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Domain name

Domain name
step y step about domain name

A domain name is an identification label that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet, based on the Domain Name System (DNS).
Domain names are used in various networking contexts and application-specific naming and addressing purposes. They are organized in subordinate levels (subdomains) of the DNS root domain, which is nameless. The first-level set of domain names are the top-level domains (TLDs), including the generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as the prominent domains com, net and org, and the country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Below these top-level domains in the DNS hierarchy are the second-level and third-level domain names that are typically open for reservation by end-users that wish to connect local area networks to the Internet, run web sites, or create other publicly accessible Internet resources. The registration of these domain names is usually administered by domain name registrars who sell their services to the public.
Individual Internet host computers use domain names as host identifiers, or hostnames. Hostnames are the leaf labels in the domain name system usually without further subordinate domain name space. Hostnames appear as a component in Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) for Internet resources such as web sites (e.g.,
Domain names are also used as simple identification labels to indicate ownership or control of a resource. Such examples are the realm identifiers used in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the DomainKeys used to verify DNS domains in e-mail systems, and in many other Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs).
An important purpose of domain names is to provide easily recognizable and memorizable names to numerically addressed Internet resources. This abstraction allows any resource (e.g., website) to be moved to a different physical location in the address topology of the network, globally or locally in an intranet. Such a move usually requires changing the IP address of a resource and the corresponding translation of this IP address to and from its domain name.
Domain names are often referred to simply as domains and domain name registrants are frequently referred to as domain owners, although domain name registration with a registrar does not confer any legal ownership of the domain name, only an exclusive right of use.
This article primarily discusses the group of domain names that are offered by domain name registrars for registration by the public. The Domain Name System article discusses the technical facilities and infrastructure of the domain name space and the hostname article deals with specific information about the use of domain names as identifiers of network hosts.

Contents menu
1 a The domain name space
b Parts of a domain name
c Top-level domains
d Second-level and lower level domains
e Internationalized domain names
2 Domain name registration
3 Resale of domain names
4 Domain name confusion
5 Use in web site hosting
6 Abuse and regulation
6.a Truth in Domain Names Act
7 Fictitious domain name
8 References
9 External links

1 - The domain name space

The hierarchical domain name system, organized into zones, each served by a name server.
The domain name space consists of a tree of domain names. Each node in the tree holds information associated with the domain name. The tree sub-divides into zones beginning at the root zone.

a - Parts of a domain name
A domain name consists of one or more parts, technically called labels, that are conventionally concatenated, and delimited by dots, such as
The right-most label conveys the top-level domain; for example, the domain name belongs to the top-level domain com.
The hierarchy of domains descends from the right to the left label in the name; each label to the left specifies a subdivision, or subdomain of the domain to the right. For example: the label example specifies a subdomain of the com domain, and www is a subdomain of This tree of labels may consist of 127 levels. Each label may contain up to 63 ASCII characters. The full domain name may not exceed a total length of 253 characters.[1] In practice, some domain registries may have shorter limits.
A hostname is a domain name that has at least one IP addresses associated. For example, the domain names and are also hostnames, whereas the com domain is not.

b- Top-level domains
The top-level domains (TLDs) are the highest level of domain names of the Internet. They form the DNS root zone of the hierarchical Domain Name System. Every domain name ends in a top-level or first-level domain label.
When the Domain Name System was created in the 1980s, the domain name space was divided into two main groups of domains.[2] The country code top-level domains (ccTLD) were primarily based on the two-character territory codes of ISO-3166 country abbreviations. In addition, a group of seven generic top-level domains (gTLD) was implemented which represented a set of categories of names and multi-organizations.[3] These were the domains GOV, EDU, COM, MIL, ORG, NET, and INT.
During the growth of the Internet, it became desirable to create additional generic top-level domains. As of June 2009, there are 20 generic top-level domains and 248 country code top-level domains.[4] In addition, the ARPA domain serves technical purposes in the infrastructure of the Domain Name System.
During the 32nd International Public ICANN Meeting in Paris in 2008,[5] ICANN started a new process of TLD naming policy to take a "significant step forward on the introduction of new generic top-level domains." This program envisions the availability of many new or already proposed domains, as well a new application and implementation process.[6] Observers believed that the new rules could result in hundreds of new top-level domain to be registered.[7]
An annotated list of top-level domains in the root zone database is published at the IANA website at and a Wikipedia list exists.

