An Introductory guide to domain names

On the occasion of a congress in Denmark, ICANN, the internet regulator, published an introductory guide to domain names.

This document is part of a series of guides dealing with issues that are important to internet users. Informing new users of internet issues is part of ICANN’s commitment to ensuring the stability, security and global interoperability of the Internet. ICANN has developed this guide at the request of the Advisory Committee of internet users, spokesperson of internet users in ICANN.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a domain name and how does it work?
  2. How do I register a domain name?
  3. How do I select a domain name to register?
  4. What is a registrar and how do I select one?
  5. How do I find out if the domain name I want is available?
  6. What is the registration process like?
  7. Why is there such a wide difference in the cost of domain names?
  8. If I buy a domain name, does that give me a website? Can I immediately start receiving email to that domain?
  9. The domain name I want is taken, but when I go to it there’s no content. If it’s not in use why can’t I get it?
  10. How can I protect my personal information?
  11. Can I register a domain name in languages other than English, or using characters other than the Latin character set used in the English language?
  12. What are my rights and obligations as a domain name registrant?
  13. How do I renew a domain name that I have already registered?
  14. What happens if I forget to renew my domain name?
  15. How do I transfer a domain name that I have already registered?
  16. Can I buy and sell a domain name?
  17. Where do I go for help with domain name problems?
  18. How do I handle domain name disputes?
  19. What is the UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy)?
  20. How can I help protect myself from spam, phishing and other Internet fraud?
  21. What do I need to remember about my domain name registration?