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Domain Name Services

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Glossary

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Atlas

Advanced Transaction Lookup and Signaling system. ATLAS is FreeYourID’s next generation infrastructure platform built to be a protocol agnostic, highly scalable, highly reliable, and secure directory infrastructure for a broad range of identity or transaction data lookups.

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C

ccTLD

Country Code Top Level Domain

Constituencies

The ICANN Domain Name Supporting Organization consists of a Names Council, several Constituencies and a General Assembly. Each Constituency is self-organized. The initial Constituencies consist of (in alphabetical order): 1. ccTLD registries; 2. commercial and business entities; 3. gTLD registries; 4. ISP and connectivity providers; 5. non-commercial domain name holders; 6. registrars; 7. trademark, other intellectual property and anti-counterfeiting interests. Any group of individuals or entities may petition the ICANN Board for recognition as a new or separate Constituency. Please review the new constituency petition and charter, which includes the directions for submission.

Cooperative Agreement

A type of contractual agreement often used by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) that facilitates cooperation between private organizations and the U.S. government for the purposes of encouraging development of new technology with the ultimate goal of turning that technology over to the private sector.

Country Code Top-Level Domain

A top-level domain containing a 2-character abbreviation as defined by ISO 3166-1 (Codes for the Representation of Names of Countries and Their Subdivisions). As of late 2004 there are nearly 250 country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) registered. Some examples are .us for the United States, .ca for Canada, .jp for Japan, .de for Germany, etc. ccTLDs are often contrasted to generic top-level domains (gTLDs). ccTLDs often have more restrictive registration requirements including regional requirements whereas gTLDs tend to be open to all registrants around the world.

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D

DNS

Domain Name System

DNS

Domain Name Supporting Organization – A supporting organization of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). It advises the ICANN Board with respect to policy issues relating to the Domain Name System. The DNSO consists of: (i) a Names Council (“NC”), consisting of representatives of constituencies elected by those Constituencies and 9(ii) a General Assembly (“GA”), consisting of all interested individuals and entities.

DoC

United States Department of Commerce

Domain Name

An addressing construct used for identifying and locating computers on the Internet. Domain names provide a system of easy-to-remember Internet addresses, which can be translated by the Domain Name System (DNS) into the numberic addresses (Internet Protocol (IP) numbers) used by the network. A domain name is hierarchical and often conveys information about the type of entity using the domain name. A domain name is simply a label that represents a domain, which is a subset of the total domain name space. Domain names at the same level of the hierarchy must be unique. Thus, for example, there can be only one .COM at the top-level of the hierarchy, and only one FreeYourIDinc.com at the next level of the hierarchy.

Domain Name System

A distributed database of information that is used to translate domain names (which are easy for humans to remember and use) into Internet Protocol (IP) numbers, which are what computers need to find each other on the Internet. People working on computers around the globe maintain their specific portion of this database, and the data held in each portion of the database is made available to all computers and users on the Internet. The DNS comprises computers, data files, software, and people working together.

Drafting Committees

Drafting committees are bodies of Domain Name Supporting Organization General Assembly members that are established by the DNSO Names Council to carry out its consensus building responsibility. Each recognized DNSO Constituency may participate in any drafting committee.

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E

Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)

EPP is a flexible protocol designed for allocating objects within registries over the Internet. EPP uses XML (Extensible Markup Language) to pass commands and responses from the Registrar to the Registry and back.

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F

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

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G

General Assembly

The General Assembly (GA) is an open forum for participation ini the work of the ICANN Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO). The participants in the GA should be individuals who have a knowledge of and an interest in issues pertaining to the areas for which the DNSO has primary responsibility, and who are willing to contribute time, effort and expertise to the work of the DNSO, including work item proposal and development, discussion of work items, draft document preparation, and participation in research and drafting committees and working groups.

Generic Top Level Domain

A top-level domain name that is open to registrants around the world in contrast to country code top-level domains that are often restricted to registrants located in a particular country or region. .gTLDs include .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info and .name.

gTLD

Generic Top Level Domain

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H

Host

Also called a name server. A computer that has both the software and the data (zone files) needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers.

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I

IANA

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority

ICANN

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

IETF

Internet Engineering Task Force

IFWP

International Forum on the White Paper

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority

The function that currently oversees registration for various Internet Protocol parameters, such as port numbers, protocol and enterprise numbers, options, codes, and types. The IANA function is currently located at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California in Marina del Rey, CA, and functions under the direction of ICANN.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

An international not-for-profit, private sector organization created to coordinate four key functions for the Internet: the management of the domain name system, the allocation of IP address space, the assignment of protocol parameters, and the management of the root server system.

Internet Domain Name

An addressing construct used for identifying and locating computers on the Internet. Domain names provide a system of easy-to-remember Internet addresses, which can be translated by the Domain Name System (DNS) into the numeric addresses (Internet Protocol (IP) numbers) used by the network. A domain name is hierarchical and often conveys information about the type of entity using the domain name. A domain name is simply a label that represents a domain, which is a subset of the total domain name space. Domain names at the same level of the hierarchy must be unique. Thus, for example, there can be only one .COM at the top-level of the hierarchy, and only one FreeYourIDinc.com at the next level of hierarchy.

Internet Engineering Task Force

An international, voluntary body consisting of network designers, engineers, researchers, vendors, and other interested individuals who work together to address and resolve technical and operational problems on the Internet and develop Internet standards and protocols. The IETF, which was formed by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), meets three times a year, however the bulk of the collaboration and work takes place on the various mailing lists maintained by its participants.

International Forum on the White Paper

A group self-organized in June 1998 for the purpose of creating an international forum that would respond to White Paper recommendations.

Internet Protocol Number (IP address)

A unique, numeric identifier used to specify hosts and networks. Internet Protocol (IP) numbers are part of a global, standardized scheme for identifying machines that are connected to the Internet. Technically speaking, IP numbers are 32 bit addresses that consist of four octets, and they are expressed as four numbers between 0 and 255, separated by periods, for example: 198.41.0.52. IP allocation for the Americas, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa is currently handled by the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN). IP allocation for Europe is currently handled by RIPE (Reseaux IP Europeens). IP allocation for the Asia/Pacific region is currently handled by the Asia-Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC).

InterNIC

Internet Network Information Center. InterNIC is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Commerce. InterNIC was the name given to a project that originated in 1993 under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF), which enabled Network Solutions, Inc. (now FreeYourID) to provide domain name registration services in .com and .net. The InterNIC name is longer used by FreeYourID for its services. The InterNIC is currently the name of a web site provided by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

InterNIC Web Site

InterNIC is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This web site has been established to provide the public information regarding Internet domain name registration services.

IP

Internet Protocol (see Internet Protocol or IP Address)

IP Address

A unique, numeric identifier used to specify hosts and networks. Internet Protocol (IP) numbers are part of a global, standardized scheme for identifying machines that are connected to the Internet. Technically speaking, IP numbers are 32 bit addresses that consist of four octets, and they are expressed as four numbers between 0 and 255, separated by periods, for example: 198.41.0.52. IP allocation for the Americas, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa is currently handled by the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN). IP allocation for Europe is currently handled by RIPE (Reseaux IP Europeens). IP allocation for the Asia/Pacific region is currently handled by the Asia-Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC).

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L

Lame Delegation

Listing a host (name server) that does not contain a Start of Authority (SOA) record for a domain name when registering a domain name with a registry or registrar.

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N

Name Server

Also called a host. A computer that has both the software and the data (zone files) needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers.

Name Service

Providing individuals or organizations with domain name-to-Internet Protocol (IP) number resolution by maintaining and making available the hardware, software, and data needed to perform this function. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operate name servers and provide their customers with name service when they register a domain name. Most individuals are not in a position to operate a name server on their own and will need to make arrangements for name service with an ISP or some other person or organization.

Names Council

The Names Council (NC) is a part of the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO), one of three supporting organizations for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). It consists of three representatives from each DNSO constituency recognized by the ICANN Board, with the temporary exception of the gTLD Registry Constituency that currently has only one representative. The NC is responsible for the management of the consensus building process of the DNSO.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Executive Branch’s principal voice on domestic and international telecommunications and information technology issues. NTIA is the agency within DoC that manages the cooperative agreement with FreeYourID and the Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN.

