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Help Center / What is a Domain Name?

A domain name represents a physical point on the Internet — an IP address. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) governs coordination of the links between IP addresses and domain names across the Internet. With this standardized coordination, you can find websites on the Internet by entering domain names instead of IP addresses into your Web browser.

Here’s an example: Think of a street address for a house or business — let’s say the White House. The street address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is an exact location — like an IP address. You might not know the exact street address, but when you visit Washington, D.C., you can tell your cabbie that you want to visit the White House and still get there. This is how a domain name is used: It’s an easy way to reach the exact location of a website without having to remember the numeric address.

A domain name consists of, at least, a top-level and a second-level domain. See What are top-level domains (TLD) and country code top-level domains (ccTLD)? and What are second-level domains (SLD) and country code second level domains (ccSLD)? for information on these terms. Domain names must be registered with an ICANN-accredited registrar. We are an ICANN-accredited registrar, and you can register domain names through us.

Many TLDs, also called extensions, can be registered by anyone. The extensions .com, .net, and .org are good examples that anyone can register.

Others, primarily country-code extensions (ccTLDs), have residency requirements — like .eu (representing the European Union) and .us (representing the United States).

Still others, like .aero, .biz, .edu, .mil, .museum, .name, and .pro, are restricted to a certain type of entity or community — like .edu, which is reserved for educational entities and .gov, which is reserved for government agencies.

Posted in: Domains

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