c- Second-level and lower level domains
Below the top-level domains in the domain name hierarchy are the second-level domain (SLD) names. These are the names directly to the left of .com, .net, and the other top-level domains. As an example, in the domain, wikipedia is the second-level domain.
Next are third-level domains, which are written immediately to the left of a second-level domain. There can be fourth- and fifth-level domains, and so on, with virtually no limitation. An example of an operational domain name with four levels of domain labels is The www preceding the domains is the host name of the World-Wide Web server. Each label is separated by a full stop (dot). 'sos' is said to be a sub-domain of '', and 'state' a sub-domain of '', etc. In general, subdomains are domains subordinate to their parent domain. An example of very deep levels of subdomain ordering are the IPv6 reverse resolution DNS zones, e.g.,, which is the reverse DNS resolution domain name for the IP address of a loopback interface, or the localhost name.
Second-level (or lower-level, depending on the established parent hierarchy) domain names are often created based on the name of a company (e.g.,, product or service (e.g., Below these levels, the next domain name component has been used to designate a particular host server. Therefore, might be an FTP server, would be a World Wide Web server, and could be an email server, each intended to perform only the implied function. Modern technology allows multiple physical servers with either different (cf. load balancing) or even identical addresses (cf. anycast) to serve a single hostname or domain name, or multiple domain names to be served by a single computer. The latter is very popular in Web hosting service centers, where service providers host the websites of many organizations on just a few servers.
The hierarchical DNS labels or components of domain names are separated in a fully qualified name by the full stop (dot, .).

d- Internationalized domain names
Main article: Internationalized domain name
The character set allowed in the Domain Name System has prevented the representation of names and words of many languages in their native scripts or alphabets. ICANN has approved the Punycode-based Internationalized domain name (IDNA) system, which maps Unicode strings into the valid DNS character set. Some registries have adopted IDNA.

2- Domain name registration
The right to use a domain name is delegated by domain name registrars which are accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization charged with overseeing the name and number systems of the Internet. In addition to ICANN, each top-level domain (TLD) is maintained and serviced technically by an administrative organization, operating a registry. A registry is responsible for maintaining the database of names registered within the TLD it administers. The registry receives registration information from each domain name registrar authorized to assign names in the corresponding TLD and publishes the information using a special service, the whois protocol.
Registries and registrars usually charge an annual fee for the service of delegating a domain name to a user and providing a default set of name servers. Often this transaction is termed a sale or lease of the domain name, and the registrant may sometimes be called an "owner", but no such legal relationship is actually associated with the transaction, only the exclusive right to use the domain name. More correctly, authorized users are known as "registrants" or as "domain holders".
ICANN publishes the complete list of TLD registries and domain name registrars. Registrant information associated with domain names is maintained in an online database accessible with the WHOIS service. For most of the more than 240 country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), the domain registries maintain the WHOIS (Registrant, name servers, expiration dates, etc.) information.
Some domain name registries, often called network information centers (NIC), also function as registrars to end-users. The major generic top-level domain registries, such as for the COM, NET, ORG, INFO domains and others, use a registry-registrar model consisting of hundreds of domain name registrars (see lists at ICANN or VeriSign). In this method of management, the registry only manages the domain name database and the relationship with the registrars. The registrants (users of a domain name) are customers of the registrar, in some cases through additional layers of resellers.
In the process of registering a domain name and maintaining authority over the new name space created, registrars use several key pieces of information connected with a domain:
Administrative contact. A registrant usually designates an administrative contact to manage the domain name. The administrative contact usually has the highest level of control over a domain. Management functions delegated to the administrative contacts may include management of all business information, such as name of record, postal address, and contact information of the official registrant of the domain and the obligation to conform to the requirements of the domain registry in order to retain the right to use a domain name. Furthermore the administrative contact installs additional contact information for technical and billing functions.
Technical contact. The technical contact manages the name servers of a domain name. The functions of a technical contact include assuring conformance of the configurations of the domain name with the requirements of the domain registry, maintaining the domain zone records, and providing continuous functionality of the name servers (that leads to the accessibility of the domain name).
Billing contact. The party responsible for receiving billing invoices from the domain name registrar and paying applicable fees.
Name servers. Most registrars provide two or more name servers as part of the registration service. However, a registrant may specify its own authoritative name servers to host a domain's resource records. The registrar's policies govern the number of servers and the type of server information required. Some providers require a hostname and the corresponding IP address or just the hostname, which must be resolvable either in the new domain, or exist elsewhere. Based on traditional requirements (RFC 1034), typically a minimum of two servers is required.
Domain names are often seen in analogy to real estate in that (1) domain names are foundations on which a website (like a house or commercial building) can be built and (2) the highest "quality" domain names, like sought-after real estate, tend to carry significant value, usually due to their online brand-building potential, use in advertising, search engine optimization, and many other criteria.
A few companies have offered low-cost, below-cost or even cost-free domain registrations with a variety of models adopted to recoup the costs to the provider. These usually require that domains be hosted on their website within a framework or portal that includes advertising wrapped around the domain holder's content, revenue from which allows the provider to recoup the costs. Domain registrations were free of charge when the DNS was new. A domain holder can give away or sell infinite number of subdomains under their domain name. For example, the owner of could provide subdomains such as and to interested parties.

