Behind the Internet: The History of Domain Names

About the writer

Samantha Lloyd is a advertising marketing consultant at Tucows.

We all use domains to navigate the Internet, however did you ever take into consideration the place the thought of domains really got here from? Why will we use them and depend on them to bounce from web site to web site throughout the huge sea of info the web gives? 

For all our utilization, and even possession of domains, most individuals don’t know why they started or why we proceed to make use of them. Domain names are half of the Domain Name System of the web’s infrastructure. If you’ve ever questioned what goes on behind that $12 buy in your private web site or why it exists in the first, then you definitely’re in the proper place.

“Domain names are used in various networking contexts and for application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name identifies a network domain, or it represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a web site, or the web site itself or any other service communicated via the Internet. In 2017, 330.6 million domain names had been registered.” by way of Wikipedia.

Early days: ARPANET

To simplify, a site identify means that you can entry no matter it’s it’s good to entry that exists inside the Internet. Domain names first got here to make use of in by means of the Domain Name System in 1983, with common public registration not being out there till February 24, 1986. 

Before the Domain Name System, you’d entry totally different addresses on laptop networks by means of a bunch’s numerical deal with. Each laptop on the community may entry information from the host by utilizing these numerical addresses. 

The Domain Name System course of needed to be launched because of the complexity of how the Internet was working previous to. Remembering numerical addresses would definitely have made scaling and public entry tough! The Domain Name System was launched on ARPANET, a undertaking beneath the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency.

ARPANET was initially revealed in 1967 and launched an idea for the community that was basically the basis for the Internet. In 1969, the thought was put into observe with the interconnection of 4 computer systems. Much later, the Domain Name System was launched on the ARPANET. It was revealed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

TLD’s: Top Level Domains

To higher perceive domains, it’s necessary to notice that they’re damaged up into elements. The area identify extensions you’re aware of, similar to .COM and .ORG, are known as “Top-Level Domains” (TLDs). They apply to any phrase that’s to the proper of the dot. The half that you simply select in your model, firm, or private identify is the “Second Level Domain” and earlier than that, you’ll discover the “Subdomain,” the most acquainted being “www.”


(Image credit score: Tucows)

There have been seven Top-Level Domains that have been launched in 1984:

  • .com: .com is supposed to brief kind the phrase “commercial” and its unique…

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