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Top-Level Domain

The domain name system allows users to refer to websites and other Internet resources using names rather than the all-numeric IP addresses assigned to each computer on the Internet. Each domain name consists of a series of character strings separated by dots. The right-most string is its top-level domain (TLD), and every TLD is managed by a single registry.

Varieties of TLDs

There are different types of TLDs.

gTLDs

  • brand TLDs - corporations use their corporate name as their website's top-level identifier instead of .com or .biz domain space
  • community TLDs relate to local events, gatherings, or organizations.
  • geoTLDs represent geographical or regional areas that are not countries with three or more ASCII characters.
  • hSTLDs
  • nTLDs - domains that were introduced beginning in October 2013
  • sTLDs - has a sponsor for a specific purpose, such as to represent a specific ethnic community, professional group, or geographical location.

ccTLDs

Country-code TLDs are delegated to a designated ccTLD registry, which is operated by a ccTLD Manager, according to local policies that are adapted to meet the economic, cultural, linguistic, and legal circumstances of the country or territory involved.

TLDs with two ASCII characters have been established for over 250 countries and external territories.
TLDs with non-ASCII characters designated for a country or geographic region.

Operating Mode

TLDs operate in different manners but can be categorized in some simple ways:

  • Open - Operating and offering both registration and resolution services.
  • Closed - Not accepting registrations, may be resolving evergreen/legacy/infrastructure subdomains.

Level of Restriction

  • Unrestricted - If there are no requirements that must be met in order to register a name under a TLD, that TLD is Unrestricted.
  • Restricted - Requiring Local Physical Address, Local Tax ID, or other specific criteria to qualify.