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What is a domain name?

A unique number, called an IP address, identifies all computers on the Internet. This IP address consists of four sets of numbers such as "".  While it is a unique number, it is not very memorable.   To make a web server easier to find and remember, its IP address can be linked to a friendly domain name, such as "". These domain names are stored in Domain Name Servers (DNS).  When you type in a web address, your browser asks the nearest DNS if there is an IP address linked to it, and if there is, the DNS directs your browser to it.  

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the private sector, non-profit corporation created in 1998 to assume responsibility for Domain names.   VeriSign is the authorized directory provider of all .com, .net, .cc, and .tv domain names. VeriSign Domain Name Registry Services manages the core domain name business as the registry for over 40 million domain names.

If available, a Domain name must be purchased and registered.  The registry fee for the Domain name is yearly, though it may be purchased for several years at once.

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