What is the domain name system?
The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users to find their way around the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique address – just like a telephone number – which is a rather complicated string of numbers. It is called its “IP address” (IP stands for “Internet Protocol”). IP Addresses are hard to remember. The DNS makes using the Internet easier by allowing a familiar string of letters (the “domain name”) to be used instead of the arcane IP address. So instead of typing 220.127.116.11, you can type www.facebook.com. It is a “mnemonic” device that makes addresses easier to remember.
What does it mean to “register” a domain name?
When you register a domain name, you are inserting an entry into a directory of all the domain names and their corresponding computers on the Internet.
How do I register a domain name?
Domain names ending with .aero, .biz, .com, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .net, .org, or .pro can be registered through many different companies (known as “registrars”) that compete with one another. A listing of these companies appears in the Registrar Directory on this site.
The registrar you choose will ask you to provide various contact and technical information that makes up the registration. The registrar will then keep records of the contact information and submit the technical information to a central directory known as the “registry.” This registry provides other computers on the Internet the information necessary to send you e-mail or to find your web site. You will also be required to enter a registration contract with the registrar, which sets forth the terms under which your registration is accepted and will be maintained.
Will my name and contact information be publicly available?
Information about who is responsible for domain names is publicly available to allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws. The registrar will make this information available to the public on a “Whois” site. It is however possible to register a domain in the name of a third party, as long as they agree to accept responsibility — ask your registrar for further details.
How much does a domain-name registration name cost?
Each registrar sets the price it charges for registering names, and prices vary significantly among different registrars. In addition, some registrars offer discounted or free registration services in connection with other offerings, such as web hosting. To see what offering best meets your needs, you should go to the web sites of several of the registrars listed in the Registrar Directory on this site.
Can I change registrars after registering a domain name?
Yes, you may change the registrar sponsoring your domain name (60 days after intial registration.) For details on the transfer process, contact the registrar you would like to assume sponsorship of the registration.