Back to the list

AFNIC launches DNSwitness, a multi-purpose software for DNS measurements

Press release

November 21, 2008 -

Press release Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, November 21st 2008 Its first use will be to measure the IPv6 deployment As the depletion of IPv4 addresses has been announced for 2011, the IPv6 deployment in the following years is a pivotal matter and is one of the major stakes of the Internet today. Largely carried by Eric Besson, Secretary of State in charge of the Digital Economy, and his "Digital Economy Development Plan", the strategic stake it represents was identified long ago by AFNIC. Consequently the .fr registry has developed a software named DNSwitness that allows, among other features, to measure the IPv6 deployment within .fr sub-zones.

Designed by the AFNIC's R&D department as part of its generic DNS measurements platform, DNSwitness is a multi-purpose software that measures information published in the DNS. Its objective is notably to measure the IPv6 deployment in the network services through the DNS zones delegated under .fr. As an example, DNSwitness in its current version looks for SPF records (the standard for authenticating the domain name of an e-mail sender) as well as the DNSsec records (security extensions for the DNS protocol based on cryptographic signatures) or the IPv6 protocol. DNSwitness is modular and multi-purpose tool that scans all the sub-zones of .fr, like or for example, looking for these data it then stores in a database, on a module basis, and updates regularly. Available as an open source software (, DNSwitness should interest technicians that plan and unfold new networks or services, salesmen looking for new markets or researchers style-conscious to decode the major and current trends, all needing reliable and regularly updated data. DNSwitness already counts many modules and is easily extensile to new ones, according to the needs and wishes expressed in terms of new features. The first DNSwitness measurements made by the AFNIC show that: 15% of domain names under .fr have SPF records; almost no domain names under .fr are signed with DNSsec; 4% of .fr domain names have an IPv6 address published, for the web, e-mail or the DNS. However, only 0.03% of these .fr domain names have an IPv6 address for all these three services at a time. As the DNS can witness, efforts remain to be made on these technical aspects, though the responsibility is shared between the different parties of the value chain. About AFNIC (Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération ) Non-profit organization, AFNIC is in charge of the administrative and technical management of the .fr (France) and .re (Reunion Island) Internet domain names. AFNIC brings together public and private members: representatives from the French government, Internet users and Internet Service Providers (Registrars). Further information.    
Top of the page


Afnic (the French acronym for "Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération" i.e. the French Network Information Centre), is a non-profit association. For 20 years, we have been the registry for the management of Internet addresses under the .fr TLD suffix. We also manage the French overseas TLDs for .re (Reunion Island), .pm (St. Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna), and .yt (Mayotte). In addition to the more than 3.2 million domain names they represent, we are also the back-end registry for 14 companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD suffix including .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf. We actively support the digital transformation of small and mid-size businesses in France with our system Réussir en .fr ( and offer a free online presence support package ranging from diagnostic tools to on-site training throughout France. As an association, we federate a community of more than one hundred members with varied profiles but all of whom are stakeholders on the web: registrars, companies, federations, users, institutions, etc. Our role is part of a broader assignment involving the common good, which consists in helping to make the Internet more secure, stable and open to innovation each day, in which the French Internet community plays a leading role. In addition, we pay 90% of the profits from the management of the .fr TLD to our Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity ( which each year finances some thirty projects designed to reduce the digital divide throughout France.