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What is Domain? Understand how it works!

The term “domain” is often used on the web. But what is a domain and how does it work? In this article we will explore more about what is domain and how domain names work on the internet.

Have you ever wondered what these (or what they are for) these endings are in Internet addresses – like “dot com”? They are part of the domain. The domain is a unique identity that serves to name a company or entity on the Internet. You can find the domain in an email address after an ” @” sign . The e-mail address of the Civil House.

What is domain or domain name?

New computer users often confuse domain names with universal resource locators, or URLs, and IP addresses. This confusion is understandable , but it pays to learn the differences between them, because these words are very common these days.

It is also important to use the terms correctly when communicating with technicians or others within a professional organization. And of course, it is essential to have that insight if you are planning to have, or already have, your own website .

This naming convention is similar to a physical address system . People find web pages similar to the way they use maps to find physical locations. In more metaphorical language, website addresses are like a phone book, and a Web page is like a physical building, the URL would be the exact street address of that building. The IP address would be like a car that travels to its destination.

Domain names and URLs

The Universal Resource Locator (or URL) is a complete set of directions and contains extremely detailed information. The URL understands what domain is, that name is one of the parts within an address . It is also the most easily recognized part of any address.

When Internet users type a web address directly into the field at the top of the browser window, it initiates a process of locating the requested page. To do this, the instructions contained within the URL, including the domain name , must point correctly to that location. The IP address is a numeric code that makes this possible.

Domain Names and IP Addresses

An Internet address, or IP, is different from a domain name. The IP address is a set of numbers. It communicates accurate information about the address in a way that is useful to the computer but does not make sense to humans. The domain name functions as a ” link to the IP address”.

The links do not contain actual information, but indicate where the IP address information resides. It is convenient to think of IP addresses as the real code and the domain name as a nickname for that code.

A typical IP address (IPv4) looks like a sequence of numbers. It could be, for example. However, this way it would be very difficult to memorize the addresses of the sites . In summary, the domain name is a part of the URL, which points to the IP address.

What’s in a domain name?

To better understand what a domain is and how it works, it is possible to make the following analogy: domains work on the Internet in a manner similar to a physical address in the physical world. