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Domains - Pathfinders on the Internet

Today, being present on the Internet with your own website is common practice – for businesses, organisations and private individuals. What does it take? First of all, you need a domain under which the website can be accessed.

The Domain Name System – the Internet Directory

Domains are memory aids for the human users of the Internet. Computers recognise each other through so-called IP addresses, that is sequences of numbers by which each computer can be uniquely identified. The Domain Name System (DNS), by contrast, enables "names" to be uniquely assigned. These names can be registered under the so-called Top Level Domains (TLD) such as .de. This provides a huge advantage: Instead of having to cope with long numbers, we just have to remember names in order to access a website.

The DNS can also be used to identify services that are associated with a domain. For instance, it can provide information as to which computer is acting as the mail server for a given domain, which name server is responsible for the domain and much more.

Next to domains under the country code .de DENIC also administers the so-called ENUM domains under .9.4.e164.arpa. ENUM, which is derived from the term "telephone number mapping", bridges the gap between telecommunication and the Internet. With ENUM, a whole range of different communication services may be identified and addressed through a single telephone number.