Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Internet » Domain Registration

This is a guide to domain registration, which is the process of acquiring a domain name from a domain name registrar.

A domain name is the label that identifies a domain on the Internet, which are a distinct group of computers under a central authority. The format of domain names are governed by rules set forth by the Domain Name System (DNS), and any name registered in the DNS is a domain name. In large part, a domain name is an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, like a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a website, the website itself, or any other service communicated through the Internet.

Domain names are organized in subordinate levels of the DNS root domain, which does not itself have a name. Domain names are organized from right to left, with the more general descriptor to the right and the specific descriptors to the left. You might compare domain names with the names of a person, with the family surname to the right and the individual name to the left. Levels of domains are separated by periods.

First-level domains are the top-level domains (TLDs) and include com, info, net, edu, org. Domains are sometimes registered within a specific country. For example, the domain for Google is google.com but the United Kingdom version of the search engine is at google.com.uk.

Some domains are divided into subdomains, which are treated as separate from the main domain, although related. For example, the Aviva Directory also has a blog directory but, rather than treating the blog directory as a category of the general directory, its owner decided to separate it as a subdomain, which can be found at blogs.avivadirectory.com.

Technically, however, the only domain that is not also a subdomain is the root domain. For the purpose of illustration, with the Aviva Directory's blog directory, blogs is a subdomain of avivadirectory, which is itself a subdomain of com, which is itself a subdomain of the unnamed root directory. Theoretically, this subdivision can go 127 levels deep, although that probably wouldn't be practical.

Most domain registrars limit domains to 253 characters.

In 1993, the US Department of Commerce created InterNIC to maintain the central database of registered domain names and associated IP addresses in the United States, while other countries maintain their own Network Information Centers (NICs), which operate similarly. Under a contract from the National Science Foundation, Network Solutions, a member of InterNIC, was chosen to administer and register Internet domain names, and its central database is copied to Top Level Domain (TLD) servers around the world, creating the routing system that is used by every computer that connects to the Internet.

For many years, domain names in the United States could only be registered through Network Solutions. Originally, domain registration was free but, in 1995, the NSF game Network Solutions permission to charge a fee.

When the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was formed in 1998, the domain industry opened up to partial competition, although NSI retained a monopoly on com, net, and org domains, although private registrars may resell these domains.

This category addresses the buying and selling of domain names. Appropriate sites for this category include official domain registries, registrars, and domain parking services, as well as informational sites that are focused on the topic of domains and domain registration.



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