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International Domain Names

Are you looking for an International domain name? Not sure how it works? In this article we discuss how International domain names work, the history of International domain names, and the rules and regulations that govern International domain names.

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International Domain Names are a type of domain name that is represented by local language characters. For example, such domain names might contain letters or characters from non-ASCII scripts like Arabic, Latin or Chinese. The idea behind this effort to create more international domain names is being driven behind much of the Internet community to make the domain names available in other character sets besides ASCII.

How International Domain Names Work:

The international domain names use writing systems to achieve these other characters and are encoded by computers in the multi-byte unicode. The international domain names are then stored in the domain name system as ASCII strings using Punycode transcription. These international domain names are used as a technical solution to be able to translate names that are written in language-native scripts to be transcribed to a characters set that is compatible with the current Domain Name System. However, it is also important to know that international domain names can only be used with applications that are specifically designed to accommodate the international coding and require no changes in the infrastructure of the Internet. 

The History of International Domain Names:

The idea of IDN was first developed for the Internet in 1996. From there, it was implemented in 1998 and after much debate and other competing proposals, the system became known as Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA). This term was then adopted as a standard and has since been implemented in several top-level domain registrars and companies. Any domain that applies to this standard means that it is specifically a domain name that consists of labels to which the IDNA toASCII algorithm can be successfully applied. 

Current International Domain Names Rules and Regulations:

In recent years, ICANN has decided to implement a new class of top-level domains that can be assigned to countries as well as independent regions. This is a process similar to the rules for country code top-level domains. However, with the international domain names they can be a strong string of characters, symbols or glyphs in the language-specific alphabet. However, they do need to follow certain guidelines to ensure they are kept unique as to not be confused with other similar domain character sets. 

This is now why top-level domains are accepting IDN registration. Many of these top-level domains are beginning to access the domain name registration as the second and lower levels. However, it is also good to keep in mind that there are other registries that also support non-ASCII domain names. Because these companies that offer modified DNS systems do not fall under the ICANN control, they can be regarded as an alternate DNS roots and will not be supported by most Internet Service Providers. As a result most users will be unable to look up these types of domains unless they manually configure their computers to use the alternate DNS. It is important to do your research before considering international domain names.

 Sources: icann.org, 101domain.com

Related Article: Domain Name Extensions >>

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