About domains

The term domain can refer either to a local subnetwork or to descriptors for sites on the internet (such as www.iu.edu):

  • Local subnetwork domains: On a local area network (LAN), a domain is a subnetwork made up of a group of clients and servers under the control of one central security database. Within a domain, users authenticate once to a centralized server known as a domain controller, rather than repeatedly authenticating to individual servers and services. Individual servers and services accept the user based on the approval of the domain controller.

    Indiana University's domain is ADS or ads.iu.edu. IU runs an Active Directory, the most advanced type of domain for domain controllers running Windows 2000 or later. There are many administrative differences between Active Directories and earlier domain types, but the experience is mostly the same.

  • Internet domains: On the internet, a domain is part of every network address, including website addresses, email addresses, and addresses for other internet protocols such as FTP, IRC, and SSH. All devices sharing a common part of an address, or URL, are said to be in the same domain. In the address https://www.iu.edu/about/index.html, iu is the domain, about is a directory in that domain, and index.html is a file in the directory.

    To obtain a domain, you must purchase it from a domain registrar. You can choose a registrar from the list of accredited registrars.

    Internet domains are organized by level. Top Level Domains (TLDs) include generic TLDs (gTLDs), such as .com, .edu, .net, and .org, and country-code TLDs, such as .ca (Canada) and .uk (United Kingdom).

The governing body for domain names is ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit corporation charged with overseeing the creation and distribution of TLDs.

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Last modified on 2024-02-05 13:56:40.