Currently a 1 Year Domain Name registeration is between $6.99 - $29.99
Each string of letters, digits and hyphens between the dots is called a label in the parlance of the domain name system (DNS). Valid labels are subject to certain rules, which have relaxed over the course of time. Originally labels must start with a letter, and end with a letter or digit; any intervening characters may be letters, digits, or hyphens. Labels must be between 1 and 63 characters long (inclusive). Letters are ASCII A–Z and a–z; domain names are compared case-insensitively. Later it became permissible for labels to commence with a digit (but not for domain names to be entirely numeric), and for labels to contain internal underscores, but support for such domain names is uneven. These are the rules imposed by the way names are looked up ("resolved") by DNS. Some top level domains (see below) impose more rules, such as a longer minimum length, on some labels. Fully qualified domain names (FQDNs) are sometimes written with a final dot.
Translating numeric addresses to alphabetical ones, domain names allow Internet users to localize and visit Web sites. Additionally since more than one IP address can be assigned to a domain name, and more than one domain name assigned to an IP address, one server can have multiple roles, and one role can be spread among multiple servers. One IP address can even be assigned to several servers, such as with anycast and hijacked IP space.
The following example illustrates the difference between a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and a domain name:
As a general rule, the IP address and the server name are interchangeable. For most Internet services, the server will not have any way to know which was used. However, the explosion of interest in the Web means that there are far more Web sites than servers. To accommodate this, the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) specifies that the client tells the server which name is being used. This way, one server with one IP address can provide different sites for different domain names. This feature goes under the name virtual hosting and is commonly used by Web hosts.
For example, the server at 126.96.36.199 handles all of the following sites:
When a request is made, the data corresponding to the hostname requested, is served to the user.
Domain names which are theoretically leased can be considered in the same way as real estate, due to a significant impact on online brand building, advertising, search engine optimization, etc.
A few companies have offered low-cost, below-cost or even free domain registrations, with a variety of models adopted to recoup the costs to the provider. These usually require that domains are hosted on their site in a framework or portal, with advertising wrapped around the user's content, revenue from which allows the provider to recoup the costs. When the DNS was new, domain registrations were free. A domain owner can generally give away or sell infinite subdomains of their domain, e.g. the owner of example.edu could provide domains that are subdomains, such as foo.example.edu and foo.bar.example.edu.
Uses and Abuses
The popularity of domain names also led to uses which were regarded as abusive by established companies with trademark rights; this was known as cybersquatting, in which somebody took a name that resembled a trademark in order to profit from traffic to that address. To combat this, various laws and policies were enacted to allow abusive registrations to be forcibly transferred, but these were sometimes themselves abused by overzealous companies committing reverse domain hijacking against domain users who had legitimate grounds to hold their names, such as their being generic words as well as trademarks in a particular context, or their use in the context of fan or protest sites with free speech rights of their own.
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