What Exactly is a Domain Name?

By Raju

March 7, 2022

domain name, Domain Registration

A domain name is a text string that corresponds to a numeric IP address used to access a website from client software or application.

So what exactly is a domain name? 

A domain name is a string of text that users type into a browser window to access a specific website.

For example, Amazon’s domain name is ‘amazon.com.’

The actual address is a long and complicated numerical IP address (e.g. Nonetheless, DNS allows users to enter human-friendly domain names and be directed to websites. This is referred to as a DNS lookup.

Who owns the domain names?

Domain registries manage all domain names and delegate domain names to registrars. A domain name can be registered with a registrar by anyone who wants to create a website. There are currently over 320 million registered domain names.

What’s the difference between a domain name and a URL?

A uniform resource locator (URL), sometimes called a web address, contains the domain name of a site and other information, including the transfer protocol and the path. For example, in the URL ‘https://fastwebhost.in/web-hosting.html’, ‘fastwebhost.in’ is the domain name, while ‘HTTPS’ is the protocol and ‘/webhosting.html’ is the path to a specific page on the website.

What are the parts of a domain name?

Domain names are divided into two or three parts, each separated by a dot. When reading right-to-left, the identifiers in domain names go from most general to most specific.

The section to the right of the last dot in a domain name is the top-level domain (TLD). These include the 'generic' TLDs such as '.com', '.net', and '.org', as well as country-specific TLDs like '.co.in' and '.in'.

The left of the TLD is the second-level domain (2LD), and if there is anything to the left of the 2LD, it is called the third-level domain (3LD). Let’s look at a couple of examples:

For Google’s US domain name, ‘google.com’:

  • ‘.com’ is the TLD (most general)
  • ‘Google’ is the 2LD (most specific)

But for Google India domain name, 'google.co.in':

  • ' .com' is the TLD (most general)
  • ' .co.in'* is the 2LD
  • ' Google' is the 3LD (most specific)

How do you keep a domain name safe?

When a domain name is registered with a domain registrar, such as Fastwebhost, that registrar is in charge of everything. 

For example, notifying the registrant when their domain name is about to expire and giving them the option to renew to avoid losing their domain name.

It is critical to choose an honest and trustworthy registrar to avoid domain fraud and security breaches.

Otherwise, your domain will be fraudulently registered, and you won't be able to safeguard your rights.

Domain registration services are provided by numerous companies, so it can be challenging to discover the best option for you. How do you know which registrar to pick? 

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