Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information

What is a Top Level Domain?

The Top Level Domains (TLDs) are the highest hierarchical level in the international Domain Name System (DNS). They are found at the end of the Domain, to the right of the last dot. We make a distinction between general or generic TLDs (gTLDs), such as .com, .net and .org, and country code TLDs (ccTLDs), such as .de (Germany) or .ch (Switzerland).

Currently, there are 15 gTLDs. Domains for some of them can be registered by anybody, whereas for others, such as .gov, .int, .aero or .museum, registration is reserved for particular user groups (in the four cases listed: the US government, international organisations, companies and institutions concerned with aviation, and museums). The coordination of the gTLDs is in the hands of the international organization ICANN.

The individual ccTLDs are administered by so-called Network Information Centers (NICs). For Germany, that is DENIC. A list of all the existing domain endings and the registries that administer them can be found on IANA's website.

Which name servers are authoritative for the .de zone?

DENIC is responsible for operating the name servers for the Top Level Domain .de.

The authoritative name servers for this zone can be found at

https://www.denic.de/en/service/name-service/

I have called up a .de domain, but I found myself on a DENIC information page instead. What does this mean?

The information page you see is a special web page set up by DENIC. The domain holder currently has no Internet presence under this URL.

If you yourself are the holder of the domain concerned, please get in touch with the costumer service of DENIC eG:

DENIC eG
Kaiserstraße 75 -77
60329 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

Our service staff is available from Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 18:00 (CE(S)T):

Phone
National: (069) 27 235 270
International: +49 69 27 235 270

Fax
National: (069) 27 235 238
International: +49 69 27 235 238

e-mail: direct[at]denic[dot]de

Kann ich die Domainabfrage auch ohne Javascript nutzen?

Für User, die kein Javascript aktiviert haben, stellen wir die Domainabfrage auch als "Plain-HTML" zur Verfügung:

Testlink

Zur Domainabfrage

What is a Top Level Domain?

The Top Level Domains (TLDs) are the highest hierarchical level in the international Domain Name System (DNS). They are found at the end of the Domain, to the right of the last dot. We make a distinction between general or generic TLDs (gTLDs), such as .com, .net and .org, and country code TLDs (ccTLDs), such as .de (Germany) or .ch (Switzerland).

Domains for some of the gTLDs can be registered by anybody, whereas for others, such as .gov, .int, .aero or .museum, registration is reserved for particular user groups (in the four cases listed: the US government, international organisations, companies and institutions concerned with aviation, and museums). The coordination of the gTLDs is in the hands of the international organization ICANN.

The individual ccTLDs are administered by so-called Network Information Centers (NICs). For Germany, that is DENIC. A list of all the existing domain endings and the registries that administer them can be found on IANA's website.

I am a provider. What do I have to do if I want to register domains for my customers?

If you want to be able to make use of DENIC's services directly, you will have to become a member of the DENIC cooperative. An up-to-date list of all our members is to be found on our website. DENIC would be very pleased indeed if you wanted to become a member. Such a decision would prove that you, too, were willing to take a share in the responsibility for forming and further developing the Internet in Germany. Here are the conditions that you will have to fulfil before you will be admitted as a DENIC member: You must administer domains under the Top Level Domain .de; you must not have any form of economic ties with any existing DENIC member; and you must submit evidence of your sustainable financial stability and your technical competence in domain administration. If you satisfy these conditions, you can apply for membership, which you must do in writing. DENIC's Executive Board will decide on whether to admit you or not. You will find details in the “Membership” section of our website.

Ich bin Nameserverbetreiber. Wie gehe ich vor, wenn ich meine Domains durch DNSSEC-Signierung schützen möchte?

Zunächst benötigen Sie DNSSEC-fähige Nameserver-Software auf Ihrem Nameserver und allen Ihren Secondaries. Darüberhinaus wäre es von Vorteil, über ein Werkzeug zu verfügen, um die Signierung Ihrer Domains durchzuführen. Praktische Hinweise darüber, wie der Betrieb von DNSSEC aussieht, können Sie dem RFC 4641 entnehmen.

Des Weiteren müssen Sie über einen Provider verfügen, der DNSSEC unterstützt, um Ihr Schlüsselmaterial in der DENIC-Registrierungsdatenbank zu hinterlegen.

Es gibt allerdings Dienstleister und Software, die diese Detailarbeit abnehmen können. Beispiele hierzu wurden auf dem vierten DNSSEC-Testbed-Meeting vorgestellt.

How and where can I arrange for my domain to be registered?

The registration of a .de domain can be arranged through any provider who is either a DENIC member themselves or who works with a DENIC member. The usual practice is that registration will be offered to you as part of the package of planning your Internet presence or that it will be an automatic part of an Internet-access package.

