Domain registration services register universal resource locators (URLs) with the Internet Network Information Center (InterNIC), an organization which controls domain names and assigns Internet protocol (IP) addresses. Domain registration services also transfer and auction registered domains. A universal resource locator (URL) is the unique, text-based address for a resource on the Web. URLs specify the method (protocol) to access the resource, the name of the host computer, and the resource path. For example, / is the URL for GlobalSpec on the World Wide Web (WWW), a network of computers linked by a common protocol. The http:// portion of the URL indicates that hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) is used to exchange information. The www.globalspec.com portion of the URL is the domain name that is registered with InterNIC.
Domain registration services use a domain name service or domain name system (DNS) to track assigned domain names and their corresponding IP addresses. Each device that is connected to the Internet must have a unique IP address which consists of four numbers separated by dots (e.g., 126.96.36.1990). The DNS uses TCP/IP, a set of communications protocols for connecting computers that are not part of the same network. TCP/IP provides reliable communication and is suitable for multiplexing. Transmission control protocol or TCP enables two hosts to establish a connection and exchange data. IP or Internet protocol defines the IP datagram as the basic unit of transmitted information. For domain registration services, DNS management is a central activity.
Domain registration services enable businesses, education institutions, and governmental agencies to register a domain name with the appropriate suffix. In the United States, there are several common Internet suffixes: commercial (.com), network (.net), organization (.org), business (.biz), information source (.info), personal name (.name), educational (.edu), government (.gov), and military (.mil). Domain suffixes for other countries have their own Internet suffix. For example, domain registration services that register URLs for companies in China assign a suffix of .cn.