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Is there an alternative to the DNS?

July 10, 2015

Afnic publishes an issue paper on alternative naming systems to the DNS.

The Internet today depends on the DNS (Domain Name System) for almost all of its services. The DNS is the system for retrieving and storing vital technical information from a domain name.

The DNS is a robust, decentralized and relatively simple system, strengths that have made it one of the pillars of the Internet. However, like any computer system, the DNS is not perfect and has weaknesses that are both technical and political, due to the nature of its tree structure in particular.

Is it then an alternative solution to this essential system for the Internet to function?

The issue paper indicates the current state of play and expectations. It then reviews the alternative solutions to the DNS and draws a comparison.

The document is one of the issue papers regularly published by Afnic.

Issue paper on Alternative Naming Systems to the DNS


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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 created in 1997. Appointed by the French State to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain (TLD) it promotes use of .fr by entrepreneurs and individuals. As the historic manager with more than 3 million domain names in .fr to date, it is also positioned as a provider of technical solutions and registry services: it currently manages 14 projects for new gTLDs, including .paris and .bzh. Afnic is located in Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, where its staff of 80 works for the common good of the French Internet.