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".
In the early 1970's, each computer connected
to the internet received a unique 'address,' such as 121.245.078.2.
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.
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 121.245.078.2. Instead, you could
type in mywebsite.com.
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
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.