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Everything there is to know about domain names

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An internet address or domain name is the equivalent of your postal address on the internet. It is how your contacts and clients find your website. A domain name is therefore essential when creating your website or personalising your email address.

To communicate with each other, devices connected to the internet are identified by a unique internet address, known as an IP (Internet Protocol) address. This address takes the form of a series of numbers, for example: 192.134.4.20. The domain name makes it possible to convert an IP address into an intelligible and easily memorised name and so access a website (afnic.fr) or send an email (support@afnic.fr).

The domain name is composed of a chain of characters (own name, brand or association of key words) and a domain indicating the name space. There are several types of TLDs (Top-Level Domains): 

  • National TLDs (ccTLD, Country Code Top-Level Domain), such as .fr, .re and other overseas domain names managed by Afnic;
  • Generic TLDs (gTLD, Generic Top-Level Domain), the best known of which are .com, .net, .info and .biz. In recent years numerous new generic TLDs have emerged, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace and .corsica.

A domain name is unique in a namespace (such as .fr) and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis providing the applicant meets the conditions for allocation of the TLD.

Structure of an internet address

Structure of an internet address

An internet address consists of a "www" (world wide web) prefix and a domain name. This domain name is itself composed of a character string and an extension (TLD - Top Level Domain).

Find a domain name or a holder using Whois

The specific search engine for the domain name database, Whois, the contraction of “Who is?”, contains administrative ...

Find a domain name or a holder using Whois

Create a domain name to suit you

Whether you’re a private individual or an organisation, take the time to choose the right domain name before creating ...

Create a domain name to suit you

The essentials for managing your domain name

To facilitate your procedures as a domain name holder, here is some key information for properly managing your internet ...

The essentials for managing your domain name

Why choose .fr?

.fr is more than just a TLD. Simple, secure and accessible, it allows you to create your own digital space with ...

Why choose .fr?

Registrar Directory

Afnic has published its directory of registrars accredited for the management of .fr, .re, .yt, ...

Registrar Directory