domain name system  

Domain Name System


What is the DNS and how does it work?

tlds - top level domains If it weren't for the domain name system (DNS), it would be difficult to do the things we expect our computer to do these days, like contact each other, display email, or open web pages.  We take it for granted, because it seems so easy — but every time we type in a web site address, the Internet Protocol (IP) uses the address as well as the DNS to deliver information from computer to computer.

What, exactly, is a domain name?  Domain names are the text names that correspond to numeric IP addresses of computers connected to the Internet.  Each domain name is unique, and Internet users generally access websites by their domain names.  Mnemonic domain names can provide important clues to the content or branding of a website.  For this reason, memorable domain names, or names associated with popular search terms like business, investing, shopping, or travel, often command high market values.  Domain names ending with the popular .com TLD (top-level domain) extension are the most sought-after, followed by those with other generic TLDs such as .net and .org, and those with country code or regional TLDs like .us, .ca, and .eu.  Because the Internet is growing by leaps and bounds, the domain name system is constantly expanding and new domains are being registered and sold frequently.

entering a domain name url on the World Wide Web How do DNS servers work?  In a nutshell, the web browser matches the requested URL's domain name to an IP address.  The web browser goes first to a local server maintained by your Internet Services Provider (ISP), and if the IP address is also local, the connection is made.  If the connection is not local, the local server contacts the root domain server, which tells the local server where to find the information.  The local name server contacts the primary name server for the information and sends it on to you!

As with any investment commodity, whether it be real estate, rare coins, or corporate stocks, there is a market for domain names.  This market is supported by a number of domain name brokers, who focus on appraising, buying, and selling domain names for corporate buyers, web developers, and domain name investors.  Some domain names, such as,, and, have sold for millions of dollars, and the interest in short, high-quality names remains high.  On this site,, you will find domain name brokers, registrars, and information concerning this sometimes speculative investment vehicle.

Domain Name Registrar Directory

  • InterNIC Registrar Listing
    Accredited registrar directory, sorted alphabetically, by location, and by language.

Domain Name Registrars

  • Network Solutions
    The first and largest registrar of domain names offers a full range of web-related services, including domain names, web sites and e-mail.
    This Internet registrar offers domain name registration, do-it-yourself website templates, hosting, and personalized email.
    This discount domain name registrar offers a simple, efficient user interface as well as grid hosting services.
  • Dotster
    This ICANN-accredited domain name registrar and web hosting company features a range of added-value products and services.
    This discount domain registrar features a broad selection of additional-cost registration options.

Domain Name Brokers

  • Domain Mart
    This domain name broker offers a diversified suite of services including name appraisal and valuation, as well as leasing, parking, protecting, and registering domain names.  Domain Mart also features a domain name marketplace plus transfer and escrow services.
    This domain market-maker offers competitive prices, free add-on services, and a simple sales process.  This domain name broker also features domain registration and hosting services.
  • SnapNames
    Features automated systems and partner relationships that can gain access to the many expiring domain names that become available each day.
  • Sedo
    Global marketplace for buying and selling domain names and websites.  Their network includes domain-oriented sites in five languages and a full range of domain name services.  Domain name auctions, consulting, appraisals, and transfer services are available from this firm.
  • DOTCOM Agency
    This UK-based agency buys and sells premium Dot Com domain names, focusing on names with no numbers or dashes.

Domain Name Information Resources

  • Internet Domain Names
    Introduction to the management of Internet names and addresses.  Published by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration.
    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions.
  • InterNIC Domain Name System
    A non-technical explanation the Domain Name System (DNS) and of why universal domain name resolvability is important.
  • InterNIC Domain Names, Registrars, and Registration
    FAQs on domain names, registrars, the domain name registration process, and the competitive registration environment.
  • DN Journal
    News and analysis of the domain name marketplace, including sales charts, a newsletter, legal issues, and market trends.
  • DnForum
    Domain name forum features wide ranging discussions about many aspects of the domain name market.

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Domain Name System Guide