What is Domain Name and its Different Types?

Welcome to the beginners guide about what is domain name and its different types. Here you also learn more details about the Domain name system(DNS).  

What is Domain name? 

Domain names are the address of a website or a web page on the internet. The Domain Name System (DNS) is the phone book of the internet. Whenever you type in a domain name to visit a website or a page on the internet, your computer uses the Domain Name System (DNS) to look up the IP address of the website or page you are trying to reach. 

For example Domain names are the Internet equivalent of real-world street addresses. Just like a person needs a street address to receive mail, websites need domain names to be accessible on the Internet. If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, chances are you’ve already chosen a domain name for your website.  If you want to get a domain name, you can do so by registering a domain name with a domain name registrar like Godaddy, NameClues or NameCheap. 

What is the Domain Name System (DNS)? 

When you visit a website, your computer has to look up the numerical IP address of the server where the site is hosted before it can connect to it. The Internet’s equivalent of a phone book, called the domain name system (DNS), makes this possible. It’s a massive database that correlates IP addresses with the domain names we’re all familiar with, so that when you enter a domain name into your browser, you’re actually requesting the numerical addressing of a server. A DNS server—usually run by your Internet service provider (ISP), your company, or your school—will then translate that name into its corresponding IP address, and point your browser to the correct server. 

What is the Purpose of ICANN? 

ICANN —or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — oversees the domain name system, or DNS. DNS servers are what make it possible to type in “google.com” and have it look up the IP address of the server the Google website is hosted on. The ICANN Foundation (ICANN), a non-profit group, was set up to oversee the domain name system. Its mission is “to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.” ICANN ensures the Internet’s domain name system continues to function smoothly and to evolve to meet the needs of the ever-growing Internet. 

Different Types of Domain Names 

Generally, domain names are divided into two main categories: country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs), generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and Sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLDs). ccTLDs are country-specific, and gTLDs are not. 

Here we look into more details 

Top-Level Domains (TLD’s) 

Top-level domains are the highest level domains which are used for top level country codes or generic top level or non-country specific domain names (e.g., .com, .org, .net). they are generally referred to as TLD’s. In most cases, they are the top-level domains of the internet, used to separate and distinguish the types of sites that are hosted on the internet.  

There are over one hundred TLDs in the world today, each one identifying a unique online community; there are also some generic TLDs that are shared by many countries. Top-level domains are governed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This group is responsible for the creation and administration of domain names. 

Country code Top-level domains (ccTLDs) 

Example country code top level domains are .in for India, .uk for united kingdom. 

The ccTLD stands for Country Code Top Level Domain. These organizations are divided into five regions that comprise the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Each of these regions is further sub-divided into countries, states, regions, cities, and other autonomous areas that have been granted permission for ccTLDs. 

Sponsored Top Level Domains – sTLD’s 

A Sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLD) is a top level domain that is sponsored by a person or organization. The owners of the domain name are responsible for the operation of the domain and also set the policies on the domain. 

For example, government organizations use .govt and education institutions use .edu, and more. 

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About Prabhu Ganesan

Prabhu Ganesan is a technology blogger with years of experience under his belt. He has been writing for websites, covering software, and technology news for the past few years.

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