Once you have decided in favour of a particular provider, you can also apply to register your domain directly through them. We would ask you to understand that we are unable to give any prices for the registration of .de domains in cases like this since, each provider decides themselves what to charge.

If you don't want to have your domain registration undertaken by a provider, you have the alternative of entrusting it to our DENICdirect service. We will then charge our services to you in accordance with the most recent DENIC price list. In arriving at your decision, please consider that we will not provide you with any additional Internet services, such as web space or e-mail accounts. These are services that you will then have to organize yourself or order from a provider. For these reasons, most domain holders prefer to have registration handled by a provider.

Regardless of the route by which you arrange to have your domain registered, a contractual relationship is created between you as the domain holder and DENIC as the registry. To conclude the contract, it is necessary that the registration is in compliance with the conditions stipulated in DENIC's Domain Guidelines. The contractual provisions are summarized in DENIC's DomainTerms and Conditions.

Why is it that I can't find a domain in the Internet when I know it has been registered?

There are several possible explanations for this phenomenon:

When a domain is registered with DENIC, it is immediately visible via our whois service, so it is then possible to access certain data about the domain, in particular, the name of its holder. At the same time, technical data is added to the DENIC database regarding the domain's connectivity. Providing connectivity data involves indicating between two and five name servers through which the domain information is available or arranging for at least one direct entry (NSentry) to be made on the DENIC name server.

Once a domain has been fully connected, it is possible to use it to process various services (www, e-mail, ftp, etc.), but it is not mandatory to do so. What this means is that although "de-beispieldomain.de" has been registered, there doesn't have to be a host called "www.de-beispieldomain.de". There are no rules that lay down which services must be provided through a domain, and certainly there is no obligation whatsoever to create a homepage. It is possible for domain holders to decide to use their domains solely for the functions of transmitting e-mail or for file transfers using ftp. The use a domain (in whatever way) at any given point in time cannot be verified either technically or administratively. There would thus be no point in making the effective use of a domain into a precondition for its registration.

Another possibility is that the elusive domain does have its associated homepage, but that its server istemporarily inaccessible.

There is also the possibility that you have made a mistake in entering the URL.

It might be that the technical data have changed since you last accessed it (which will already be documented in our whois database), but that DENIC has not yet generated a new .de zone with the latest information.

In no circumstances does the inaccessibility of a website bestow any sort of right on you to demand its deletion. You can't call for the deletion of any website producing a message such as "under construction" either.

How can I get hold of information about the holder of a domain?

The data about a domain, which includes its holder, are recorded by DENIC when the domain is registered.

If a party has a legitimate interest, DENIC can communicate the data of the holder of a domain. For more details please refer to our specific information and the forms you need.

Can I use NAST to check domains under other TLDs?

You may use  to query .de and .9.4.e164.arpa domains and also any other domain under any NAST Top Level Domain. Please note, however, that for all domains under other TLDs (such as .com or .net domains) a generic test series will be performed, which does not take any TLD-specific settings into consideration. Hence, tests performed with the same name servers with identical configurations, for a .de and a .com domain for example, may lead to different results.

In case you do not know the requirements for the respective TLD, please contact the authoritative registry. You may consult the website of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority to find out this registry.

How can I get in touch with DENIC?

DENIC eG
Kaiserstraße 75 -77
60329 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

e-mail: info[at]denic[dot]de

Phone
National: (069) 27 235 0
International: +49 69 27 235 0

Fax
National: (069) 27 235 235
International: +49 69 27 235 235

Our hotline is available from Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 18:00 (CE(S)T):

Phone
National: (069) 27 235 270
International: +49 69 27 235 270

Fax
National: (069) 27 235 238
International: +49 69 27 235 238

e-mail: info[at]denic[dot]de

What is DENIC eG?

DENIC is a cooperative and its full name is “DENIC eG”. It is the registry for the domains below the Top Level Domain .de, i.e. it administers all second level domains that end in .de. Additionally, DENIC is the registry for all ENUM-domains which cover the German telephone number space.

The domain administration is an operation requiring the most sophisticated technology. Its most essential components are the provision of an automatic electronic registration system and the operation of the domain database and the name-server service for the .de zone and the German ENUM zone. DENIC's database thus contains information about which domains have already been registered, who the domain holder is and, by no means least important, on which computer the services associated with the domain are to be found.

Was ist eine Domain?

Domains sind eine Adressierungsmethode, um Computer im Internet (auch Hosts genannt) zu identifizieren und zu lokalisieren. Sie sind nützliche Gedächtnishilfen für die menschlichen Nutzer des Internets. Computer untereinander erkennen sich über sogenannte IP-Adressen, d.h. Ziffernfolgen wie z.B. 192.0.2.42 für IPv4 oder 2001:DB8::1234:DE:1C für IPv6, die jeden Rechner eindeutig identifizieren. Wenn ein Rechner über das Internet mit einem anderen Rechner kommunizieren will, sendet er "Internet-Pakete" an diesen, die als "Anschrift" diese IP-Adresse haben.

