Everything You Need to Know About Handshake Domains

Handshake is an experimental decentralized naming protocol that uses blockchain technology to create a DNS root zone instead of an ICANN-managed Domain Name System (DNS).

As Handshake is right at the forefront of building a freer and more open internet, most browsers aren’t set up to navigate to HNS domains.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to enable your browser or device to recognize and resolve these new domains via special plugins, or network configurations.

So, are you looking to dig dive into “HANDSHAKE DOMAINS“?

If so, I’ve got you covered with a detailed guide that helps you learn everything about handshake domains.

Let’s get started.

What is Handshake Domain?

Handshake is a decentralized, peer-to-peer naming protocol built on blockchain technology. These names require special browser plugins or network configurations to resolve. It aims to create an alternative Domain Name System (DNS) that is more secure, censorship-resistant, and owned by users themselves.

How Does Handshake Domain Works?

Typically, it uses its blockchain, which is a distributed ledger that records and verifies transactions related to domain names and stores information about domain ownership, transfer, and resolution.

It uses a decentralized blockchain network to store and verify domain ownership, making it resistant to censorship and domain takeovers. It uses a native cryptocurrency called HNS to incentivize network participants and facilitate domain transactions.

Handshake names can be virtually anything, from English letters and decimal numbers to Chinese characters and even emojis! They can be used like a traditional TLD with a subdomain (my.home/, my.家/, my.🏡/) or as a standalone name (home/, 家/, 🏡/).

Handshake has an auction-based marketplace where anyone can bid on an available name. The person with the highest bid gets to own the name. In this scenario, everyone in the marketplace can transparently see the bidding activity on the platform.

How does Handshake work? / brandsec.aom.au
How does handshake domains work explained
(Life Cycle of How Handshake Domains Work | Image Credit: brandsec)

What’s the Difference Between Traditional Domains and Handshake Domains?

Domain names are managed by centralized organizations such as IANA and ICANN while Handshake domains operate on a peer-to-peer decentralized blockchain network.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Handshake Domains

The Advantages of Handshake Domains:

  • Handshake reduces the role of central authority and gives you more online freedom
  • Improves security and protects against unauthorized domain transfer or hijacking
  • It allows users to maintain their privacy by not requiring the disclosure of personal information during domain registration
  • This ensures censorship resistance on DNS systems controlled by central authorities or governments
  • This can potentially significantly reduce domain registration and renewal fees
  • It allows the creation of custom top-level domains (TLDs) that enable users to have personalized and unique domain extensions.
  • It offers everything in domain extension including letters (a-z), numbers (0-9), hyphens (-), emoji, etc

The Disadvantages of Handshake Domains:

  • Handshake domains are not fully supported by major web browsers
  • It is still relatively new, and most Internet users are used to traditional DNS
  • Building brand recognition using lesser-known domain extensions can be challenging for businesses and individuals
  • It requires a certain level of technical knowledge and skills to manage domain settings
  • This can be a barrier for individuals or organizations unfamiliar with blockchain or cryptocurrency

How to Choose Handshake Domain Names?

When choosing a domain name, there are several things you should consider to ensure you make an awesome name.

Here are some tips for choosing a perfect Handshake domain name:

  • Purpose: Clearly define the purpose of your handshake domain. Are you building a personal website, a business, a project, or an online community? Understanding this will help you narrow down your options and select a domain name that aligns with your goals.
  • Relevancy: Choose a domain name relevant to your purpose or industry. This should give visitors an idea of what to expect when they visit your website.
  • Branding: If you represent a brand or business, try including your brand name or a unique identifier in the domain name. Focus on unique brand names, instead of using keywords.
  • Length and Characters: Keep your domain name short and easy to spell. Because long and complex domain names can be difficult for users to remember and type correctly. Aim for simplicity and avoid using numbers or hyphens, as they can cause confusion and will make your domain more memorable and descriptive!
  • Extensions: Consider using unique TLDs related to your purpose or industry to set your handshake domain name apart from others.

And there are many things you can consider choosing a domain name. Take your time and consider these factors carefully before finalizing your order.

You can consider the most popular Handshake domains are:

  • .p
  • .c
  • .API
  • .oo
  • .wave
  • .creator
  • .saas
  • .hack
  • .247
  • .🐱
See All Available Handshake Domain Extensions
Namecheap Handshake Domains.

How Much Does Cost Handshake Domains?

Generally, the cost of a domain depends on the extension and registrar you choose, but for most of them, registering a new handshake domain costs around $20 per year.

Make sure you’ve compared prices at different places before ordering a new domain name.

Here is the current registration pricing of some common Handshake domain extensions between Namecheap, Porkbun, and EnCirca domain registrars:

(Handshake TLDs Pricing Comparison)

How to Buy a Handshake Domain?

The process to register a Handshake domain is the same as registering a traditional domain.