3- Resale of domain names
The business of resale of previously registered domain names is known as the domain aftermarket. Various factors influence the perceived value or market value of a domain name.
As of 2004, according to Guinness World Records and MSNBC, the most expensive domain name sales on record were:[8] for $7.5 million in December 1999 for $5.1 million in January 2000 for $3.3 million in August 1998 for $2.9 million in September 1999 for $2.75 million in July 2004 for $2.2 million in December 1999

4- Domain name confusion
Intercapping is often used to emphasize the meaning of a domain name. However, DNS names are case-insensitive, and some names may be misinterpreted in certain uses of capitalization. For example: Who Represents, a database of artists and agents, chose, which can be misread as whore presents. Similarly, a therapists' network is named In such situations, the proper meaning may be clarified by use of hyphens in the domain name. For instance, Experts Exchange, the programmers' site, for a long time used, but ultimately changed the name to
Leo Stoller threatened to sue the owners of on the basis that, when read as, it infringed on claimed (but invalid) trademark rights to the word "stealth".

5- Use in web site hosting
A domain name is a component of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) used to access web sites, for example:
Top-level domain name: .net
Second-level domain name:
Host name:
A domain name may point to multiple IP addresses to provide server redundancy for the services delivered. This is used for large, popular web sites. More commonly, however, one server at a given IP address may also host multiple web sites in different domains. Such address overloading enables virtual web hosting commonly used by large web hosting services to conserve IP address space. It is possible through a feature in the HTTP version 1.1 protocol, but not in HTTP 1.0, which requires that a request identifies the domain name being referenced.

6- Abuse and regulation
Critics often claim abuse of administrative power over domain names. Particularly noteworthy was the VeriSign Site Finder system which redirected all unregistered .com and .net domains to a VeriSign webpage. For example, at a public meeting with VeriSign to air technical concerns about SiteFinder, numerous people, active in the IETF and other technical bodies, explained how they were surprised by VeriSign's changing the fundamental behavior of a major component of Internet infrastructure, not having obtained the customary consensus. SiteFinder, at first, assumed every Internet query was for a website, and it monetized queries for incorrect domain names, taking the user to VeriSign's search site. Unfortunately, other applications, such as many implementations of email, treat a lack of response to a domain name query as an indication that the domain does not exist, and that the message can be treated as undeliverable. The original VeriSign implementation broke this assumption for mail, because it would always resolve an erroneous domain name to that of SiteFinder. While VeriSign later changed SiteFinder's behaviour with regard to email, there was still widespread protest about VeriSign's action being more in its financial interest than in the interest of the Internet infrastructure component for which VeriSign was the steward.
Despite widespread criticism, VeriSign only reluctantly removed it after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) threatened to revoke its contract to administer the root name servers. ICANN published the extensive set of letters exchanged, committee reports, and ICANN decisions.
There is also significant disquiet regarding the United States' political influence over ICANN. This was a significant issue in the attempt to create a .xxx top-level domain and sparked greater interest in alternative DNS roots that would be beyond the control of any single country.
Additionally, there are numerous accusations of domain name "front running", whereby registrars, when given whois queries, automatically register the domain name for themselves. Recently, Network Solutions has been accused of this.