Menschen können sich Begriffe und Bezeichnungen aber meist leichter merken als Zahlenkolonnen. Daher wurde das Domain Name System (DNS) entwickelt, das es erlaubt, (innerhalb gewisser Regeln) frei wählbare Wörter, Namen und Begriffe statt Ziffern zu verwenden. Die Hosts können damit vom Internetnutzer sowohl über die IP-Adresse als auch über die Eingabe der Domain erreicht werden. Daneben lassen sich über das DNS weitere Dienste und Informationen abrufen.

Wenn eine Domain im Internet aufgerufen wird, übernehmen spezielle Rechner, so genannte Nameserver, die Aufgabe, eine "Übersetzung" in die IP-Adresse vorzunehmen. Wegen der Eindeutigkeit darf jede Domain, wie auch eine IP-Adresse, weltweit jeweils nur einmal registriert werden.

Das DNS selbst ist hierarchisch gegliedert: Als oberste Stufe wurden bestimmte Top Level Domains (TLDs) wie .de oder .com festgelegt. Unterhalb dieser TLDs können nun Second Level Domains, oder auch kurz nur Domains genannt, registriert werden. Die Domains unterhalb der Top Level Domain .de werden von DENIC verwaltet.

Welche anderen Top Level Domains außer .de gibt es noch?

Generell unterscheidet man zwischen generischen Top Level Domains (gTLDs) wie .com oder .info und länderbezogenen Top Level Domains (abgekürtzt ccTLDs für country code) wie .de.

Informationen zu den gTLDs finden Sie auf der Webseite der internationalen Organisation ICANN.

Eine Übersicht über die mehr als 240 existierenden länderbezogenen Top Level Domains (abgekürzt ccTLDs) finden Sie auf der Webseite der IANA. Dort finden Sie auch die Namen und Adressen der jeweiligen Registrierungsstellen.

Viele Registrierungsstellen stellen Informationen über die Domain und den Domaininhaber über eine so genannte whois-Abfrage öffentlich zur Verfügung. Für viele der gTLDs können Sie die whois-Afrage von Internic nutzen. Ansonsten wenden Sie sich bitte an die entsprechende Registrierungsstelle, um weitere Auskünfte zu erhalten.

Was ist die Top Level Domain .eu?

Die Europäische Kommission hat beschlossen, sich zur Förderung des e-Commerce in Europa und zur Schaffung einer europäischen Internetidentität die Top Level Domain .eu einzurichten. Die Organisation EURid, gegründet von den nationalen Registrierungsstellen für .be, .se und .it, wurde als .eu-Registrierungsstelle ausgewählt.

Ist DENIC auch für Domains zuständig, die nach dem .de noch eine weitere Domainendung aufweisen?

Nein, denn DENIC ist nur für die Registrierung von Domains unterhalb der Top Level Domain (TLD) .de (für Deutschland) zuständig.

Die Domain beispiel.de.vu steht in keinerlei Zusammenhang mit der Top Level Domain .de, sondern ist eine Domain unterhalb der Länderkürzel-TLD .vu (dies steht für Vanuatu). Mit der Registrierung dieser Domain hat DENIC nichts zu tun.

Why is it that I can't find a domain in the Internet when I know it has been registered?

There are several possible explanations for this phenomenon:

When a domain is registered with DENIC, it is immediately visible via our whois service, so it is then possible to access certain data about the domain, in particular, the name of its holder. At the same time, technical data is added to the DENIC database regarding the domain's connectivity. Providing connectivity data involves indicating between two and five name servers through which the domain information is available or arranging for at least one direct entry (NSentry) to be made on the DENIC name server.

Once a domain has been fully connected, it is possible to use it to process various services (www, e-mail, ftp, etc.), but it is not mandatory to do so. What this means is that although "de-beispieldomain.de" has been registered, there doesn't have to be a host called "www.de-beispieldomain.de". There are no rules that lay down which services must be provided through a domain, and certainly there is no obligation whatsoever to create a homepage. It is possible for domain holders to decide to use their domains solely for the functions of transmitting e-mail or for file transfers using ftp. The use a domain (in whatever way) at any given point in time cannot be verified either technically or administratively. There would thus be no point in making the effective use of a domain into a precondition for its registration.

Another possibility is that the elusive domain does have its associated homepage, but that its server istemporarily inaccessible.

There is also the possibility that you have made a mistake in entering the URL.

