Domain name registrar

A domain name registrar is a company that manages the reservation of Internet domain names. A domain name registrar must be accredited by a generic top-level domain (gTLD) registry or a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registry. A registrar operates in accordance with the guidelines of the designated domain name registries.

History

Until 1999, Network Solutions Inc. (NSI) operated the registries for the com, net, and org top-level domains (TLDs). In addition to the function of domain name registry operator, it was also the sole registrar for these domains. However, several companies had developed independent registrar services. In 1996 one such company, NetNames, developed the concept of a standalone commercial domain name registration service which would sell domain registration and other associated services to the public, effectively establishing the retail arm of an industry with the registries being the wholesalers. NSI assimilated this model, which ultimately led to the separation of registry and registrar functions.

In 1997, PGMedia filed an anti-trust suit against NSI citing the DNS root zone as an essential facility, and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) was joined as a defendant in this action.[1] Ultimately, NSI was granted immunity from anti-trust litigation, but the litigation created enough pressure to restructure the domain name market.

In October 1998, following pressure from the growing domain name registration business and other interested parties, NSI's agreement with the United States Department of Commerce was amended.[2] This amendment required the creation of a shared registration system that supported multiple registrars. This system officially commenced service on November 30, 1999 under the supervision of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), although there had been several testbed registrars using the system since March 11, 1999. Since then, over 900 registrars have entered the market for domain name registration services.

Of the registrars who initially entered the market, many have continued to grow and outpace rivals. Go Daddy is the largest registrar, but has very poor reviews from customers. "GoDaddy customers reviews". Other widely-used registrars include eNom, Tucows, Melbourne IT. Registrars who initially led the market but later were surpassed by rivals include Network Solutions and Dotster.

Each ICANN-accredited registrar must pay a fixed fee of US$4,000 plus a variable fee.[3] The sum of variable registrar fees is intended to total US$3.8 million. The competition created by the shared registration system enables end users to choose from many registrars offering a range of related services at varying prices.

Designated registrar

Domain registration information is maintained by the domain name registries, which contract with domain registrars to provide registration services to the public. An end user selects a registrar to provide the registration service, and that registrar becomes the designated registrar for the domain chosen by the user.

Only the designated registrar may modify or delete information about domain names in a central registry database. It is not unusual for an end user to switch registrars, invoking a domain transfer process between the registrars involved, that is governed by specific domain name transfer policies.

When a registrar registers a com domain name for an end-user, it must pay a maximum annual fee of US$7.85[4] to VeriSign, the registry operator for com, and a US$0.18 annual administration fee to ICANN. Most domain registrars price their services and products to address both the annual fees and the administration fees that must be paid to ICANN. Barriers to entry into the bulk registrar industry are high for new companies without an existing customer base.

Many registrars also offer registration through reseller affiliates. An end-user registers either directly with a registrar, or indirectly through one or more layers of resellers. As of 2010, the retail cost generally ranges from a low of about $7.50 per year to about $35 per year for a simple domain registration, although registrars often drop the price far lower – sometimes even free – when ordered with other products such as web hosting services.

The maximum period of registration for a domain name is 10 years. Some registrars offer longer periods of up to 100 years, but such offers involve the registrar renewing the registration for their customer; the 100-year registration would not be in the official registration database.

DNS hosting

Registration of a domain name establishes a set of name server records in the DNS servers of the parent domain, indicating the IP addresses of DNS servers that are authoritative for the domain. This provides a reference for direct queries of domain data.

Registration of a domain does not automatically imply the provision of DNS services for the registered domain. Most registrars do offer DNS hosting as an optional free service for domains registered through them. If DNS services are not offered, or the end-user opts out, the end-user is responsible for procuring or self-hosting DNS services. Registrars require the specification of usually at least two name servers.

DNSSEC support

The Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is a suite of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specifications for securing certain kinds of information provided by the Domain Name System. This involves a registrar processing public key data and creating DS records for addition into the parent zone. All new GTLD registries and registrars must support DNSSEC.

