ICANN stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for the coordination and maintenance of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet. The organization also deals with a variety of other issues regarding the Internet. Essentially however, ICANN manages Internet domain names. If you are an IT beginner interested in acquiring a domain name of your own, you may have noticed that domains are being sold by third-parties everywhere. To learn more about why this is possible and what part ICANN plays in the domain registry process, keep reading below.
What Is A Domain?
For those of you just learning about ICANN, a domain consists of a set of network addresses. Domains are organized in levels. A Top Level Domain identifies geographic root-zone of the namespace. ICANN uses domains to organize the internet. On the web, a domain name is part of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). This is what you type in to visit a website typically created using HTML tm. Domains help the organization, and Internet users, identify the source of certain websites. Some examples of a domain include .gov, .net and .com. Each of these domain names is distributed by this organization for a specific purpose. Now that you know what a domain name is, you can better understand how this non-profit distributes them.
What Is A Registrant?
In the domain registry process there is always a registrant and registrars. The registrant is the person who requests a domain. If you are looking to create your own website, you would act as the registrant. Although ICANN handles domain names, the registrant will often deal with a third-party in the application process. Regardless of whom the registrant deals with, they will be bound to a set of terms and conditions for their domain name. Primarily, this involves the website and its users adhering to a certain code of conduct. Regardless of the terms and conditions ICANN puts forth, the registrant will be the end user of their domain name.
What Are Registrars?
Registrars are organizations that have been accredited by ICANN to sell domains. These third-party organizations are bound to a Registrar Accreditation Agreement. The RAA outlines the responsibilities of a registrar. This agreement is important because, as they are an accredited organization, the third-party seller will be representing ICANN during domain transactions. When you decide to pursue your own domain name to start a blog, you will likely be dealing with a third-party registrar rather than the non-profit itself.
ICANN Domain Name Registration Process
If you are looking to reserve an ICANN domain, you have to register it with one of the thousand ICANN accredited registrars. These registrars will check to see if the domain is available. If so, the registrar will create a WHOIS record with your information. This can also be done through registrar resellers, as well. If you want to register a domain name with ICANN or an accredited reseller, it process is not a difficult one.
What Are Re-Sellers?
In addition to registrars, domain names can also be sold by re-sellers. The key difference between registrars and re-sellers is that re-sellers are often not accredited by ICANN. Instead, re-sellers are affiliated or under contract with registrars. They are required to follow a set of agreements laid out by the registrar, but they are not bound to the non-profit organization in any way. If you are looking to purchase a domain name, it does not matter if it is for Mac vs PC, be sure to consider where you are buying it from. There are plenty of reputable re-sellers out there. However, it may be safer to buy your domain name from an ICANN accredited organization.
How Much Will I Pay?
How much can you expect to pay for ICANN domain names? Will you need to take on a couple IT jobs to make your website a reality? Probably not. Technically, ICANN charges roughly 18 cents for a domain name. However, you will probably wind up paying roughly $10 per year for each domain name in your possession. The markup is due to the multiple registries associated with each domain, like ICANN and Verisign Inc., as well as credit card processing fees. ICANN has started to create new top level domains run by various companies in attempts to increase competition and lower prices. In any case, you can expect to pay roughly $10 a year per ICANN domain.
ICANN has the big task of managing every domain on the internet. Thankfully, they are able to delegate some of the work to reliable third-party organizations. When you register for a domain name of your own, whether it is for a Dead Rising fan website or a new social network, be sure to remember how much work is going on behind-the-scenes for you to make that purchase.
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