It might be that the technical data have changed since you last accessed it (which will already be documented in our whois database), but that DENIC has not yet generated a new .de zone with the latest information.

In no circumstances does the inaccessibility of a website bestow any sort of right on you to demand its deletion. You can't call for the deletion of any website producing a message such as "under construction" either.

An wen wende ich mich generell, wenn ich ein Anliegen oder eine Frage zu meiner Domain habe?

Die Antwort auf diese Frage hängt davon ab, ob Ihre Domain durch ein DENIC-Mitglied oder durch DENICdirect verwaltet wird.

Im ersten Falle ist für sämtliche Anliegen und Fragen, die Sie zu Ihrer Domain haben, ausschließlich Ihr Provider zuständig. Wenden Sie sich trotzdem direkt an DENIC, leiten wir Ihr Anliegen lediglich an das zuständige Mitglied weiter, so dass Sie keinen Zeitgewinn erzielen. Falls Ihr Provider allerdings nicht mehr erreichbar ist oder Sie dort nicht weiterkommen, gibt Ihnen DENIC vorläufige Hilfestellung, bis Sie einen neuen Provider gefunden haben.

Erfolgt die Verwaltung Ihrer Domain hingegen durch DENICdirect, können Sie sich mit etwaigen Anliegen unmittelbar an DENIC wenden. Als DENICdirect-Kunde verkürzen Sie die Bearbeitungszeit erheblich und vermeiden Nachfragen, wenn Sie die Formulare benutzen, die DENIC für viele Vorgänge anbietet.

Wie sind die Internetadressen (IP-Adressen) aufgebaut?

Eine klassische IP-Adresse besteht aus vier Bytes (entsprechend Internet Protokoll Version 4, kurz IPv4). Die Schreibweise der Internetadressen ist im allgemeinen derart, dass jedes Byte als Dezimalzahl dargestellt und durch einen Punkt vom Nachbarbyte getrennt wird (z.B. 192.168.4.13).

Dieses System stammt aus den achtziger Jahren und ermöglicht theoretisch circa vier Milliarden IP-Adressen.

In der Praxis ist aber ein großer Teil dieser Adressen durch Gruppenbildung und andere Mechanismen nicht nutzbar, so dass man sich mit dem rasanten Wachstum des Internets Gedanken um die Ausweitung des Adressschemas machen musste: Die nur 32 Bit langen Adressen werden langsam knapp, neue Funktionalität, die integriert werden soll, erfordert zusätzlichen Adressraum.

Aus diesem Grund wurde von der Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) eine neue Version des Internet-Protokolls (IPv6) entwickelt und 1998 zum Draft Standard erhoben [RFC2460]. Nach diesen Modell stehen für die IP-Adresse nicht mehr vier, sondern 16 Byte zur Verfügung, womit sich die Zahl der verfügbaren Adressen auf 2^128 (also etwa 3,4 E+38) erhöht.

Bekomme ich bei DENIC auch eine IP-Adresse?

Nein, denn DENIC verwaltet nur Domains, keine IP-Adressen. Diese Aufgabe hat für den europäischen Raum RIPE NCC in Amsterdam übernommen.

Falls Sie IP-Adressen zum Zugang zum Internet benötigen, so erhalten Sie diese in der Regel von Ihrem Internet Service Provider, sofern er zu den Local Internet Registries (LIR) von RIPE gehört.

Sollten Sie sich nicht an das Internet anschließen wollen, können Sie vermutlich auch mit einem so genannten "privaten Adressraum" arbeiten. Detailliert ist dieses Konzept in RFC1918 (Address Allocation for Private Internets) beschrieben.

Wer ist für den europäischen IP-Adressraum zuständig?

Der IP-Adressraum wird derzeit weltweit von fünf verschiedenen Organisationen verwaltet: RIPE NCC, AfriNIC, ARIN, APNIC und LACNIC. Für den europäischen Raum ist das RIPE NCC in Amsterdam zuständig.

Das RIPE NCC weist große Adressblöcke seinen Mitgliedern, den lokalen Internet Registries (LIRs) zu, die wiederum in ihren jeweiligen Regionen den Benutzern Adressen zur Verfügung stellen.

Wie und wo kann ich die Registrierung meiner Domain in Auftrag geben?

Die Registrierung einer .de-Domain kann über jeden Provider vorgenommen werden, der entweder selbst Mitglied der DENIC eG ist oder mit einem der Mitglieder zusammenarbeitet. Üblicherweise wird Ihnen die Registrierung bei der Planung Ihres Internetauftritts mit angeboten oder ist in einem Paketangebot für den Internetzugang bereits enthalten.

