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PCNames, run by Opcis, Inc., was one of the first Ajax domain name search utilities around. This domain tool allows you to start typing a domain into a search field and provides you with immediate feedback as to whether the domain is available or taken, as you type.

The company was founded back in 2005, and like many other tools on the Internet, it was initially developed for personal use. The creator often spent hours upon hours trying to find a suitable domain name for websites he was working on. He in turn created a search tool that would give instant results that actually appear as you type the domain name in. Recognizing the fact that others would find it equally useful, he launched it as its own site. It was a brilliant move, and one the industry was hungry for.

However, as great as this all sounds, there is one MAJOR trade-off with the speed you get using the PCNames search tool – it does not seem to use the whois database to determine availability of a domain name. So for example, if you look up the word domain it will incorrectly advise you that domain.us and domain.biz are available which is not correct they simply aren’t pointing to an active website. The same goes for if a domain has been recently registered and not yet made active. So, from this standpoint the tool should perhaps be described as one that determines whether a domain is being USED rather than whether a domain is AVAILABLE.

PCNames also provides a bulk lookup utility, a domain suggestion tool, and a domain word search. After finding the domain you want, you then have the option to register the domain with a choice of registrars which PCNames is partnered with.

According to PCNames, the site currently gets 300-500 unique visitors per day that produce thousands of searches per day, but its currently undergoing a re-vamp and the owners told iGoldrush that they hope the new features will boost popularity.