a- Truth in Domain Names Act
Main article: Truth in Domain Names Act
In the United States, the Truth in Domain Names Act of 2003, in combination with the PROTECT Act of 2003, forbids the use of a misleading domain name with the intention of attracting people into visiting Internet pornography sites.

7- Fictitious domain name
A fictitious domain name is a domain name used in a work of fiction or popular culture to refer to a domain that does not actually exist.
Domain names used in works of fiction have often been registered in the DNS, either by their creators or by cybersquatters attempting to profit from it.[citation needed] This phenomenon prompted NBC to purchase the domain name after talk-show host Conan O'Brien spoke the name while ad-libbing on his show. O'Brien subsequently created a website based around the concept and used it as a running gag on the show.

8- References
What is the maximum length of a domain name? on the IETF DNSOP working group mailing list. On the wire, in the DNS binary format, it can be at most 255 octets as per RFC 1034 section 3.1. For an all-ASCII hostname, this can be represented in traditional dot notation as 253 characters.
"Introduction to Top-Level Domains (gTLDs)". Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
RFC 920, Domain Requirements, J. Postel, J. Reynolds, The Internet Society (October 1984)
"List of top-level domains". ICANN.
"32nd International Public ICANN Meeting". ICANN. 2008-06-22.
"New gTLS Program". ICANN. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
ICANN Board Approves Sweeping Overhaul of Top-level Domains, CircleID, 26 June 2008.
Domain name sells for $2.75 million
Steal This v. Stealth Is: Community Technology Collective Bullied Over Misreading of URL
McCullagh, Declan (2003-10-03). "VeriSign fends off critics at ICANN confab". CNET Retrieved 2007-09-22.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). "Verisign's Wildcard Service Deployment". Retrieved 2007-09-22.
Mueller, M (March 2004). Ruling the Root. MIT Press. ISBN 0262632985., NSI Registers Every Domain Checked
"So This Manatee Walks Into the Internet", New York Times, December 12, 2006. Accessed April 12, 2008.

9- External links
IANA generic TLD
IANA Two letter Country Code TLD
ICANN - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, public information regarding Internet domain name registration services
RFC 1034, Domain Names — Concepts and Facilities, an Internet Protocol Standard
RFC 1035, Domain Names — Implementation and Specification, an Internet Protocol Standard
UDRP, Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy

Domain name registry

Domain name registry
step y step about domain name register

A domain name registrar is an organization or commercial entity, accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) or by a national country code top-level domain (ccTLD) authority, to manage the reservation of Internet domain names in accordance with the guidelines of the designated domain name registries and offer such services to the public.

Contents menu

1 History
2 Designated registrar
3 Domain name register
4 Operation
5 Policies
6 2.1 Allocation policies
7 2.2 Dispute policies
8 Cost of registration
9 Third-level domains
10 Domain Sub-Registration
11 References


Domain name registrar market share
Until 1999, Network Solutions (NSI) operated the com, net, and org registries. It was the domain name registry operator for these domains as well as the sole registrar. However, several companies had developed independent registrar services. One such company, NetNames, invented the idea of a commercial standalone domain name registration service in 1996. Registrars introducing the concept of domain name sales and other associated services, effectively introducing the retail model into the industry and assigning a wholesale role to the registries. NSI assimilated this model, which ultimately led to the separation of registry and registrar functions.
In October 1998, following pressure from the growing domain name registration business and other interested parties, NSI's agreement with the United States Department of Commerce was amended. This amendment required the creation of a shared registration system (SRS) that supported multiple registrars. This SRS officially opened on November 30, 1999 under the supervision of ICANN, though there had been several testbed registrars using the system since March 11, 1999. Since then, over 500 registrars have entered the market for domain name registration services.
Of the registrars who initially entered the market, many have continued to grow and outpace rivals. Go Daddy is the largest registrar. Other successful registrars include eNom, Tucows and Melbourne IT. Registrars who initially led the market but later were surpassed by rivals include Network Solutions and Dotster.