Wenn Sie sich für einen bestimmten Provider entschieden haben, können Sie Ihren Auftrag direkt bei diesem einreichen. Bitte haben Sie Verständnis dafür, dass wir Ihnen in diesem Fall keine Preise für .de-Domains nennen können, da diese der Kalkulation jedes einzelnen Anbieters unterliegen.

Falls Sie die Domainregistrierung nicht über einen Provider vornehmen lassen wollen, können Sie alternativ unseren Service DENICdirect in Anspruch nehmen. Wir stellen Ihnen dann unsere Leistungen gemäß der aktuellen DENIC-Preisliste in Rechnung. Bedenken Sie bitte bei Ihrer Entscheidung, dass Sie von uns keine weiteren Internetdienstleistungen wie Webspace oder die Einrichtung von E-Mail-Accounts erhalten können. Diese Dienste müssen Sie dann selbst organisieren oder bei einem Provider einkaufen. Die meisten Domaininhaber ziehen daher die Registrierung über einen Provider vor.

Unabhängig davon, auf welchem Weg Sie eine Domainregistrierung veranlassen, entsteht immer ein Vertragsverhältnis zwischen Ihnen als Domaininhaber und DENIC als Registrierungsstelle. Damit dieser Vertrag zustande kommt, müssen die in den DENIC-Domainrichtlinien genannten Bedingungen erfüllt sein. Die Vertragsbedingungen sind in den DENIC-Domainbedingungen zusammengefasst.

Kann ich bei DENIC auch Domains registrieren, die nicht auf .de enden?

Nein, denn DENIC ist nur für .de-Domains zuständig. Wenn Sie eine Domain unterhalb einer generischen Top Level Domain (wie z. B. .com, .net, .org, .info, usw.) registrieren wollen, so können Sie dies über einen der bei ICANN akkreditierten Registrare tun.

Falls Sie eine Domain unterhalb einer anderen ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) als .de registrieren lassen wollen, fragen Sie bitte Ihren Provider, ob er auch solche Domains anbietet oder wenden Sie sich an die entsprechende Registrierungsstelle.

Why does DENIC not make available the zone files for .de?

The DENIC zone files contain – roughly spoken – a list of all .de-domains together with information on the name servers that belong to them. DENIC does not hand over these zone files (or parts of it) to any third parties. Such disclosure would run counter to the imperatives of data protection and would undermine the defence of domain holders against possible abuse. Germany's Federal Data Protection Act is rather far-reaching in this respect. Protected "person-related data" includes not only information that is related directly to a particular individual, but also any data that could be used to identify individuals. Since it would be easy to combine the zone file with DENIC's whois query to extract data and to link them to individuals, the data contained in the zone file is protected because it is person-related.

Generally, DENIC collects and processes data about domains and their holders solely for the purpose of domain administration, and that does not require the zone file to be published. Moreover, from the perspective of domain administration, there are no circumstances in which a third party could justifiably need such a file. On the contrary: there would be a big danger of the zone file being used for activities that might jeopardize the interests of domain holders. Spammers or hackers might use it easily as a data source, since there are all existing .de-domains listed in the zone file. Combined with the whois query, these domain data could be person-related. Once the zone file had been published or rendered publicly available, DENIC would have lost any means of monitoring or influencing its use or of establishing and preventing any breaches of others' rights. Even the copyright that DENIC holds for the zone file, prohibiting unauthorized copies and further dissemination, would not provide any real protection.

In this respect, DENIC can be reasonably compared with a bank. No bank publishes a complete list of all the account numbers it has issued; in the same way, DENIC does not make the zone files available either.

Was sind NSentry-Domains bzw. Nameserver?

Es gibt zwei Möglichkeiten, die Erreichbarkeit einer Domain sicherzustellen:

Die Domain wird von unseren Nameservern an andere Nameserver "delegiert". Das bedeutet, dass in unsere Datenbanken die Adressen von mindestens zwei Nameservern eingetragen werden. Jede Anfrage, die uns bezüglich dieser Domain erreicht, wird an diese Nameserver weitergegeben. Um sicherzustellen, dass die betreffenden Nameserver erreichbar und zuständig sind, wird bei der Ersteintragung von Nameservern eine Prüfung ihrer Funktionalität vorgenommen.

Daneben gibt es auch die alternative Möglichkeit, dass auf unseren Nameservern bis zu fünf Dienste, die mit dieser Domain zusammenhängen, z. B. www.de-beispieldomain.de oder mail.de-beispieldomain.de direkt (über einen sogenannten NSentry-Eintrag) mit der IP-Adresse des Hosts oder einem Mailserver verknüpft werden, über den dieser Dienst abgewickelt wird. In diesem Fall sind keine eigenen Nameserver notwendig.

Who is responsible for the European IP address space?