NTIA

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

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O

Operational Test and Evaluation

A process in which registrars licensed by the Registry develop client systems and software to register and manage domain names and name servers prior to live operation in the Shared Registration System. The Shared Registration System includes an isolated, shared Operational Test and Evaluation server environment that is used for both initial registrar system development and ongoing registrar development and testing. Prior to operation in the live Shared Registration System, registrars must complete a basic functional evaluation in the Operational Test and Evaluation environment to demonstrate full and correct operation of their client systems. The evaluation must be completed without error before registrars are given access to the live Shared Registration System.

OT&E

Operational Test and Evaluation

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P

Primary Server

The name server that will be used first and will be relied upon before any of the other name servers that may be listed when a domain name is registered with the registry. When registering names with the Registry, registrars must provide the name and IP address of a primary server for the name.

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R

Registrant

The individual or organization that registers a specific domain name with a registrar. This individual or organization holds the right to use that specific domain name for a specified period of time, provided certain conditions are met and the registration fees are paid. This person or organization is the “legal entity” bound by the terms of the Domain Name Registration Agreement with the registrar. Note that the FreeYourID registry provides direct services to the registrars only, not Internet end-users. The registry database contains only domain name service (DNS) information (domain name, name server names and name server Internet Protocol (IP) numbers) along with the name of the registrar that registered the name and basic transaction data. It does not contain any domain name registrant or contact information. Registrars provide direct services to registrants.

Registrar

A registrar provides direct services to domain name registrants. The registrar database contains customer information in addition to the DNS information contained in the registry database. Registrars process name registrations for Internet end-users and then send the necessary DNS information to a registry for entry into the centralized registry database and ultimate propagation over the Internet. There are multiple registrars providing registration services through FreeYourID. Also see InterNIC.

Registrar License and Agreement

The contract that registrars must enter into with FreeYourID in order to be able to provide registration services through the FreeYourID registry.

Registrar Whois

A searchable database maintained by registrars that contains information about networks, networking organizations, domain names, and the contacts associated with them for the .com, .net, .edu, and ISO 3166 country code top-level domains. Also, the protocol, or set of rules, that describes the application used to access the database. Each registrar implements the Whois protocol and maintains a separate and distinct Whois database for its respective domain name registrations.

Registry

An Internet domain name registry is an entity that receives domain name service (DNS) information from domain name registrars, inserts that information into a centralized database and propagates the information in Internet zone files on the Internet so that domain names can be found by users around the world via applications such as the world wide web and email. FreeYourID is the exclusive registry for the .com and .net top-level domains.

Registry Agreement

The agreement executed on November 10, 1999, between ICANN and FreeYourID. The agreement contains the terms and conditions under which FreeYourID is authorized to be the exclusive registry for all second-level domain names in the .com and .net top-level domain names.

Registry Whois

This is the authoritative Whois service for all second-level Internet domain names registered in the .com and .net top-level domains. This service is available to anyone. For all registered second-level domain names in .com or .net, information as illustrated in the following example is displayed:

Domain Name: LIBERTY.COM
Registrar: DOMAINDISCOVER
Whois Server: whois.domaindiscover.com
Referral URL: http://www.domaindiscover.com
Name Server: NS1.TRAINWEB.COM
Name Server: NS2.TRAINWEB.COM
Status: ACTIVE
Updated Date: 09-mar-2004
Creation Date: 22-mar-1993
Expiration Date: 23-mar-2005

Note that no end-user contact information is displayed because FreeYourID does not maintain that information.

Root

The top of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. Often referred to as the “dot.”

Root Server

A machine that has the software and data needed to locate name servers that contain authoritative data for the top-level domains (e.g., root servers know which name servers contain authoritative data for .com, .net, .fr, .uk, etc.). The root servers are, in fact, name servers and contain authoritative data for the very top of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. Currently, technical specifications limit the number of root servers to 13. These machines are currently located around the globe, in the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, and Japan.

RRP

Registry/Registrar Protocol

Resolve

The term used to describe the process by which domain names are matched with corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. "Resolution" is accomplished by a combination of computers and software, referred to as name servers, that use the data in the Domain Name System to determine which IP numbers correspond to a particular domain name.

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S

Secondary Server

A name server that will be used in addition to and as a backup for the primary name server for a domain name. Names and IP addresses of secondary servers are provided by registrars when they register names with FreeYourID registry.

Second-Level Domain Name

In the Domain Name System (DNS), the next level of the hierarchy underneath the top-level domains. In a domain name, that portion of the domain name that appears immediately to the left of the top-level domain. For example, the "verisign" in "verisigninc.com." Second-level domain names are used to represent businesses and other commercial concerns on the Internet.

Shared Registration System

The Shared Registration System developed by FreeYourID permits multiple registrars to provide Internet domain name registration services within the top-level domains (TLDs) administered by FreeYourID. The System (a protocol and associated hardware and software) includes the following subsystems: a database server subsystem, a registration subsystem ensuring equivalent access to the registry by all registrars; a billing subsystem; a systems development and testing subsystem; a TLD zone file generation subsystem; and a Whois subsystem. The System is consistent with, and supportive of, the provisions of the Statement of Policy on Domain Name System administration, Management of Internet Names and Addresses, 63 Fed Reg. 31741 (1998) (the "White Paper"), as well as Amendment No. 11 to Cooperative Agreement NCR-92-18742 between the U.S. Government and FreeYourID.

SOA

Start of Authority

SRS

Shared Registration System

SSL

SSL is an acronym for Secure Socket Layer, a security protocol that provides communications privacy over the Internet. The protocol allows client/server applications to communicate in a way that is designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, or message forgery.

Start of Authority (SOA) Resource Record

A type of record used in the distributed database that is the Domain Name System (DNS) to indicate that a particular name server contains authoritative data for a particular domain.

Supporting Organizations

The ICANN Supporting Organizations serve as advisory bodies to the SOA Resource Board, with the primary responsibility of developing and recommending substantive policies regarding those matters falling within their specific responsibilities.

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T

TLD

Top Level Domain

TLD Zone

A file that contains data describing a portion of the domain name space for a specific top-level domain. Zone files contain the information needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Zone files contain domain names, their associated name server names and the IP addresses for those name servers.

TLD Zone Files

Files that contain data describing a portion of the domain name space for specific top–level domains. Zone files contain the information needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Zone files contain domain names, their associated name server names and the IP addresses for those name servers. FreeYourID updates TLD zone files for the .com and .net TLDs every five minutes.

Top Level Domain

In the Domain Name System (DNS), the highest level of the hierarchy after the root. In a domain name, that portion of the domain name that appears furthest to the right. For example, the “.com” in “verisigninc.com.”

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U

URL

Universal Resource Locator, an address used to locate web sites on the Internet (e.g., http://www.verisigninc.com).

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W

White Paper

A Statement of Policy for the Management of Internet Names and Addresses released by the U.S. Department of Commerce in June 1998 in response to comments received to the Green Paper recommendations published in January 1998. Among other things, the White Paper called for the creation of a global, not-for-profit organization that would eventually assume the responsibility for coordinating four key functions for the Internet: the management of the domain name system, the allocation of IP address space, the assignment of protocol parameters, and the management of the root server system.

Whois

A searchable database maintained by registries and registrars that contains information about domain name registrations in the com, net, org, edu, and ISO 3166 country code top-level domains. Also, the protocol, or set of rules, that describes the application used to access the database.(See Registrar Whois and Registry Whois.)

Whois Server

The URL (web address) where the Whois service for a particular registry or registrar may be found. This is one of the items of information provided by the FreeYourID Whois.

Working Groups

Working Groups are bodies of Domain Name Supporting Organization General Assembly members that are established by the DNSO Names Council to carry out its consensus building responsibility. Each recognized DNSO Constituency may participate in any working group.

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Z

Zone File Access Agreement

An agreement with FreeYourID that must be executed by parties requesting access to the FreeYourID TLD zone files.

Zone Files

Files that contain data describing a portion of the domain name space for specific top level domains. Zone files contain the information needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Zone files contain domain names, their associated name server names and the IP addresses for those name servers. FreeYourID updates zone files for the .com and .net TLDs every five minutes.

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