History of Domain Names

The use of domain names

The Internet's domain name system or DNS for short allows users the preferred method of access to websites and other forms of information using an easier approach like domain names (e.g. www.namhost.com) rather than the all numeric IP addresses (e.g. 184.172.214.167) assigned to each computer on the Internet.

Each domain name is made up of a series of character strings separated by dots. The last set of characters in a domain name is reserved for the top level domain or TLD for short.

The responsibility for operating all these TLDs is delegated to a particular organization or sub organisation referred to as registrars.

gTLD or Generic Top level domains

In the 1980s, seven gTLDs were created to meet the previously mentioned purposes. Three of these domain names may be registered (.com, .net and .org) without restriction; the other four have limited purposes.

Domains without restriction:

.com
- The domain name com is a name derived from the word commercial.
.net
- The domain name net is a name derived from the word network.
.org
- The domain name org is a name derived from the word organization.

Domains which carry various restriction on their use:

.edu
- The domain name edu is a name derived from the word educational.
.gov
- The domain name gov is a name derived from the word government.
.int
- The domain name int is a name derived from the word international.
.mil
- The domain name mil is a name derived from the word military.

In the years that followed there were various discussions concerning additional gTLDs, leading to the new selection of seven new TLDs in late November 2000 but these were only introduced in 2001 through to 2002.

Four of these TLDs (.biz, .info, .name, and .pro) are not sponsored. The remaining three (.aero, .coop, and .museum) are sponsored.

Non sponsored domains:

.biz
- The domain name biz is a name derived from the word business.
.info
- The domain name info is a name derived from the word information.
.name
- The domain name "name" is intended use by individuals.
.pro
- The domain name pro is a name derived from the word professional indicating its intended use by certified professionals.

Note: Non sponsored TLD operates under policies established by the global Internet community directly through ICANN.

Sponsored domains:

.aero
- The domain name aero is a name derived from the word aeronautics indicating its intended use by in aviation related fields.
.coop
- The domain name coop is a name derived from the word cooperatives indicating its indented use by wholly owned subsidiaries and other organizations that exist to promote or support co-operatives.
.museum
- The domain name museum it indented for associations, and individual members of the museum profession.

By 2003, ICANN initiated a process that resulted in the introduction of six new TLDs (.asia, .cat, .jobs, .mobi, .tel and .travel) that are sponsored domains.

Sponsored domains:

.asia
- The domain name asia serves as a regional domain for companies, organizations and individuals based in the region of Asia, Australia, and the Pacific.
.cat
- The domain name cat serves to highlight the Catalan language and culture.
.jobs
- The domain is restricted to employment related sites.
.mobi
- The domain name mobi is a name derived from the adjective mobile indicating its use by mobile devices.
.tel
- The domain name tel serve as a single point of contact for individuals and businesses, providing a global contact directory service.
.travel
- The domain name travel serves as the name suggests, the intended and restricted use by travel agents, airlines, bed and breakfast operators, tourism bureaus, and others in the travel industry.

ccTLDs or Country code Top level domains

A ccTLD is intended or generally used or reserved for a country, a sovereign state, or a dependent territory.

All ccTLD identifiers are two letters long and all two letter top level domains are ccTLDs.

Due to various changes in country related ccTLDs being dropped or assigned to other territories because of changes world wide, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority started implementing internationalized country code TLDs consisting of language native characters. Their is how ever various ccTLDs that refrain from this specification namely Great Britain which uses the .uk TLD instead of the .gb assigned TLD.

For a list of all the available domain name extensions for registration, please refer to our rates page.