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Status: Active
country: Palau
Manager: .pw The Professional Web
Registry Provider: CentralNic
Registrations: 250,000+
Date Implemented: 1997
Type: ccTLD

.pw is an open ccTLD for Palau, which is currently managed, and marketed to a wider professional audience, by .pw The Professional Web. It was first introduced in 1997, and was originally restricted to use by the citizens and companies in Palau.[1][2]

.pw was relaunched as an Open ccTLD in October, 2012, in the midst of ICANN 45 in Toronto and continued progress in the new gTLD program. The new registry entity, a subsidiary of Directi, is Professional Web, which matches the acronym and target audience for the namespace. Directi CEO, Bhavin Turakhia, believes that its low-cost pricing model and the wide availability of quality domains will contribute to its success. CentralNic provides technical registry services. The Sunrise Period ran from December 3rd, 2012 to February 15, 2013. The Landrush Period ran for about a month, starting on February 18, 2013. It became generally available on March 15, 2013.[3]

The original plan for the TLD was to use it to create a bundled social network and vanity email service, which was discontinued. EnCirca licensed the TLD to Directi in 2004.[4]

.pw is the first TLD that Directi is offering registry services for, though it has also applied for 30 new gTLDs.

The relaunch is currently in General Availability, and is offered by more than 110 registrars, more information can be found here.[5][6]

Second-Level Domains

The second level domains for use within in Palau are:

  • co.pw: for commercial use
  • ne.pw: for technology service providers
  • or.pw: for non-commercial organizations
  • ed.pw: for educational institutions
  • go.pw: for governmental agencies only
  • belau.pw: for indigenous art, history and culture use, tourism and general purposes[7]

Premium Names

The first sales of premium names were announced in March 2013, w.pw and p.pw sold for $8,000 each, both to the same buyer.[8] It was announced at the same time that the Landrush Period was extended to accomodate a growing list of registrars and their interest in the extension.[9]


The registry announced that 50,000 domains had been registered in 3 weeks of its General Availability, with 4,000 names registered in its first 30 minutes of General Availability. It notes that this makes it the most successful TLD launch since .xxx.[10]

It has had issues of domains being used for abuse and the registry has aggressively enforced its acceptable use policy by suspending these domains. In June 2013, it announced that it had registered over 250,000 names, excluding those deleted for abuse. The registration figure was helped in large part by growth in China.[11]


A few months after the string was made available to the general public, spammers were widely abusing the domain, causing security companies to issue warnings to customers or block the domain wholesale. Directi stated that it has a zero-tolerance policy to spam and is fighting back, including deactivating about 5,000 domains for breaching its anti-abuse policy. The company also noted that such levels of spam are commonplace since spammers generally start using a new TLDs immediately while the general public is slower to register new TLDs.[12]