The Full History of the Domain Name
The Full History of the Domain Name
Domain names are the basics of the Internet, something that we all use on a daily basis. But have you ever asked yourself where the concept of domain names originated? Why do we use them to take us from website to website across the internet’s massive amount of information?
For all of our domain usage and even ownership, most users are unaware of why they began or why we need them to browse the internet. Domain names are part of the internet’s infrastructure and the whole system simply can’t function without them.
But there is much more to know about domains, domain names, and their history, and we’ll cover everything that goes beyond that initial purchase you did as a business owner.
The Previous Version of Domain Names – ARPAnet
A domain name is a string of characters that you use to access items and services on the Internet. Domain names were first used in 1983 with the Domain Name System, and the registration for a domain was not accessible to the general public until February 1986.
Back in the day, your device would connect to various network addresses utilizing a host’s numerical address before the Domain Name System.
The Domain Name System was created because the original Internet’s architecture made it difficult for regular users to operate it frequently. The updated system as we know it today was developed for ARPAnet, a research project sponsored by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The Internet’s foundation, ARPAnet dates back to 1967 and was then published in 1969 by the DARPA organization connecting 4 computers and experimenting with this new concept.
It’s only years later that the Domain Name System took over the internet and we are now able to connect millions of computers on the same server.
Why Do Users Pay for Domain Names?
The DNS became more and more popular throughout the years as the Internet expanded into Europe, South America, and Asia.
The United States Government initially employed Network Solutions Inc. (NSI) to offer free generic top-level domains (gTLDs). However, given their increasing rarity and demand, purchase and renewal fees were later introduced in 1995.
The price began at $100 per two-year registration. However, many industries thought it was too expensive for a product that was initially free of charge. As a result, calls for global regulation and supervision of the DNS grew.
As a result, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was founded. It made domain name registration available to other businesses and to the general public. Today, the cost of the “.com” domain extension has decreased from $50 to as little as $6.95 yearly.
Apart from the product itself, users also pay for securing their domain name. If the domain name does not come with complete security, some other security measure is required, and this is where Web Hosting Providers come in.
A DNS security solution adds an extra layer of protection for users between the Internet and harmful sites by compiling a blacklist of dangerous locations and removing undesirable information.
DNS security will minimize threats and possible malicious assaults on the Domain Name System.
What are TLDs – Top Level Domains
These domains are a one-stop-shop for any business, organization, or individual looking to create an online presence that has a global reach.
Whether you’re a small business looking to expand your brand internationally or a person who spends most of their time on the internet, TLDs are what you need.
Symbolics.com was the first domain name ever registered, and they have an Internet museum dedicated to its history. The general public wouldn’t be able to register a domain name and create a website if it weren’t for these Top-Level Domains and their availability.
There are now hundreds of TLDs on the market to choose from, and many of them are available to anybody who wants to register them.
A Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) is a domain extension that has more than two letters. On the other hand, in the case of a domain extension being 2-words long, it’s a country-code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) and we have more on this below.
The most common TLDs are:
- .com: Commercial focused domains
- .org: Organization focused domains
- .net: Network focused domains
- .int: International focused domains
- .edu: Education focused domains
- .gov: Government focused domains
On the other hand, the country-code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs), include the following:
- .it: Italy
- .fr: France
- .cn: China
- .ca: Canada
- .th: Thailand
- .au: Australia
- .us: United States of America
Blockchain domains, also called NFT domains, are the latest trend online and we can easily understand why.
Users can now purchase and own their domain for life without having to go through web hosting companies. Other than avoiding renewal fees, NFT domains cannot be seized from the owner and are not centralized, meaning that they are not officially listed at a government level.
Unlike gTLDs and ccTLDs, blockchain domains do not end by country codes or abbreviations, but by other codes such as:
Of course, since these are fairly recent to the market, the domain extensions are limited but many more will be introduced soon.
Domain names are an important part of the internet, and our guide provides a helpful overview of their history.
We learned about how domain names work, the different types of domain names available, and some interesting facts about some well-known domains. You should now be able to understand the .com domain name and its significance in our online world today.
Of course, with millions of NFT domains coming to the market, it will be interesting to see how the domain name system continues to evolve in the future!
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