Domain name transfer

A domain name transfer is the process of changing the designated registrar of a domain name. ICANN has defined a Policy on Transfer of Registrations between Registrars.[5] The usual process of a domain name transfer is

  1. The end user verifies that the whois admin contact info is correct, particularly the email address; obtains the authentication code (EPP or UDAI transfer code) from the old registrar, and removes any domain lock that has been placed on the registration. If the whois information had been out of date and is now updated, the end-user should wait 12–24 hours before proceeding further, to allow time for the updated data to propagate.
  2. The end user contacts the new registrar with the wish to transfer the domain name to their service, and supplies the authentication code.
  3. The gaining Registrar must obtain express authorization from either the Registered Name Holder or the Administrative Contact. A transfer may only proceed if confirmation of the transfer is received by the gaining Registrar from one of these contacts. The authorization must be made via a valid Standardized Form of Authorization, which may be sent e.g. by e-mail to the e-mail addresses listed in the WHOIS. The Registered Name Holder or the Administrative Contact must confirm the transfer. The new registrar starts electronically the transfer of the domain with the help of the authentication code (auth code).
  4. The old registrar will contact the end user to confirm the authenticity of this request. The end user may have to take further action with the old registrar, such as returning to the online management tools, to re-iterate their desire to proceed, in order to expedite the transfer.
  5. The old registrar will release authority to the new registrar.
  6. The new registrar will notify the end user of transfer completion. The new registrar may have automatically copied over the domain server information, and everything on the website will continue to work as before. Otherwise, the domain server information will need to be updated with the new registrar.

After this process, the new registrar is the domain name's designated registrar. The process may take about five days. In some cases, the old registrar may intentionally delay the transfer as long as allowable. After transfer, the domain cannot be transferred again for 60 days, except back to the previous registrar.

It is unwise to attempt to transfer a domain immediately before it expires. In some cases, a transfer can take up to 14 days, meaning that the transfer may not complete before the registration expires. This could result in loss of the domain name registration and failure of the transfer. To avoid this, end users should either transfer well before the expiration date, or renew the registration before attempting the transfer.[6]

If a domain registration expires, irrespective of the reason, it can be difficult, expensive, or impossible for the original owner to get it back. After the expiration date, the domain status often passes through several management phases, often for a period of months; usually it does not simply become generally available.[7]

Transfer scams

The introduction of a shared registry system opened up the previous domain registration monopoly to new entities known as registrars, which were qualified by ICANN to do business. Many registrars had to compete with each other, and although some companies offered value added services or used viral marketing, others, such as VeriSign and the Domain Registry of America attempted to trick customers to switch from their current registrar using a practice known as domain slamming.

Many of these transfer scams involve a notice sent in the mail, fax, or e-mail. Some scammers contact end-users by telephone (because the contact information is available through WHOIS) to obtain more information. These notices would include information publicly available from the WHOIS database to add to the look of authenticity. The text would include legalese to confuse the end user into thinking that it is an official binding notice. Scam registrars go after domain names that are expiring soon or have recently expired. Domain name expiry dates are readily available via WHOIS.

Drop catcher

A drop catcher is a domain name registrar who offers the service of attempting to quickly register a given domain name for a customer if that name becomes available—that is, to "catch" a "dropped" name—when the domain name's registration expires and is then deleted, either because the registrant abandons the domain or because the registrant did not renew the registration prior to deletion.

Registrar rankings

Several organizations post market-share-ranked lists of domain name registrars and numbers of domains registered at each. The published lists differ in which top-level domains (TLDs) they use; in the frequency of updates; and in whether their basic data is absolute numbers provided by registries, or daily changes derived from Zone files.

The lists appear to all use at most 16 publicly available generic TLDs (gTLDs) that existed as of December 2009, plus .us. A February 2010 ICANN zone file access concept paper[8] explains that most country code TLD (ccTLD) registries stopped providing zone files in 2003, citing abuse.

Published rankings and reports include:

  • Monthly (but with approximately a three-month delay), ICANN posts registry reports created by the registries of all gTLDs. These reports list absolute numbers of domains registered with each ICANN-accredited registrar.
  • Yearly (but covering only the period from 2002 to 2007), DomainTools.com, operated by Name Intelligence, Inc., published registrar statistics. Totals included .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz and .us. It cited "daily changes" (presumably from daily zone files) as the basis for its yearly aggregates.

See also

References

  1. ^ Clausing, Jeri (19 September 1997) National Science Foundation Is Added to Suit on Domain Names. Partners.nytimes.com. Retrieved on 2013-02-08.
  2. ^ Registrar Accreditation: History of the Shared Registry System. ICANN. Retrieved on 2013-02-08.
  3. ^ "2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement - ICANN". www.icann.org. Archived from the original on 2017-06-07. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  4. ^ Verisign Announces Increase in .com/.net Domain Name Fees (NASDAQ:VRSN). Investor.verisign.com. Retrieved on 2013-02-08.
  5. ^ "Policy on Transfer of Registrations between Registrars". ICANN. 15 March 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  6. ^ My domain expired! what do I do?. dyndns.com
  7. ^ Life Cycle of a Typical gTLD Domain Name. ICANN. Retrieved on 2013-02-08.
  8. ^ "Zone file access concept paper" (PDF). icann.org.

