What is a
Domain names are the familiar, easy-to-remember
names you find on the Internet, such as
Domain names correspond to a series of numbers
called Internet Protocol numbers (or IP addresses)
that serve as routing addresses on the Internet.
Imagine if people identified themselves by their
phone numbers instead of their names. Domain names
fill a similar purpose on the Internet and are much
easier to remember than a series of numbers.
Domain names identify a specific network location
on the Internet. It is your identity on the Internet
and provides you with an address that other Internet
users can use to find you on the World Wide Web.
Here are some domain names you might be familiar
pinet.com.ng.ng - Pinet Informatics Limited.
linux.org - Linux Online Inc.
microsoft.net - Microsoft Corporation
cira.ca - the Canadian Internet Registration
What is an IP
Every computer on the Internet has a numeric address
called an IP Address, which is used to identify the
location of the computer. An example of an IP
address is 188.8.131.52. Each domain name replaces
this string of numbers with a simple word or
expression. Having a domain name means you don't
have to remember a cumbersome numeric address.
What is a DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name Server (also referred to
as Domain Name Service or Domain Name System). A DNS
translates domain names into IP addresses. If
someone wants to access Pinet's web site (www.pinet.com.ng),
the DNS translates the domain name into its
corresponding IP address 184.108.40.206, allowing
the computer to locate Pinet's web server.
What is a URL?
URL stands for Universal Resource Locator and is a
unique identifier for your web address. Your URL
contains your domain name. An example of a URL is
No two web sites can have the same URL. Whoever
registers a domain name first gets to use it in
their URL. This is why it is important to register
your domain name before someone else does.
What are the
components of a domain name?
A top-level domain (TLD) refers to the suffix
attached to Internet domain names. The most common
top-level domains used on the Internet are .com,
.net and .org.
Country Code Top-Level Domains:
Two letter top-level domains, such as .ca .uk, .de
and .jp, are called country code top level domains
(ccTLDs) and correspond to a country, territory or
other geographic location. The rules and policies
for registering domain names in the ccTLDs vary
significantly from country to country and may be
reserved for use by citizens of the corresponding
country. Pinet offers .ca registration.
The body of a domain name is called the
second-level domain. In pinet.com.ng, "Pinet"
represents a second-level domain within the top
level domain of .com.ng.
You can also put another word in front of the
second level domain. For example,
information.pinet.com.ng. or henry.pinet.com.ng.
In these examples the words "information" and "henry"
are called "host" names or a "sub-domains". You do
not need to register a host or sub-domain with a
The entity, organization, or individual listed as
the legal holder of the domain name is known as the
What is a
The organization responsible for the actual
registration of the domain name is known as the
What is a
Registry?/ What is ICANN?
Formed in October 1998, the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit,
private sector corporation formed by a broad co-alition
of the Internet's business, technical, academic, and
user communities. ICANN has been recognized by the
U.S. Government as the global consensus entity to
coordinate the technical management of the
Internet's domain name system, the allocation of IP
addresses, the assignment of protocol parameters,
and the management of the root server system.
ICANN is dedicated to preserve the operational
stability of the Internet; to promote competition;
to achieve broad representation of the global
Internet community; and to coordinate policy through
private sector, bottom-up, consensus-based means.
ICANN is located at http://www.ICANN.org.
The Canadian equivalent for .ca domain names, the
Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is
located at http://www.cira.ca.
What is an
The Administrative Contact is the person or
organization authorized by the domain name
Registrant to act on behalf of the legal entity
listed as the owner of the domain name. The
Administrative Contact should be able to answer
non-technical questions about the legal entity's
plans for using the domain name and the procedures
for establishing sub-domains.
What is a
The Billing Contact is the person or organization
that will be invoiced for registrations and renewals
of the domain name.
What is a
The Technical Contact is the person or organization
that maintains the domain name Registrant's primary
name server and resolves software, and database
files. The Technical Contact keeps the name server
running and interacts with technical people in other
domains to solve problems that affect the domain
name. An Internet Service Provider often performs
this role. If the Technical or Billing Contact
information is missing from the Registration
Agreement, it is presumed that the domain name
Registrant has authorized the Administrative
Contact/Agent to act as the Technical Contact.
In many cases, a single person will be the
registrant and sole contact for a domain name.