Designated registrar
An end-user cannot directly register a domain and manage their domain information with ICANN. A designated registrar must be chosen. Prior to 1999, the only com registrar was NSI, but the approval of the SRS opened up the opportunity for other companies to be designated as registrars.
Each ICANN-accredited registrar must pay a fixed fee of US$4,000 plus a variable fee. The sum of variable registrar fees are designed to total US$3.8 million.
Only the designated registrar may modify or delete information about a domain name. The competition that the SRS created enables end users to choose from many registrars offering different services at varying prices. It is not unusual for an end user to switch registrars which invokes a domain transfer process governed by specific domain name transfer policies.
When a registrar registers a com domain name for an end-user, it must pay a maximum annual fee of US$6.86 to VeriSign, the registry operator for com, and a US$0.20 administration fee to ICANN. Most domain registrars price their services and products to address both the annual fees and the administration fees that must be paid to ICANN. Barriers to entry into the bulk registrar industry are high for new companies without an existing customer base.
Many registrars also offer registration through reseller affiliates. An end-user registers either directly with a registrar, or indirectly through one or more layers of resellers. As of 2008, the cost generally ranges from a low of about $7.50 per year to about $35 per year. The maximum period of registration of a domain name is generally 10 years.
Some registrars are offering longer periods of up to one hundred years, but such offers involve the registrar renewing the registration for their customer. The one hundred year domain name registration would not be in the official registration database. Some packages of Internet services, such as web hosting, include the domain registration in the total package pricing.

Domain name register
See also: Domain name registrar
A domain name registry, is a database of all domain names registered in a top-level domain. A registry operator, also called a Network Information Center (NIC), is the part of the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet that keeps the database of domain names, and generates the zone files which convert domain names to IP addresses. Each NIC is an organisation that manages the registration of Domain names within the top-level domains for which it is responsible, controls the policies of domain name allocation, and technically operates its top-level domain. It is potentially distinct from a domain name registrar. [1]
Domain names are managed under a hierarchy headed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which manages the top of the DNS tree by administrating the data in the root nameservers.
IANA also operates the .int registry for intergovernmental organisations, the .arpa zone for protocol administration purposes, and other critical zones such as
IANA delegates all other domain name authority to other domain name registries such as VeriSign.
Country code top-level domains (ccTLD) are delegated by IANA to national registries such as DENIC in Germany, or Nominet in the United Kingdom.

Some name registries are government departments (e.g., the registry for Sri Lanka Some are co-operatives of Internet service providers (such as DENIC) or not-for profit companies (such as Nominet UK). Others operate as commercial organizations, such as the US registry (
The allocated and assigned domain names are made available by registries by use of the WHOIS system and via their Domain name servers.
Some registries sell the names directly (like SWITCH in Switzerland) and others rely on separate entities to sell them. For example, names in the .com TLD are in some sense sold "wholesale" at a regulated price by VeriSign, and individual domain name registrar sell names "retail" to businesses and consumers.

Allocation policies
Generally, domain name registries operate a first-come-first-served system of allocation but may reject the allocation of specific domains on the basis of political, religious, historical, legal or cultural reasons.
For example, in the United States, between 1996 and 1998, InterNIC automatically rejected domain name applications based on a list of perceived obscenities.
Registries may also control matters of interest to their local communities: for example, the German, Japanese and Polish registries have introduced internationalized domain names to allow use of local non-ASCII characters.
Dispute policies
Domains which are registered with ICANN registrars, generally have to use the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), however, Germany's DENIC requires people to use the German civil courts, and Nominet UK deals with Intellectual Property and other disputes through its own dispute resolution service.

Cost of registration
The cost of domain registration is set by each individual registry.