On the Handshake Domain Network, users can register and manage top-level domains (TLDs) through a process called “handshaking”. The process of acquiring a top-level domain (TLD) in Handshake involves auctions.

Users interested in owning a particular TLD can participate in an auction by bidding on the Handshake Network’s native cryptocurrency HNS. The auction process determines the highest bidder, who owns the TLD.

However, some domain registrars offer a wide range of TLDs for handshake domains that you can consider when registering your domain.

What’s the Best Place to Register a Handshake Domain?

Currently the most popular handshake domain registrars are:

1. Namecheap

Namecheap Handshake domains registration service page

Namecheap is one of the best Handshake domain registrars and web hosting providers that offer competitive domain pricing, solid security, and plenty of domain extensions with 24/7 live chat support.

So, if you want to buy a Handshake domain instead of bidding for your own .yourname/ on the Internet from the Namebase auction, Namecheap is the ultimate choice for ready-to-go.

2. Namebase

Namebase homepage

Namebase is a secure and easy platform to interact with Handshake. Buy, sell, and manage top-level domains and HNS coins. Where you can create your domain extension ( .yourextension).

Once you create an account and fund your Namebase wallet, you are ready to bid on a new domain or buy one on sale. If you find one that’s available, go ahead and place an offer, which is a combination of two things – your actual bid amount plus an optional blind to hide the true bid value from others.

3. Porkbun

Pokbun Hanshake domain page

Porkbun is the cheapest handshake domain registrar with excellent domain management tools and URL forwarding functionality. However, they don’t support as many TLDs as Namecheap supports.

4. EnCirca

EnCirca Handshake domain registration

EnCirca is a domain registrar that also offers handshake domain registration and other web services.

When you register a handshake domain with EnCirca and indicate which nameservers to use for it, you need to configure the zone to point to their web servers and then their web hosting works with the handshake domain.

How to Access Handshake Domains?

After you register a handshake domain, you will have the ability to manage all your domain the same way you manage your traditional domain names. However, similarly, you cannot access Handshake domains in a regular web browser like traditional domains.

Accessing a handshake domain from a regular web browser requires you to set up a handshake resolver to resolve domain names, which may include additional settings, gateway protocols, plugins, extensions, or software.

The best way to resolve your handshake domains in a regular web browser is to use a gateway protocol that enables you to access it without any special setup or installation in your browser.

Here are some Handshake resolvers to access the handshake domains, includes:

For complete setup, you can follow a walkthrough for resolving Handshake domains below.

Method 1: HNS.to

HNS.to is a gateway that enables you to access Handshake domains without any special setup in any browser.

Add https://hns.to/ in front of any Handshake domain you want to visit.

Example link: https://hns.to/websiteguidelines.p or https://hns.to/namebase/

Method 2: HDNS

HDNS.io is a privacy public resolver that enables you to access Handshake domains without any extra extensions like hns.to.

Replace your device’s DNS server addresses with and

For more detailed device-specific instructions, visit the HDNS.io landing page.

The Future of Handshake Domains

Handshake domains are decentralized, which could be a big part of the next generation of Internet technology. However, the future of handshake domains holds both opportunities and challenges as technology continues to evolve and gain acceptance.

Decentralizing the web creates a more egalitarian online space where technologies power the Internet community rather than a few stakeholders.

Handshake represents a shift toward decentralization, with progressive steps that help to grant users less oversight, more freedom, and enhanced security.

As the Handshake network evolves, we can expect to see further developments and opportunities in the realm of decentralized domain names.


Although Handshake is still in its infancy, its future holds promising potential for a more inclusive and community-driven Internet. As the network evolves and gains wider acceptance, it has the potential to revolutionize online identity and contribute to a more resilient and open Internet ecosystem.

Exploring and considering the value of handshake domains can be a worthwhile endeavor for those looking for greater control and freedom over their online presence.

What do you think about Handshake domains?

Please let us know by commenting below and feel free to reach out through our contact us form if you have any questions, compliance, or suggestions regarding this post!

We’ll be happy to hear your thoughts.


Are Handshake Domains worth it?
Some people view handshake domains as investment assets. The value of certain domain names can increase over time, especially if they are popular or in high demand. So it’s worth it for your future endeavors.
Which web hosting is compatible with the Handshake domain?
Both Namecheap and EnCirca Web Hosting are compatible with handshake domain names to create a website. However, SSL cannot be installed, and the HTTPS protocol is not even available with any other web hosting.
Which web browser is compatible with the handshake domain?
Any regular web browser should be compatible with Handshake domains if you have done an advanced setup for a Handshake resolver on your browser, including NextDNS, HSD/HDNS, VPNs, browser extensions, etc.
Does Handshake replace DNS?
No. Handshake is meant to replace root zone files, not DNS. Browsing the web with human-readable names is what Internet users have become accustomed to.

Read more frequently asked questions on official FAQs here.

References and additional resources:

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