When you want to surf the Internet, you would have to open a browser and type the "address" of the site that you want to visit. However, what you will actually type there is not technically the address of the site - it is the domain name.
Domain names are labels for Web sites which are related to Domain Name Servers (DNS). These are responsible for giving the domain names their numeric counterparts, which are technically the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the Web site. This address is the official address of the site. It is the invisible address composed of numbers, while the domain names serve as the front of the site. Since they are made of words, they are easily memorisable and recognizable than do those addresses made of numbers.
Each site has a unique domain name. One can also recognize the major users of the sites according the extensions of the domain names. These extensions serve as the identification of the nature of the owner's business, organization, purpose, or location.
There are domains which are called the Top Level Domains or TLDs. Here are the most utilized extensions which do not pertain to a country:
1. .NET - This is the short version for .network. This was commonly used and only authorized for utilization by technical Web sites. But anyone is already allowed to use this extension now.
2. .COM - This is the short version for .commercial. Among the top domain names, this is ranked first among the most used. Anyone can buy this for their own use or for business.
3. .ORG - This is the short version for .organization. This is used for those domain name buyers who do not belong to .net or .com domains. This can now be bought by anyone for business or personal use.
Domain Names for Country
There are also websites which use domain extensions which signify the country they are in. Each country has a specific assigned domain extension. For instance, those who want to identify with Japan would apply for a domain extension of .jp. Those whose owners come from the Philippines will have a domain extension of .ph. However, it is quite difficult before one will be able to own a country domain extension. There are strict regulations as to who will be able to use them. There are also specified purposes which will be required for the approval of the use of the country domain extension.
Newly-approved Domain Extensions
Aside from the popular and long-been used extensions, there are also newly certified extensions which have gotten into trends nowadays. However, before any extension will be used, it needs to get the nod of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN. ICANN is assigned to the duty of managing the affairs related to the TLDs. These new extensions are .name, .museum, .areo, .coop, .info, .biz, and .pro. These extensions have slowly gained users. These domain extensions are also regulated by certain dos and don'ts as implemented by ICANN.
Unofficial Domain Extensions
When you surf the Internet, you may happen to come across domain names which consist of extensions such as .mp3, .xxx, and .free. These extensions are classified under the unofficial category because they are not truly approved by ICANN. They have not passed under the scrutiny of the said authority.
These unofficial extensions can only function like a genuine IP address through the use of some software which enable any user who will access their sites to actually visit the site. Since they are not ICANN-approved, users cannot easily get access to their sites. Users are required to have the same software that the site owners use for the former to gain access to explore the sites.
Even if most people have only become more aware of the top three TLDs, .net, .com. and .org, any user can also be guaranteed good access to sites which use country domain extensions. When you compare them in terms of efficiency, they more or less give the users similar satisfaction. The newly-approved extensions are also good to use. There are various available extensions from which you can pick the right extension for you.