A domain name may be defined as a unique name that identifies a website.
In more complex terms, a domain name is the text equivalent of the Internet protocol number that is assigned to each and every computer that is hooked up to the Internet.
According to the online glossary at www.simplenet.com, a domain name must be unique and users access websites using specific domain names.
Who assigns these domain names? Well, most domain names are assigned by the ICANN or the Internet Corporation for Assigned names and numbers.
This is a private, not for profit organization that oversees the registrations of domain names on the Internet to ensure that some basic standards are complied with.
The ICANN is primarily responsible for the .com, .org and .net domain names.
With over a billion web sites on the Internet, it is only sensible that such an organization exists.
Country specific domain names like .us, .uk, .ca and scores of others also exist.
The one country that probably benefited from the granting of country-specific domain names was Tuvalu (.tv).
Being a domain name that most broadcasting corporations would be sure to want, the .tv domain names began to fetch a good deal of interest and money and the government of Tuvalu reaped the benefits.
Some of the other domain names that are soon becoming popular are .biz, .us, .info and .biz.
Scores of others exist and choosing the right domain name
A directory of accredited registrars of domain names can be accessed from the ICANN website at www.internic.com/alpha.html
But getting a good domain name is no longer an easy task.
The heady dot com days ensured that ALL the words in a standard dictionary have been registered, even if they are not being used.
This has given rise to what has come to be known as ‘cyber squatting’.
This is a domain name crime that occurs when an individual registers a popular business name or trademark and squats on it, in the hope that the original owner of the business by that name will pay a hefty sum of money to acquire that domain name.
When the Internet was still new, certain enterprising youngsters in the US did just this.
They registered the domain names of some of the largest corporations including SONY, the BBC and even CNN and made huge sums of money transferring these domain names to the rightful owners of the businesses.
But since then, most countries of the world have established and implemented Cyber Laws to prevent such instances of cyber squatting.
Nevertheless, the quest for domain names will continue.
Nowadays, it is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to first seek out the availability of a domain name before registering a business.
For the domain name is more than merely a name by which your business, organization or service is known and identified on the Internet.
It is a unique name that will guide business or contacts to your presence on the online world.
And you sure want the best name there is!
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