What is a domain name

Every house, company and organisation has an address. And that is a good thing. With an address you can receive mail and you can be found by people. That works the same in Internet. To find a website, you need its address. An address on the Internet is called a domain. Some examples of domains are edis.at, wikipedia.org and youtube.com
Domain names are invented to make the Internet more userfriendly. All computers and servers connected to the Internet to communicate with each other via IP-addresses. Behind every domain on the Internet an IP-address is hidden. When you visit a website, for example firmenbuch.at, your PC connects to the unique IP number of the site.
We humans can remember names much better than numbers. Therefore it was decided to link the IP-addresses to real names. A domain name is an understandable, searchable webaddress that is linked to a technical numberseries.

The Structure

A domain name consists of two parts: a name section (also known as Second-Level Domain or SLD) and an extension (TLD or Top Level Domain). With domain name edis.at 'edis' is the name and ".at" the extension. The full address of a Web site that is listed in the browser (in the case of this site so http://support.edis.at) is called a URL.

Limited lifespan

When someone registers a domain name, it means that he or she gets the exclusive use rights for the duration of the registration. The person is not the permanent owner of the domain name. After a period of mostly 1 or 2 years the domain registration can be prolongued (renewed). Most ISPs do the domain renewal automatically. Domain name registrants can also sell the exclusive use rights to another registrant or simply not renew the domain. In the latter case, the domain name will be deleted and can again be claimed by another interested party.

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