Third-level domains
Domain name registries may also impose a system of third-level domains on users. DENIC, the registry for Germany (.de), does not impose third level domains. AFNIC, the registry for France (.fr), has some third level domains, but not all registrants have to use them, and Nominet UK, the registry for the United Kingdom (.uk), requires all names to have a third level domain (e.g. or

Domain Sub-Registration
Registrants of second-level domains sometimes act as a registry by offering sub-registrations to their registration. For example, registrations to are offered by the registrant of and not by GPTC, the registry for Libya (.ly).

References Glossary,, retrieved 2009-04-21

Domain name transfer

Domain name transfer
step y step about domain transfer

Domain transfer

Contents menu
1 Domain name transfer
2 3.1 Transfer scams
3 Drop catcher
4 See also
5 References
6 External links
7 Sources

Domain name transfer
A Domain name transfer is the process of changing the designated registrar of a domain name. ICANN has defined a Policy on Transfer of Registrations between Registrars! The usual process of a domain name transfer is:
The end user verifies that the whois admin contact info is correct, particularly the email address; obtains the authentication code (EPP transfer code) from the old registrar, and removes any domain lock that has been placed on the registration.
The end user contacts the new registrar with the wish to transfer the domain name to their service, and supplies the authentication code.
The new registrar will contact the old registrar with this information.
The old registrar will contact the end user to confirm the authenticity of this request. The end user may have to take further action with the old registrar, such as returning to the online management tools, to re-iterate their desire to proceed, in order to expedite the transfer.
The old registrar will release authority to the new registrar.
The new registrar will notify the end user of transfer completion. The new registrar may have automatically copied over the domain server information, and everything on the website will continue to work as before. Otherwise, the domain server information will need to be updated with the new registrar.
After this process, the new registrar becomes the domain name's designated registrar. The process may take about five days. In some cases, the old registrar may intentionally delay the transfer as long as allowable. After transfer, the domain cannot be transferred again for 60 days, except back to the previous registrar.
It is unwise to attempt to transfer a domain immediately before it expires. In some cases, a transfer can take up to 14 days, meaning that the transfer may not complete before the registration expires. This could result in loss of the domain name registration and failure of the transfer. To avoid this, end users should either transfer well before the expiration date, or renew the registration before attempting the transfer.
If a domain registration expires, irrespective of the reason, it can be difficult, expensive, or impossible for the original owner to get it back. After the expiration date, the domain status often passes through several management phases, often for a period of months; usually it does not simply become generally available.

Transfer scams
With the introduction of SRS, many smaller registrars had to compete with each other. Some companies offered value added services or used viral marketing, while others, such as VeriSign and the Domain Registry of America attempted to trick customers to switch from their current registrar using a practice known as domain slamming.
Many of these transfer scams involve a notice sent in the mail, fax, or e-mail. Some scammers contacted end users by telephone (since the contact information is available through WHOIS) to obtain more information. These notices would include information publicly available from the WHOIS database to add to the look of authenticity. The text would include legalese to confuse the end user into thinking that it is an official binding notice. Scam registrars go after domain names that are expiring soon or have recently expired. Expired domain names do not have to go through the authentication process to be transferred, as the previous registrar would have relinquished management rights of the domain name. Domain name expiry dates are readily available via WHOIS.

Drop catcher
A term used to refer to domain name registrars who offer a service that will attempt to register a name for an end-user as soon as it becomes available – that is, catching a dropped name – either because the current owner does not want the name any more, or because they have not renewed the name before it expires.

"Policy on Transfer of Registrations between Registrars". ICANN. Effective 15 March 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2009.

External links
A list of ICANN accredited registrars.
Registrar Accreditation: Process
Registrar Accreditation: Financial Considerations

ICANN. "Registry Operator Maximum Price Schedule" Revised VeriSign .com Registry Agreement: Appendix G. 16 April 2001.
Sloan, Paul. "Who's Your Go Daddy". Dec. 19, 2006.
RFC 2832 – NSI Registry Registrar Protocol (RRP) Version 1.1.0
RFC 3632 – VeriSign Registry Registrar Protocol (RRP) Version 2.0.0

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