domain seem reputable for the most part.

- Decent goal set by NOM.ZA of community ownership.


- Only NS records may be used (though with free Dynamic DNS services that isn't too much of an issue - I use Namecheap's DNS)

- LONG waiting period (well around a week) before you know whether your name is deemed "acceptable" and you're subject to the same waiting period if/when you choose to change your hostnames.

REMEMBER: The name you choose HAS to be your name or a variation of it in order for it to be approved, although this is self-explanatory and so despite any possible inconveniences, I wouldn't consider this a "con" per se.

All in all, I would say that this is a great service, however, be well aware of the potentially long waiting period for it and if you want to host your domain on services like Tumblr or Blogger, you should probably register for a dynamic DNS service so you can associate your name on a site that requires A or CNAME records. My only major complaint is the long waiting period, but I would imagine the demand for something of this sort.

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