About Domain Names
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All you ever wanted to know about Domain Names!

OK... The answer is "business.com" sold for $7.5 million in late 1999. In May of 1985 there was only one .com domain registered (think.com). In October, the second .com domain was registered. By October of 1991, there were 165 .com, 22 .org, 20 .net, 285 .edu and 3 .us domains registered. Two years later, there were approximately 600 .coms registered. By 1995, the number of registered domains was at 6000, and two years later the number topped 22,000. Now, there have been over 15 million domain names registered to date, including well over 9 million names ending in .com...

Now that that's out of the way let's get down to business...

So what is a domain name? Let's equate a domain name with a persons name in a phone book. If you want to call someone you look their phone number up in a phone book. Just imagine what it would be like if there were just numbers... Unless you knew the person and they gave you their phone number it would be impossible to find their number.

This leads us to DNS (Domain Name System). What is DNS? DNS is A database system that translates a domain name into an IP address. For example, a domain name like goaskal.net translates into an IP address of Every time you use a domain name, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. IP stands for internet protocol (the protocol used to route a data packet from its source to its destination over the internet). The DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn't know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned. Going back to the phone number example above, DNS acts like an electronic phone book which not only finds the number but dials it also.

Whew... So far so good... Now your asking how the DNS is handled. It is handled through nameservers designated as NS. Nameservers are computers that translate a numeric address assigned to every computer connected to the internet (IP Address= internet protocol address->the protocol used to route a data packet from its source to its destination over the internet) into the domain names we are all familiar with. These are broken down into primary nameservers and secondary nameservers. The Primary nameserver contains authoritative information for the domain name and is used to resolve that domain name to its corresponding IP number(s). The designation of "primary" means that this name server will be used first and will be relied upon before any of the other name servers.  Secondary nameservers are used in addition to and as a backup for the primary name server.

Nameservers come into play after you have your domain name and you get ready to host a web site using your new domain name. Who ever you decide to use as you7 HSP (hosting service provider) will tell you what nameservers you should point to. They will look something like NS.apbsc.com and NS2.apbsc.com. The one with the NS designation will be the primary nameserver. All the others will be secondary nameservers.

Do I need a domain name? Well why not? They are relatively inexpensive, $10-$35 per year. It will give you the ability to have an Email address @your-domain.com/net instead of @lycose or @yahoo or @aol. If you own a business you absolutely need one! There isn't a less expensive way to advertise anywhere. Want to start a business? Whay not start an internet business with your own domain name?

How do I pick a domain name? What's the best name for me? Should I get a .com. .net, .biz, etc.? For starters check out my USA Top Level Domain Name Index or the Country Top Level Domain Name Index for descriptions of the different designations.