External links

.lu

.lu is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Luxembourg. .lu domains are administered by RESTENA. Since 1 February 2010, the administrative contact no longer needs to be based in Luxembourg.For many years, the application for .lu domains were done only via postal mail or fax. The fees for a .lu second level domain are €40 for the creation (or modification of a contact) and €40 yearly (including VAT). On 18 September 2006, the registry introduced a domain name registrar model. While the classic paper registration is possible, registering with a certified registrar is preferred.

.wtf

.wtf is a generic top-level domain run by Donuts, a domain name registrar. In June 2012, Ryan Singel of Wired predicted no one would ever apply the .wtf domain. Since then, hundreds of thousands of applicants have received approval, and website domains such as TheInternet.wtf (a GIF-sharing site), Looks.wtf (a site showcasing emoticons using combinations of text and emojis), and KEEN.wtf (a Dutch-language topic discussion site), are now available to the public.The Saudi Arabian government objected to this domain, along with other new domain applications, in August 2012.

CentralNic

CentralNic Group PLC is a domain name registry service provider based in London, England that currently manages an array of New gTLDs, ccTLDs and SLDs extensions.CentralNic Group PLC is listed within the AIM market on the London Stock Exchange. The company being registered in England and Wales. With company number 4985780. And VAT registration number 190030448.

Domain name registry

A domain name registry is a database of all domain names and the associated registrant information in the top level domains of the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet that allow third party entities to request administrative control of a domain name. Most registries operate on the top-level and second-level of the DNS.

A registry operator, sometimes called a network information center (NIC) maintains all administrative data of the domain and generates a zone file which contains the addresses of the nameservers for each domain. Each registry is an organization that manages the registration of domain names within the domains for which it is responsible, controls the policies of domain name allocation, and technically operates its domain. It may also fulfill the function of a domain name registrar, or may delegate that function to other entities.Domain names are managed under a hierarchy headed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which manages the top of the DNS tree by administrating the data in the root nameservers.

IANA also operates the int registry for intergovernmental organizations, the arpa zone for protocol administration purposes, and other critical zones such as root-servers.net.

IANA delegates all other domain name authority to other domain name registries.

Country code top-level domains (ccTLD) are delegated by IANA to national registries such as DENIC in Germany and Nominet in the United Kingdom.

Domain parking

Domain parking refers to the registration of an internet domain name without that domain being associated with any services such as e-mail or a website. This may have been done with a view to reserving the domain name for future development, and to protect against the possibility of cybersquatting. Since the domain name registrar will have set name servers for the domain, the registrar or reseller potentially has use of the domain rather than the final registrant.

Domain parking can be classified as monetized and non-monetized. In the former, advertisements are shown to visitors and the domain is "monetized". In the latter, an "Under Construction" or a "Coming Soon" message may or may not be put up on the domain by the registrar or reseller. This is a single-page website that people see when they type the domain name or follow a link in a web browser. Domain names can be parked before a web site is ready for launching.

Domain registration

Domain registration is the process of acquiring a domain name from a domain name registrar.

Domainz

Domainz Limited was the original .nz registry operator and is now an ICANN accredited domain name registrar and web host.

IANA delegated the .nz namespace to John Houlker on 19 January 1987, and the University of Waikato issued .nz domain names and maintained the .nz registry during the early part of Internet availability in New Zealand.

During 1996, as Internet use was flourishing in New Zealand, and operation of the .nz registry was becoming burdensome on the University of Waikato, John Houlker, IANA and The Internet Society of New Zealand (Isocnz) agreed to a redelegation of the .nz name to Isocnz.

The University of Waikato was contracted to continue hosting the .nz namespace until Isocnz was in a position to assume full responsibility for the Domain Name System (DNS).

Isocnz established a subsidiary company “The New Zealand Internet Registry Ltd”, trading as Domainz, to run the .nz registry, on 15 April 1997.

Domainz commenced allocating domain names, to both companies and individuals, evolving what was known as the Domainz Registration System (DRS).

Concern over a new online registry system - which was suffering a welter of problems - and opposition to a lawsuit (against Alan Brown, the founder of ORBS) both being championed by Domainz CEO Patrick O'Brien saw all available Isocnz council seats (and subsequently the Domainz board) filled by "rebel" members in elections in July 2000.The SRS was implemented and became live on 14 October 2002, with Domainz as the sole registrar, acting in a stabilising role, until the first competitive registrar connected to the shared registry on 7 December 2002.

