01 Aug 2014 17:53 CEST 

About domains and top level domains

 
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Domain name, domain address or domain - these are all different terms for the same thing: the way in which computers connected to the Internet are named and grouped together.

A domain name may contain a hyphen, but may neither start nor finish with one. The domain name may often consist solely of the letters a to z (small and capital letters are treated the same) and the numerals 0 to 9. More and more top level domains, however, allow so-called IDNs (Internationalised Domain Names), an Internet standard for the use of characters in domain names that are not found in the English alphabet, such as the letters åäö, for example. Feel free to use our IDN converter!

The letters following the final dot are called the top level domain. Often, the top level domain is a country code. For example, the country code for the United Kingdom is UK and for the Republic of Ireland it is IE. The country code follows the ISO standard and is therefore the same as that used for postcodes. Besides the usual country codes there are also some other top level domains, for example COM (commercial), intended for companies, GOV (government) for state authorities, EDU (educational) for educational organisations and MIL (military), reserved for the military. The top level domains EDU, GOV and MIL are reserved for users in the USA in accordance with specific rules, but other top level domains such as COM, NET, ORG, BIZ and INFO are available to all. The term Top Level Domain is usually abbreviated to TLD.
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