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Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) for the five major generic top level domain extensions, and for a variety of international domain extensions. Our registration process is quick and easy, and you can check back often to see if there are new languages and/or extensions available.
Internationalized Domain Names are domain names represented by local language characters. Such domain names could contain letters or characters from non-ASCII scripts (for example, Arabic or Chinese). Recently, much effort has gone into making domain names available in character sets other than ASCII, making the Internet more accessible while preserving a naming system that is globally unique and resolvable. Existing country code domains are going to continue to function as usual with new IDN country codes extensions created. Generic TLDs (.com, etc.) are also planning on implementing new IDN extensions later 2010.
There are two types of IDN domains: partial (IDN.xx) or full (IDN.IDN). A partial IDN has the extension still in Latin-based characters, while full IDNs are completely represented in that language's native character set. IDN.xx domains are already being offered through many gTLD and ccTLD providers as domains where the native language is displayed for the domain and not the extension. Partial IDN TLDs will lose their effectiveness if the SLD (domain) and the TLD (extension) are in different character sets requiring the client to change their keyboard settings to type in the full domain name.
More effective is the full IDN which will have the SLD and TLD in the same character set allowing the client to type the full domain name without the keyboard setting being changed. For example, in Cyrillic. While full IDNs can be represented in the native character Unicode, the domain name system only functions with ASCII characters and would not recognize non-English letters and numbers with no accents.
The way around this problem is to encode Unicode characters into Punycode, which is an ASCII representation of the Unicode characters. The marker "xn--" indicates that the domain is an IDN. As far as the DNS itself is concerned.
The biggest technical challenge involves changing all the application software to support IDNs, because IDNs are converted to Punycode in the application and not the DNS system. Internationalized Domain Names were designed to be backwards compatible, as they convert Unicode characters to ASCII characters, so it would not require a wholesale change to the DNS system. They reduced the technical challenge by assigning the support of IDNs from the DNS system level to the application level.
It is up to the application, like the web browser, to convert the Unicode characters into the Punycode representation. There are no changes to the DNS system as the responsibility for encoding IDNs is delegated to the application. The application is what displays the domain as the non-English characters.
IDNs do not affect DNS security and stability because the DNS only cares about the Punycode version of the domain. IDNs have existed on some extensions since 2002. Though one concern from security experts is the IDN homograph attack, there are characters in other scripts that are identical to characters in ASCII, example LATIN-A (U+0061) and CRYILLIC-A (U+0430) which are different character as far as the computer is concerned, but they look exactly the same on the screen. Web browser developers have responded to this threat by either (in FireFox) only displaying the Punycode version if there is the possibility of the homograph attack, or (in IE & Safari) only displaying domains if they are in one character set. This kind of issue is at the application level, and can be dealt with at that level rather than making changes to the DNS to accommodate for these type of attacks.
Internationalized Domain Names will increase Internet accessibility worldwide, particularly for people using non-Latin alphabets such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, and Korean. Many countries have started registrations for IDN.IDN domains. Until these extensions are approved by ICANN and added to the root routers, they cannot be used globally. Pre-orders are already being offered. Demand is greatest for Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, India, and Latin language domains, with more than half of internet users now using non-Latin scripts.
Use IDN Bulk Domain Search & Registration Tool to quickly look up a list of domain names you already have in mind. Enter as many different domain names with extensions to quickly check domain availability and pricing and purchase with ease!
IDN Bulk Search searches language characters and Latin (punycode) character Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) for all the major top level domain extensions, and for many international domain extensions. Simply search for the IDN domains you would like to register, choose your languageon our checkout screen, confirm availability, and register. It's that simple!
As always, our registration process is quick and easy, and you can check back often to see if there are new languages and/or extensions available.
Unrestricted generic top-level domains are those domains that are available for registration by any person or organization for any use. The prominent gTLDs in this group are .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO and .BIZ. However, .INFO was the only one of these, and the first, that was explicitly chartered as unrestricted. While the others initially had a specific target audience, they were grandfathered as unrestricted due to lack of enforcement.
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