Understanding Domains

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The hierarchy of labels in a domain name.
This article is about domain names in the Internet.  For other uses, see Domain.

A domain name (for instance, “example.com”) is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control on the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name.

Domain names are used in various networking contexts and application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a web site, or the web site itself or any other service communicated via the Internet.

Domain names are organized in subordinate levels (subdomains) of the DNS root domain, which is nameless. The first-level set of domain names are the top-level domains (TLDs), including the generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as the prominent domains com, info, net, edu, and org, and the country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Below these top-level domains in the DNS hierarchy are the second-level and third-level domain names that are typically open for reservation by end-users who wish to connect local area networks to the Internet, create other publicly accessible Internet resources or run web sites. The registration of these domain names is usually administered by domain name registrars who sell their services to the public.

A fully qualified domain name (FQDN) is a domain name that is completely specified in the hierarchy of the DNS, having no omitted parts.

Domain names are usually written in lowercase, although labels in the Domain Name System are case-insensitive.

Purpose

Domain names serve as humanly memorable names for Internet participants, like computers, networks, and services. A domain name represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource. Individual Internet host computers use domain names as host identifiers, or host names. Host names are the leaf labels in the domain name system usually without further subordinate domain name space. Host names appear as a component in Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) for Internet resources such as web sites (e.g., en.wikipedia.org).

Domain names are also used as simple identification labels to indicate ownership or control of a resource. Such examples are the realm identifiers used in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the Domain Keys used to verify DNS domains in e-mail systems, and in many other Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs).

An important function of domain names is to provide easily recognizable and memorizable names to numerically addressed Internet resources. This abstraction allows any resource to be moved to a different physical location in the address topology of the network, globally or locally in an intranet. Such a move usually requires changing the IP address of a resource and the corresponding translation of this IP address to and from its domain name.

Domain names are used to establish a unique identity. Organizations can choose a domain name that corresponds to their name, helping Internet users to reach them easily. For instance IBM’s web site is at ibm.com, and GNU’s is at gnu.org.

Generic domain names increase popularity. A generic domain name may sometimes define an entire category of business that a company is involved in, rather than being the name of the company. Some examples of generic names include books.com, music.com, travel.com and art.com. Companies have created successful brands based on a generic name, and such generic domain names tend to be very valuable.

Domain names are often referred to simply as domains and domain name registrants are frequently referred to as domain owners, although domain name registration with a registrar does not confer any legal ownership of the domain name, only an exclusive right of use.

The use of domain names in commerce may subject them to trademark law. In 2010, the number of active domains reached 196 million.[1]

 

Qlossal Media/QlossalMedia.com © 2010-2015 Frontier Theme
Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE