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A Short Domain History Lesson

Have you ever wondered how typing a name into your internet browser takes you to a website? If you have, this article will give you a short overview of domain names, where they came from and how they work. In fact, this information will be beneficial as you register your own domain name. With an understanding of terms like DNS and IP addresses, you'll know exactly what you're doing as you register your domain and navigate the internet.

Similar to how we use street addresses to find a business or home, the internet uses the Domain Name System (DNS) and Internet Protocols to find a specific website. But, all you have to remember is an easy name like "mywebsite.com".

The 1970's

In the early 1970's, each computer connected to the internet received a unique 'address,' such as This address, known as the Internet Protocol or IP addressing system, allowed all networked computers to be located on the internet. When someone wanted to access a page on the internet, they would type in the numbered address of that site.

The 1980's

As the number of users networking together increased, it became necessary to create an easier system than the confusing address system of long numbers. In the mid 1980's, a team from the University of Wisconsin developed the first 'name server', which is the existing addressing system used today. Later the DNS (Domain Name System) was implemented and the introduction of the first top-level domains (TLDs) made .com, .net and .org domains available. As a result, you no longer had to remember Instead, you could type in mywebsite.com.

The 1990's

During the mid 1990's the internet began to be used more and more by the public. This growth spawned a white paper in 1998 published by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This document established ICANN and the beginning of competition in the domain registration industry by breaking up the Network Solutions monopoly and allowing private organizations to become domain registrars.

The 2000's

Today, with many alternatives to Network Solutions, you don't have to pay $70 to register a domain name. You can now register domains one year at a time instead of the previously required two years.