Summary of Facts About Domain Names, Registrars, and Registries
Prepared by Prof. Ellis Horowitz
June 30, 2000
- What is InterNIC?
InterNIC is one of the original organizations that maintained a list
of domain names. Though InterNIC is essentially dormant, its site still exists and is
hosted by Network Solutions, Inc. on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Of value is the InterNIC FAQ which
describes what a domain name is and how it gets registered and the
InterNIC Whois Service
- What is ICANN?
In Oct. 1998, the United States Department of Commerce ("DoC") and
Network Solutions, Inc. ("NSI")
amended their cooperative agreement, under which NSI had been the sole
registrar and registry administrator for
the .com, .net, and .org top-level domains.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers (ICANN) is the non-profit
corporation that was formed (in Nov. 1998) to assume
responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol
parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server
system management functions previously performed under U.S. Government
contract by IANA and other entities.
- ICANN has three supporting organizations:
- The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) is concerned with the system of IP
addresses, such as 188.8.131.52, that uniquely identify the Internet's networked
- The Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) is concerned with the domain name system (DNS),
the system of names commonly used to identify Internet locations and resources.
The DNS translates heirarchically-structured, easy-to-remember names (like www.icann.org) into IP addresses that have been
assigned to specific computers.
- The Protocol Supporting Organization (PSO) is concerned with the assignment of unique parameters for
Internet protocols, the technical standards that let computers exchange information and manage communications
over the Internet.
- ICANN Approves all Registrars
- Search the NIC GOV WhoIs Database
- Search the NIC MIL WhoIs Database
- Search the NIC WhoIs Database
- Domain Name Registration.
gTLD stands for "global top-level domains". There are three types: open, restricted, and
country-coded. These are described below.
- Open generic TLDs - gTLDs
To register a domain name in the .com, .net, or .org domains, one can use any
of the ICANN Accredited Registrars
- Restricted generic TLDs - gTLDs
- The .gov domain is reserved exclusively for the United States Government.
- The .mil domain is reserved exclusively for the United States Military.
- The .edu domain is registered only through Network Solutions.
- The .int domain is used only for registering organizations
established by international treaties between governments or Internet infrastructure databases
(for example to do address to name lookups based on NSAPs). See also,
- Country code TLDs - ccTLDs