Explanation of Internet Domain Names

  • A domain name is not just a URL.
  • An internet domain is space (or potential space) on the internet.
  • Registering a domain name is not a way of obtaining Web hosting services or an alias URL for an existing website.
  • Each domain has a unique numeric Internet Protocol (IP) address. For example, the ncsu.edu domain has the IP addresses 152.1.x.y, 152.7.x.y and 152.14.x.y.
  • Each server and service within the ncsu.edu domain must be associated with one of these IP address ranges in order to be identified and found among the millions of other internet domains.
  • Domain names like yahoo.com are easier to remember than numeric IP addresses, but each fully qualified domain name (e.g., www.ncsu.edu) corresponds to a specific IP address.
  • Domain names must be unique and officially registered so that the Internet Domain Name System (DNS) can match the name with the IP address. That address must be physically assigned to server software running on at least one computer in order for there to be an actual internet presence.
  • Some companies who register internet domain names also offer web hosting, email or ftp services.
  • Registering a domain name and being given an IP address gives you the right to create your own space on the internet.
    However, it does not create the space or provide you any other internet services.
  • If you already have a working website, then it already exists within an internet domain.
  • At NC State, every network host (i.e., network-connected computer) must be registered in the ncsu.edu domain unless exception is granted by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Information Systems or the Vice Provost for Information Technology. See Administrative Regulations — Computer Use, Section III, L.