What is a domain name registrar ?
In previous articles, we gone through some of the important web hosting related concepts including what adomain nameanddomain name serveris. Most importantly, each domain name must be unique.
We have also introduced the Internet Corporation on Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization that is tasked with keeping track of billions of domain names and ensures that each registered domain name is unique through the Domain Name System.
But how does one actually register a desired domain name with ICANN and be listed in its databases?
It is however impractical for ICANN to perform this mammoth task on its own so it allows other for-profit companies called domain name registrars to assist it in the discharge of this duty.
ICANN then charges them a yearly accreditation fee and other variable fees to maintain the record of each domain name registered through them in its database.
Simply put, a domain name registrar is an organization that provides domain registration services. Each legitimate registrar must be accredited with the ICANN by entering into an officialRegistrar Accreditation Agreementwith it.
The agreement details the various obligations that both the ICANN and registrar must perform in the provision of domain registration services.
ICANN maintains a list of accredited registrars that you can viewhere.
The fees and services provided by registrars vary from company to company but are generally inexpensive. Before a new domain name can be registered, it is first checked against existing names in ICANN’s DNS databases and will only be available if it has not already been registered by someone else.
ICANN presently requires certain contact particulars including the mailing address, email address and phone numbers of the domain owners to be made publicly available through WHOIS directories.
Anyone can go to a free WHOIS search engine likewhois.netand check on the identity of party that has registered a domian name.
For an additional fee, most domain name registrars provide domain name privacy by acting as a proxy for domain name owners so that their private information is withheld. When someone does a check, all the particulars of the owners will replaced with that of the registrar.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions in relation to the provision of domain registration services so that you actually own the domain name as some registrars maintain control over the domains that they register.
In the nextpage, we will go through step-by-step on how to register your own domain name.
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