Currently, administration of the IP address space worldwide is divided up over five different organizations: RIPE NCC, AfriNIC, ARIN, APNIC and LACNIC. . It is RIPE NCC in Amsterdam that is in charge of the European space.

RIPE NCC assigns big address blocks to its members, the Local Internet Registries (LIRs), and these, in turn, make addresses available to the users in their particular regions.

What is a domain?

Domains are an addressing technique for identifying and localizing computers (or "hosts") in the Internet. Computers recognize one another solely by means of their IP addresses, which are purely numerical. The IPv4 standard, which is still the dominant one, requires them to be in the form xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, where each xxx stands for a number between 0 and 255. A typical IP address might, for instance, be 10.136.66.12. When one computer wants to communicate with another one via the Internet, it sends it "Internet packets" which are addressed to the recipient's IP address.

It is human nature that we usually find it a lot easier to memorize terms and descriptions than rows of figures. That was the reason the Domain Name System (DNS) was developed and it makes it possible to use words, names and terms instead of digits more or less at will (although a few rules have to be complied with). That now makes it possible for Internet users to access hosts either through their IP address or by entering the domain. The DNS can also be used for calling other services and information.

When a domain is called in the Internet, special computers, known as name servers, assume the task of translating it into the corresponding IP address. Because each domain and each IP address is unique, they can both only be registered once in the world.

The DNS itself has a hierarchical structure. A number of Top Level Domains (TLDs), such as .de or .com, are defined as its topmost layer. Under these TLDs, it is possible to register second-level domains, which are nearly always referred to simply as "domains". DENIC administers those domains that come under the Top Level Domain .de.

What is the Top Level Domain .eu?

The European Commission decided, as a means of encouraging e-business in Europe and to support the creation of a own European Internet identity, to establish the Top Level Domain .eu. The organization EURid, which was set up jointly by the national registries for .be, .se and .it, has been chosen as the .eu registry.

What are NSentry domains and name servers?

There are two ways of ensuring a domain's connectivity:

The first of these is for the domain to be delegated by DENIC name servers to other name servers. This means that DENIC enters the addresses of at least two name servers in its databases. Any inquiry DENIC receives about this domain is passed on to these name servers. In order to ensure that the name servers concerned are accessible and competent, we perform a check of functionality the first time entries are made for them.

Secondly, there is the alternative of linking up to five services on DENIC's own name servers that have something to do with your domain, such as www.de-example.de or mail.de-example.de, directly with the IP address of the host or a mail server through which this service is handled (such links are known as “NSentries”). In this second case, you do not need to have a name server of your own.

How are Internet addresses (IP addresses) structured?

A classical IP address is made up of four bytes (as defined in Internet Protocol Version 4 - “IPv4” for short). Generally, Internet addresses are written in such a way that each byte is represented by a decimal number and the bytes are separated from one another by dots (example: 192.168.4.13).

This system was first introduced in the 1980s. Theoretically, it has a capacity of around 4 000 000 000 IP addresses.

In practice, however, the vast majority of these addresses are not available for use on account of groupings and other mechanisms, so that, as the Internet continued its rapid expansion, it became necessary to think about extending this address scheme. These addresses, which are only 32-bits long are beginning to run out, and new ranges of functions that ought to be integrated are creating the need for additional address space.

For this reason, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) developed a new version of the Internet Protocol (IPv6), and in 1998 it was given the status of a draft standard [RFC2460]. According to this newer model there are no longer just four bytes available for each IP address, but 16. This increases the total number of addresses to 2^128 (aprroimately 3.4 E+38).

Could you tell me whom I should normally contact if I've got questions about my domain or if there is any other matter concerning me?

The answer to this question depends on whether your domain is being administered by a DENIC member or by DENICdirect.

In the first case (your domain is being administered by a DENIC member), it is only your provider who is in a position to deal with questions and any other matters concerning your domain. If, despite that, you contact DENIC directly, there is nothing we can do except pass your message on to the DENIC member in charge, so there is no way that you can save time. If it happens that you can no longer contact your provider or if you make no progress with your provider, DENIC is able to give you provisional assistance until you find a new provider.

In the second case (your domain is being administered by DENICdirect), you can contact DENIC directly with any matter that may concern you. As a DENICdirect customer, you should realize that you can help shorten the processing time considerably and reduce the need for clarifying details afterwards by using the special standard forms that DENIC provides for many different types of transaction.

Why did I reach a DENIC information page when trying to access an internet address (URL)?

This particular information page has been set up for the holder of the domain concerned, who possibly was not reachable by post, to make him aware that the domain (website) is not accessible and that he/she should contact DENIC as soon as possible.

Do I get an IP address from DENIC?

No. DENIC's job is just to administer domains, not IP addresses. The latter function has been entrusted to RIPE NCC in Amsterdam for the European space.

