Domainmonster.com Domain Editorials
Domain Registries and Registrars
Registrars and registries of domain names have very similar names, but it is important to understand the differences between the two.
Domain name registries (otherwise known as network information centres, NICs) are organisations which manage the registration of domain names within the top-level domains (TLDs) for which they are responsible. They also operate their TLDs on a technical level, and rule on the policies of domain name allocation.
There are domain name registries for generic TLDs (e.g. VeriSign for .com) and for country-code TLDs (e.g. Nominet UK for .uk). Domain Name registries may impose a second level domain rule. For example, it is not permitted to register a domain name directly under the .uk domain. A second level domain must be used instead, most commonly .co.
Although some domain name registries can be approached directly by those wishing to purchase domain names, many domain name registries hand over the day-to-day process of domain registration to domain name registrars. Registrars are organisations accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and/or a ccTLD registry. Accreditation gives these companies the ability to register and sell domain names.
By Iain Ford