Domainz remained as the stabilising registrar until September 2003.

In September 2003, Domainz was acquired by Australian-based registrar Melbourne IT Limited.

In October 2003 there were in excess of 40 registrars interacting with the .nz Shared Registry System.

DreamHost

DreamHost is a Los Angeles-based web hosting provider and domain name registrar. It is owned by New Dream Network, LLC, founded in 1996 by Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez and Sage Weil, undergraduate students at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, and registered in 1997 by Michael Rodriguez. DreamHost began hosting customers' sites in 1997. In May 2012, DreamHost spun off Inktank. Inktank is a professional services and support company for the open source Ceph file system. In November 2014, DreamHost spun off Akanda, an open source network virtualization project.As of February 2016, Dreamhost employs about 200 employees and has close to 400,000 customers.

Drop registrar

A drop registrar is a domain name registrar who registers expiring Internet domain names immediately after they expire and are deleted by the domain name registry. A drop registrar will typically use automated software to send up to 250 simultaneous domain name registration requests in an attempt to register the domain name first. In recognition of the potential abuse of such a "domain land rush", ICANN and VeriSign limited the number of simultaneous requests to 250 since July 17, 2001.Drop registrars usually work for a domain back-order service, and receive a percentage of the final auction price.

Enom

Enom, Inc. is a domain name registrar and Web hosting company that also sells other products closely tied to domain names, such as SSL certificates, e-mail services, and Website building software. As of May 2016, it manages over 15 million domains.

Host Europe Group

Host Europe Group (formerly Webfusion and GX Networks) is a website hosting, email and domain name registrar company.

Hover (domain registrar)

Hover is a domain name registrar.

Name.com

Name.com is an ICANN accredited domain name registrar and web hosting company based in Denver, Colorado. The company sells DNS domains, web hosting, email services, SSL certificates, and other website products.

Namecheap

Namecheap, Inc. is an ICANN-accredited registrar, which provides services on domain name registration, and offers for sale domain names that are registered to third parties (also known as aftermarket domain names). It is also a web hosting company, based in Phoenix, Arizona. The company claims to manage over 10 million domains.

Network Solutions

Network Solutions, LLC is an American-based technology company and a subsidiary of Web.com, the 4th largest domain name registrar with 6,722,545 .com registrations as of August 2018. In addition to being a domain name registrar, Network Solutions provides web services such as web hosting, website design and online marketing, including search engine optimization and pay per click management.

Peter Sunde

Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi (born 13 September 1978), alias brokep, is a Swedish entrepreneur and politician. Sunde is of Norwegian and Finnish ancestry. He is best known for being a co-founder and ex-spokesperson of The Pirate Bay, a BitTorrent search engine. He is an equality advocate and has expressed concerns over issues of centralization of power to the European Union in his blog. Sunde also participates in the Pirate Party of Finland and describes himself as a socialist. As of April 2017, Sunde has been working on a new venture called Njalla, a privacy oriented domain name registrar.

Second-level domain

In the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy, a second-level domain (SLD or 2LD) is a domain that is directly below a top-level domain (TLD). For example, in example.com, example is the second-level domain of the .com TLD.

Second-level domains commonly refer to the organization that registered the domain name with a domain name registrar. Some domain name registries introduce a second-level hierarchy to a TLD that indicates the type of entity intended to register an SLD under it. For example, in the .uk namespace a college or other academic institution would register under the .ac.uk ccSLD, while companies would register under .co.uk.

Telephone slamming

Telephone slamming is an illegal telecommunications practice, in which a subscriber's telephone service is changed without their consent. Slamming became a more visible issue after the deregulation of the telecommunications industry in the mid-1980s, especially after several brutal price wars between the major telecommunications companies. The term slamming was coined by Mick Ahearn, who was a consumer marketing manager at AT&T in September 1987. The inspiration for the term came from the ease at which a competitor could switch a customer's service away from AT&T by falsely notifying a telephone company that an AT&T customer had elected to switch to their service. This process gave AT&T's competitors a "slam dunk" method for the unauthorized switching of a customer's long distance service. The term slamming became an industry standard term for this practice.Variations of this concept include "merchant account slamming" or "credit card processing slamming" in which a business's debit and credit card processing terminal is reprogrammed so that charges are processed through a different company, and "domain slamming" where an Internet domain name registrar is changed.

Wisehost

Wise Host is a Canadian-based privately owned web hosting company and domain name registrar that provides shared, reseller, and virtual private server (VPS) hosting.

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