If you need IP addresses for access to the Internet, you will generally be able to get them from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), provided he/she belongs to RIPE's Local Internet Registries(LIRs).

It you don't want to connect up to the Internet, it will presumably be possible for you to work with a so-called "private address space". This concept is described in detail in RFC1918 (Address Allocation for Private Internets).

Is DENIC also responsible for domains that have a further ending after ".de"?

No. DENIC is only responsible for the registration of domains under the Top Level Domain (TLD) .de (for Germany).

The second-level domain "example.de.vu" has nothing to do with the Top Level Domain .de, but is a domain under the county code TLD .vu (which stands for Vanuatu). DENIC has nothing at all to do with the registration of this domain.

Why does DENIC insist on particular forms for our communication?

DENIC provides forms for many transactions. That makes the job easier for both you and us. All you have to do is print out the forms and complete them. This way DENIC can be sure it will receive the declarations needed. Clarifications become unnecessary and delays are avoided.

The reason why DENIC asks you to send in the provided forms signed by you or your legal representative is to prevent misunderstandings at some later date.

Is DENIC able to advise me if I have a legal problem?

Naturally, it is DENIC's policy to assist its customers in any way it can when they have problems. However, it cannot give legal advice on individual cases. DENIC is not able to help you if, for instance, you want to know how to react to a written warning or what sort of chances you have of defending your domain in a legal dispute or how you can manage to force a domain holder to delete his/her domain. In such cases, you will have to seek specialist advice elsewhere, such as from a lawyer or a patent lawyer if trademark rights are the subject-matter. In Germany, the local professional chamber of lawyers (Rechtsanwaltskammer) and in some localities the local professional associations of lawyers (Anwaltsvereine) will be able to help you find the correct lawyer to handle your particular problem. Some of the German federal states have set up public legal-advice centres (Rechtsauskunftsstellen) and in some cases there may be a scheme of legal-aid vouchers to help you if you are unable to afford lawyers' fees. If in doubt about this last point, you will be able to get more information from the ministry of justice of the federal state concerned (Landesjustizministerium), or the nearest local court (Amtsgericht) might be able to assist you. In many cases, the best first step is often to try and find out more yourself by using the Internet, where there are many websites that provide legal information. There are also various mailing lists for online law, where you may find others willing to discuss your problem with you.

What is a Top Level Domain?

The Top Level Domains (TLDs) are the highest hierarchical level in the international Domain Name System (DNS). They are found at the end of the Domain, to the right of the last dot. We make a distinction between general or generic TLDs (gTLDs), such as .com, .net and .org, and country code TLDs (ccTLDs), such as .de (Germany) or .ch (Switzerland).

Currently, there are 15 gTLDs. Domains for some of them can be registered by anybody, whereas for others, such as .gov, .int, .aero or .museum, registration is reserved for particular user groups (in the four cases listed: the US government, international organisations, companies and institutions concerned with aviation, and museums). The coordination of the gTLDs is in the hands of the international organization ICANN.

The individual ccTLDs are administered by so-called Network Information Centers (NICs). For Germany, that is DENIC. A list of all the existing domain endings and the registries that administer them can be found on IANA's website.

What can I do if I discover illegal contents on a website?

DENIC's function is limited to the registration and administration of domains and it is thus not responsible for the contents of websites.

If you happen to find a website whose contents appear illegal or harmful to young people, you should report it to the appropriate law-enforcement agency (such as the police or the public prosecutor's office). Alternatively, you can contact the complaints' unit of the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Multimedia-Diensteanbieter FSM, which was founded in 1997 by several associations in order to prevent the spreading of contents that is illegal or harmful to young people (e.g. incitement of the people, display of violence, so-called hard pornography) via online services. Please note: FSM is not responsible for complaints concerning the following subjects:

Can I insist that DENIC 'block' a particular domain so that it can't be registered?

No. DENIC does not "block" domains in such a way that they are no longer available for registration. That even applies if you believe that you have rights on account of your name or a brand or trademark you own to stop anyone apart from yourself from holding a particular domain. Given the many thousands of millions of people and legal entities throughout the world, nobody can ever say for certain that they are unique and that there is no-else or no organization that might not have the right to register the domain for themselves. That fact that DENIC has no obligation to "block" domains was expressly confirmed in a judgement handed down by the Court of Appeals in Dresden when it found against a leading politician in the German federal state of Saxony who had taken action against DENIC with the aim of forcing it to "block" the registration of a domain called kurt-biedenkopf.de. Despite that, there is an easy way to prevent domains from being registered by others and then used in a way you would not like: you should get in first and register them yourself.

Can I insist that DENIC disconnects a domain if it is used to address a website with illegal or immoral contents?

