A domain name is essentially the virtual world equivalent of a physical address. A domain name is formed of two parts. For example, the domain name 'mybusiness.com' consists of the website’s name 'mybusiness' and the domain name extension 'com' [ a.k.a. top level domain or TLD ]. Furthermore, the extension part is split in two categories known as 'generic' and 'country code' commonly reffered to as 'gTLD' and 'ccTLD' respectively. You may register [ subject to availability ] the desired name let's say 'mybusiness' under any extension, be it 'com' , 'net' . 'us' 'uk' etc.

The process to register a domain name involves 2 or 3 parties [ whose rights and activities are regulated by a global entity called ICANN ] and those are: the 'REGISTRY', the 'REGISTRAR' and the 'REGISTRANT'. The 'REGISTRY' is the entity responsible with the administration of one or more extensions [ .COM, .NET. US. UK etc. ] and the one who provides the underlying infrastructure and knowledge to the 'REGISTRAR' and 'REGISTRANT'.

The 'REGISTRAR' is the ACREDITED entity that provides the service of domain name registration to the 'REGISTRANT'. A 'REGISTRY' may also allow direct registration of domain names by the end user [ the 'REGISTRANT' ], therefore a 'REGISTRANT' may take on the role of the 'REGISTRAR' although that will not bestow upon it the 'ACREDITED' status.

'ACREDITED REGISTRAR' is a very hard and for most, prohibitively expensive status to attain, that requires alongside a lengthy, technically demanding, accreditation process, a payment of over 150K USD licensing fees. [ Add to this the cost of infrastructure and manpower required to run it, and you can see why ] - Finally, there's the 'REGISTRANT'. Anyone who intends to, or did register one [ or several ] domain names, under any desired extension.

You can check the availability of your desired name by using any of the many domain name checking tools [ ours included ] available on the websites of domain registrars and web hosting providers [ like ourselves ]. All you need to do is to type in your desired Domain Name along with or without the Top Level Domain extension that you want to use, such as 'COM' , 'NET' , 'US' , 'UK' etc. If the name is already registered, you’ll be told that it’s taken. Name check tools typically offer a number of similar alternative names, along with choices of available extensions, so you may be able to secure the name you want with only a few tweaks, or the choice of an extension other than the highly desirable and very familiar 'COM'.

When the name you want is marked available, you can take the next step in the registration process. Click, register and you will be provided with a form to submit some information about yourself as the registrant. Registrars typically request standard contact information such as a physical address, phone number, and email address. This information goes into a WHOIS database, which stores contact information about domain registrants and makes it available to the public, so that anyone can look up the owner of a domain. If you are worried about privacy, many registrars [ including ourselves ] offer privacy protection packages for a small fee.

To complete the domain name registration process, you’ll be asked to sign a contract. It generally contains provisions about things like transferring your domain from one registrar to another, or limits on the length of time a domain can be registered [ typically one, three, five and in some cases up to 10 years ], and then pay the required fees for your chosen term. Although people speak about “buying” a domain name, in reality, users are simply paying for its use for a particular period of time. If a domain name isn’t renewed it would lapse and become available again.

An Internet records listing that identifies who owns a domain. WHOIS records are an extremely useful and essential resource for maintaining the integrity of the domain name registration and ownership process. A WHOIS record contains all of the contact information associated with the person, group, or company that registers a particular domain name. Typically, each WHOIS record will contain information, such as the name and contact information of the REGISTRANT [ who owns the domain ], the name and contact information of the REGISTRAR [ the organization or commercial entity that registered the domain name on behalf of the registrant ], the registration dates, the name servers, the most recent update, and the expiration date.

WHOIS records may also provide the administrative and technical contact information [ which is sometimes, but not always, the registrant ]. Note: Although we offer [ as many others ] private registration services [ also known as proxy services or 'privacy protection' ] in which the registrar's contact information is shown, and not that of the registrant, it is important to note that even if domain 'privacy protection' services are leveraged, it is not necessarily a guarantee of true anonymity. Registrars [ including ourselves ] may be bound by law to release private information. Therefore, this type of service is entirely optional [ since it is of questionable real value in practice ] and the decision on whether this is a feature you need added or not, to your domain registration data, rest entirely with you.

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