A domain name represents a physical point on the Internet — an IP address. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) governs coordination of the links between IP addresses and domain names across the Internet. With this standardized coordination, you can find websites on the Internet by entering domain names instead of IP addresses into your Web browser.
Here’s an example: Think of a street address for a house or business — let’s say Sydney Airport. The street address, 10 Arrivals Court, is an exact location — like an IP address. You might not know the exact street address, but when you are in Sydney, you can tell your taxi driver that you want to go to Sydney Airport and still get there. This is how a domain name is used: It’s an easy way to reach the exact location of a website without having to remember the numeric address.
A domain name consists of, at least, a top-level and a second-level domain. See What is a top-level domain (TLD)? and What is a second-level domain name (SLD)? for information on these terms. Domain names must be registered with an ICANN-accredited registrar. We are an ICANN-accredited registrar, and you can register domain names through us.
Many TLDs, also called extensions, can be registered by anyone. The extensions .com, .net, and .org are good examples that anyone can register.
Others, primarily country-code extensions (ccTLDs), have residency requirements — like .au (representing Australia) and .us (representing the United States).
Still others, like .aero, .biz, .edu, .mil, .museum, .name, and .pro, are restricted to a certain type of entity or community — like .edu, which is reserved for educational entities and .gov, which is reserved for government agencies.