If you are concerned with the contents of websites, the first thing you must do is to clearly understand the fundamental difference between websites and domains. It is possible to make a website reachable under a domain, but that is not the only way, since websites can be addressed by entering the appropriate IP address too. It is also possible for a website to be accessible through several domains and under a number of different Top Level Domains. To give you an example: the domains www.denic.de, www.nic.de and www.denic.info all route you to DENIC's website. A domain is actually only a reference to a computer ("host"), which itself (with the exception of the example just given) is not operated by DENIC, but by someone else. DENIC has no means of accessing such computers.

From this it follows that DENIC has nothing to do with either the contents or technicalities of websites accessible under .de domains. DENIC cannot determine the contents of websites (nor can it even influence them); it doesn't even have them saved on its own servers. All DENIC does is to provide the link between the domain and the website by registering the domain on its name servers.

From this, it is already clear that DENIC is not in a position to do anything to prevent the spread of a particular website. The most it could do would be to break its link with a particular domain. That wouldn't really achieve anything, since the possible legal or other problems concern the website itself and not its link to a particular domain. For this reason alone, DENIC is under no obligation to break such links, as has also already been confirmed in a court judgement.

But there is something else to be considered too. DENIC would, of course, only be able to intervene if it had first verified that the questionable website was indeed illegal or morally offensive. DENIC is not in a position to carry out such checks, nor does it have any duty to do so. It would actually be highly undesirable to want to impose such a duty on DENIC, because it would end up making DENIC into a general policing and censorship body for the whole Internet, insofar as it was active under .de.

What happens to a domain when its holder dies?

Fundamentally, holding a domain is inheritable, so the heir of the late domain holder replaces the deceased person. Such an heir will need to show evidence of the inheritance to their provider and will then be entered in DENIC's database as the new domain holder. The heir, of course, also has the right to delete the domain or to transfer it to someone else.

Can I use the domain query service without a Javascript?

Users who have not activated any Javascript may use the "Plain-HTML" version of our domain query:

Go to domain query

Why is my e-mail rejected by DENIC?

Please understand that we do not accept e-mails in the following cases for security reasons:

  • The address of the e-mail recipient is invalid. Please check the recipient's address on typing errors. You find valid e-mail addresses of DENIC eG on our contact page.
  • The e-mail exceeds the size limit. Please check if your e-mail contains large file attachments and/or if the file attachments can be compressed or split into several e-mails.
  • The e-mail is identified as spam. Please check the content of your e-mail and notify your system administrator.
  • The e-mail contains a virus. Please check the content of your e-mail and notify your system administrator.

If the DENIC mail server rejects an e-mail for any of the aforementioned reasons, it will communicate this to the mail server of the sender. Whether you as the sender receive a delivery error notification to your inbox depends on the configuration of your mail server. If you are not sure about this, please contact your system administrator.

What is a Top Level Domain?

The Top Level Domains (TLDs) are the highest hierarchical level in the international Domain Name System (DNS). They are found at the end of the Domain, to the right of the last dot. We make a distinction between general or generic TLDs (gTLDs), such as .com, .net and .org, and country code TLDs (ccTLDs), such as .de (Germany) or .ch (Switzerland).

Domains for some of the gTLDs can be registered by anybody, whereas for others, such as .gov, .int, .aero or .museum, registration is reserved for particular user groups (in the four cases listed: the US government, international organisations, companies and institutions concerned with aviation, and museums). The coordination of the gTLDs is in the hands of the international organization ICANN.

The individual ccTLDs are administered by so-called Network Information Centers (NICs). For Germany, that is DENIC. A list of all the existing domain endings and the registries that administer them can be found on IANA's website.

What other Top Level Domains exist besides .de?

A general distinction is made between generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), such as .com, or .info, and country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), such as .de.

You will find information about the gTLDs on the website of the international organization ICANN.

The website of IANA gives you an overview of the more than 240 ccTLDs that exist today. Here, you also find a list of the names and addresses of the registries in charge of each ccTLD.

Many registries make information about domains and domain holders publicly available through a so-called whois search. For many of the gTLDs, you can use the whois search offered by Internic. If this is not possible, please contact the particular registry in charge of the TLD you are interested in to get further information.

What is DENIC eG?

DENIC is a cooperative and its full name is “DENIC eG”. It is the registry for the domains below the Top Level Domain .de, i.e. it administers all second level domains that end in .de. Additionally, DENIC is the registry for all ENUM-domains which cover the German telephone number space.

The domain administration is an operation requiring the most sophisticated technology. Its most essential components are the provision of an automatic electronic registration system and the operation of the domain database and the name-server service for the .de zone and the German ENUM zone. DENIC's database thus contains information about which domains have already been registered, who the domain holder is and, by no means least important, on which computer the services associated with the domain are to be found.