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Glossary of Domain Name Terms

ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) - A Regional Internet Registry (RIR) that has been allocated blocks of IP addresses by IANA and which in turn allocates and assigns these IP address space and other Internet numbers for North America, a portion of the Caribbean, and sub-equatorial Africa.

APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Center) - A Regional Internet Registry (RIR) that has been allocated blocks of IP addresses by IANA and which in turn allocates and assigns these IP address space and other Internet numbers for the Asia-Pacific region.

CNAME (canonical name) - As it applies to domain names, a name added to the beginning of a domain name that serves as a subcategory of the domain, such as support.apple.com, where "support" is the canonical name.

Cybersquatting - The registration of a domain name using another company's name or trademark with the intention of selling the domain name to that company.

DNS (Domain Name Service or Domain Name System) - A distributed pool of information (called the name space) that keeps track of assigned domain names and their corresponding IP addresses, and the system that allows a host to locate information in the pool.

Domain Name - A unique, text-based name that identifies an IP address.

HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) - The protocol used by the World Wide Web.

IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) - The organization that, under the IAB of the Internet Society, has managed IP address allocation as well as registration of port numbers, MIME types, and character sets. IP numbers are now managed by ARIN, APNIC, and RIPE. ICANN has assumed many of the other tasks formerly assigned to IANA.

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) - A non-profit, private sector organization regulated by the U.S. Department of Commerce that administers the Shared Registration System (SRS) that registers domain names and IP addresses.

InterNIC (Internet Network Information Center) - The organization that was originally responsible for registration and maintenance of the .com, .org, and .net domains. Most of the InterNIC's original responsibilities are now handled by ICANN.

IP address (Internet Protocol address) - A 32-bit address consisting of four groups of digits separated by periods, used to uniquely identify a device on a network that uses TCP/IP protocols. The first numbers identify the network; the last numbers identify the host. An example of an IP address is 205.94.105.120.

LACNIC (Latin American and Caribbean IP address Regional Registry) - A Regional Internet Registry (RIR) that has been allocated blocks of IP addresses by IANA and which in turn allocates and assigns these IP address space and other Internet numbers for Latin America.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) - A protocol that allows non-text files to be attached to e-mail messages, or downloaded to a web browser along with a web page. MIME identifies a file as belonging to a category and a subcategory such as Image/gif. For e-mail, files are encoded using a method that the SMTP protocol (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) can handle when it processes the e-mail message.

Name Server - A server that has part of the name space or information needed to resolve a domain name.

Name Space - The total information that is distributed over many name servers that relate domain names to IP addresses.

Primary Name Server - The highest-level server that provides name resolution services to relate domain names to IP addresses in a network that supports DNS.

Private IP Address - An IP address that is used on a private TCP/IP network that is isolated from the Internet.

Public IP Address - An IP address available to the Internet.

RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens) - A Regional Internet Registry (RIR) that has been allocated blocks of IP addresses by IANA and which in turn allocates and assigns these IP address space and other Internet numbers for Europe.

Registrar - An organization that is approved by ICANN to register domain names and IP addresses.

Secondary Name Server - The DNS server that, other than the primary name server, has the most current information relating domain names to IP addresses. Also called slave name server.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) - The suite of protocols that suppport communication on the Internet. TCP is responsible for error checking and IP is responsible for routing.

Top-Level Domain - The highest level of domain names indicated by a suffix that tells something about the host. For example, .com was originally for commercial use and .edu is for educational institutions.

Trademark - A name, symbol, or other mark that is used to represent a product or company.