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Top Level Domain Names (TLD) – What is a Top Level Domain?

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Top Level Domain (TLD), What is a Top Level Domain?

A top level domain (TLD) is a domain at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet. It is the last label of a fully qualified domain name.

Example: In the domain name kingsolutions.com, the top level domain is .com.

  • A top level domain (TLD) is sometimes called the domain suffix as it is the last part of a domain name.

TLD Management, ICANN and IANA

Management of most top level domains is delegated to responsible organizations by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN http://www.icann.org/), which operates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA http://www.iana.org/) and is in charge of maintaining the DNS root zone.

Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD)

In the 1980s, four restricted gTLDs (.edu, .gov, .int, .mil) and three unrestricted TLDs (.com, .net, and .org) were created.

  • TLDs such as .com, .org and .net are know as generic top level domains (gTLD), i.e., they are not affiliated with any particular country or region.

The core group of generic top-level domains consists of the ,com, ,info, ,net, and ,org domains. In addition, the domains ,biz, ,name, and ,pro are also considered generic; however, these are designated as restricted, as proof of eligibility is required for each.

The current list of generic top level domains is as follows:

gTLD intended use
aero the air transport industry (sponsored)
asia companies, organizations and individuals in the Asia-Pacific region (sponsored)
biz business use (restricted)
cat Catalan language/culture (sponsored)
com commercial organizations (generic)
coop cooperatives (sponsored)
edu U.S. post-secondary educational establishments (sponsored)
gov U.S. government entities at the federal, state, and local levels (sponsored)
info informational sites (generic)
int international organizations established by treaty (sponsored)
jobs employment-related sites (sponsored)
mil the U.S. military (sponsored)
mobi sites catering to mobile devices (sponsored)
museum museums (sponsored)
name families and individuals (generic-restricted)
net originally for network infrastructures (generic)
org originally for organizations not clearly falling within the other gTLDs (generic)
pro certain professions (generic-restricted)
tel services involving connections between the telephone network and the Internet (sponsored)
travel travel agents, airlines, hoteliers, tourism bureaus, etc. (sponsored)
xxx pornography (sponsored)


Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD)

The Root Zone Database represents the delegation details of top-level domains and country-code TLDs as managed by, IANA. You can see the full listing here, http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db.

  • TLDs such as .co.uk are know as country code top level domains (ccTLD) this means they are linked with a particular region, the United Kingdom in this case.

Choosing a Domain Name Suffix

When choosing a domain name you must also choose a domain name suffix (a domain extension) that indicates which Top Level Domain (TLD) your domain will belong to. The following examples are the ones in general usage:

  • biz Business
  • com Commercial business
  • org Organizations
  • net Network organizations

Besides these generic TLDs there are country code top level domain suffix’s, for example:

  • co.uk–United Kingdom
  • co.jp Japan
  • us United States

Registration of country code TLDs is generally restricted to citizens of the corresponding country and ruled by local regulations.

What is a Top Level Domain Conclusion

You can research your domain name choices at any of the registrars listed in my article, Where to Register Domain Names. Most of these registrars provide domain name registration, domain name hosting, FREE domain name search facilities and some even give you a FREE domain name if you accept their domain name hosting package.

Well, I hope you found something useful and enjoyed this article, What is a Top Level Domain.


KingSolutions.org.uk is hosted on JustHost

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