ICANN is the acronym for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which is a non-profit organization that is in charge of maintaining and coordinating the Internet, namely the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and the Domain Name System (DNS).
In order to better understand ICANN, its responsibilities and its future, there a few other acronyms to become familiar with:
DNS – Domain Name System, a global naming system that translates numerical IP addresses to domain names
IANA – Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, a part of ICANN that performs technical services critical to maintaining the DNS
TLD – Top-Level Domain, includes .com, .org, country codes such as .uk and mx and other suffixes.
And for this post, it’s all about domains. From registrations, the available TLDs, transfers and renewals.
How do I register a domain name?
Domain names can be registered through many different companies (known as “registrars”) that compete with one another.
The registrar you choose will ask you to provide various contact and technical information that makes up the registration. The registrar will then keep records of the contact information and submit the technical information to a central directory known as the “registry.” This registry provides other computers on the Internet the information necessary to send you e-mail or to find your web site.
There are now also many different top-level domains (TLDs) in which domain names can be registered. Refer to your respective domain registrar for the TLDs available to be registered with them.
What are the rules for registration of .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .org, and .pro names?
Please contact your registrar for more information or visit the Registry websites listed below.
- The .biz domain, operated by NeuStar, Inc., is restricted to businesses.
- The .com domain, operated by VeriSign, Inc., is a generic top-level domain originally intended for commercial businesses around the world.
- The .info domain, operated by Afilias Limited, is an unrestricted domain for websites containing information about you, your organization, your products or any other information you’d like to make available to a global audience.
- The .name domain, operated by VeriSign, Inc., is reserved for individuals.
- The .net domain, operated by VeriSign, Inc., is a generic top-level domain used by many types of organizations and individuals globally; it was historically intended for and is still commonly used by Internet service providers.
- The .org domain, operated by Public Interest Registry, is unrestricted, but was intended to serve the noncommercial community.
- The .pro domain, operated by Afilias plc, is restricted to certified professionals and related entities.
What are the rules for registration of .aero, .coop, and .museum names?
The .aero, .coop, and .museum TLDs are sponsored TLDs and are designed for use within a specified community. Registration restrictions for these TLDs have been developed by the sponsor with input from the community. For more information, contact your registrar or visit the sponsor sites listed below.
- The .aero domain, sponsored by Société Internationale de Télécommunication Aéronautiques (SITA), is exclusively reserved for the aviation community.
- The .coop domain, sponsored by DotCooperation LLC, is restricted to use by bona fide cooperatives and cooperative service organizations that ascribe to the Cooperative Principles of the ICA, such as member ownership and control.
- The .museum domain, sponsored by the Museum Domain Management Association (MuseDoma), was developed exclusively for the museum community.
Registrant Contact Information and the ICANN WHOIS Data Reminder Policy (WDRP)
When you register a domain name, you are required to give your registrar accurate and reliable contact details, and correct and update them promptly if there are any changes during the term of the registration period.
If you give wrong information on purpose, or don’t update your information promptly when there is a change, your domain name registration may be suspended or even cancelled. This could also happen if you don’t respond to inquiries by your registrar if they contact you about the accuracy of your contact information.
Contact your registrar to update your contact information.
How do I transfer my domain name to a new registrar?
If you wish to move your domain name from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another, you may initiate the transfer process by contacting the registrar to which you wish to transfer the name. Note that there are certain situations that can prevent a domain name from being transferred, such as if it is subject to a 60-day Change of Registrant lock.
Why can’t I transfer a domain name I just registered to another registrar?
There are certain situations that can prevent a domain name from being transferred to a different registrar, such as a new registration. Your registrar may deny a transfer request if the domain name is within 60 days of initial registration. Another situation is if the domain name is subject to a 60-day Change of Registrant lock. You cannot transfer a domain name to a different registrar within 60 days of making changes to the registrant name, organization or email address (or the Administrative Contact email address, if there is no registrant email address). At their discretion, some registrars may provide an option for you to opt-out of this 60-day lock period. However, this rule is in place for your protection against unauthorized transfers and the registrar does not have to offer this option. If your ultimate goal is to transfer the domain name, you may want to consider completing the transfer process before changing your contact information.
Registrars also have the option of denying a transfer request within 60 days from when you last transferred the domain name to a different registrar. You may have the option to change web-hosting providers instead of registrars to avoid the inter-registrar transfer process (and lock) altogether. You may also update your domain name’s nameservers or change the hosting IP address assigned to your domain name. Check with your registrar and/or hosting provider to see what options you have.
The registrar is asking me for a code. Where do I get this? / I don’t know what you mean by authorization/EPP/transfer code and I can’t find it. How do I get this code?
An Auth-Code (also called an Authorization Code, AuthInfo Code, Auth-Info Code, or transfer code) is a code created by a registrar to help identify the domain name holder and prevent unauthorized transfers (also known as a registrant or registered name holder). An Auth-Code is required for a domain holder to transfer a domain name from one registrar to another.
Your registrar may allow you, via an online interface tool, to generate and manage your own AuthInfo code. If not, you will need to contact your registrar directly to obtain it. Your registrar must provide you with the AuthInfo code within five (5) calendar days of your request.
My registrar is charging me a fee to transfer to a new registrar. Is this allowed?
Yes. Registrars are allowed to set their own prices for this service so some may choose to charge a fee. However, a transfer cannot be denied due to non-payment of this transfer fee. There are other reasons your registrar can deny transfer request.
DOMAIN RENEWAL AND REDEMPTION
Once I register a domain name, how long does it last? Can it be renewed?
When you register a domain name, you’re able to use it for the period of time you registered it for, which is typically between one to ten years. If you want to keep using the domain name and any of the services associated with it (like a website or email service) you need to renew the domain name registration prior to its expiration.
How do I renew my domain name?
If you need help renewing your domain name, contact the registrar who you registered your domain name with.
What are my terms and options for renewing my domain name?
Options and fees for renewing domain names, including expired ones, vary by registrar so be sure to read your registrar’s terms of service carefully to understand the options, fees, and terms of renewing your domain name registration.
Can I still get my domain name back if it’s in the Redemption Grace Period?
Domain names that are in the 30-day Redemption Grace Period can be redeemed (or renewed) before the end of the Grace Period. If you tried to redeem (or renew) your domain name that is in Redemption Grace Period, but were unable to do so, the registrar may be in breach of the Expired Registration Recovery Policy. Your registrar must provide three renewal notices and allow a domain in Redemption Grace Period to be redeemed (or renewed).