Top Level Domain names

What is the significance/implication of the various extensions of domain names on the Internet? Here’s an attempt to answer that.

To start with, a top-level domain or domain name (TLD) is the highest level of domain names in the root zone of the Domain Name System of the Internet. For example, in the domain name http://www.example.com, the top-level domain is com. Management of most top-level domains is delegated to responsible organizations by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which operates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and is in charge of maintaining the DNS root zone.

Overall, IANA currently distinguishes the following groups of top-level domains:

  • infrastructure top-level domain (arpa)
  • country-code top-level domains (ccTLD)
  • generic top-level domains (gTLD)

The core group of generic top-level domains consists of the com, info, net, and org domains. In addition, the domains biz, name, and pro are also considered generic, however, these are designated as restricted, because registrations within them are require proof of eligibility within the guidelines set for each.

Historically, the group of generic top-level domains included domains, created in the early development of the domain name system, that are now sponsored by designated agencies or organizations and are restricted to specific types of registrants. Thus, domains edu, gov, int, and mil are now considered sponsored top-level domains, much like the many newly created themed domain names (e.g., jobs).


intended use

Aero the air transport industry.
Arpa reserved exclusively to support operationally-critical infrastructural identifiers paces as advised by the Internet Architecture Board
Asia companies. organisations and individuals in the Asia-Pacific region
Biz business use
Cat Catalan language/culture
Com commercial organizations, but unrestricted
Coop cooperatives
Edu post-secondary educational establishments
Gov government entities within the United States at the federal, state, and local levels
Info informational sites, but unrestricted
Int international organizations established by treaty
Jobs employment-related sites
Mil the U.S. military
mobi sites catering to mobile devices
Museum museums
name families and individuals
Net originally for network infrastructures, now unrestricted
Org originally for organizations not clearly falling within the other gTLDs, now unrestricted
Pro certain professions
Tel services involving connections between the telephone network and the Internet
travel travel agents, airlines, hoteliers, tourism bureaus, etc.

 Read more for more information.

1 Response to “Top Level Domain names”

  1. 1 Abhay
    August 18, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    There’s one for museum and travel too…dint know that

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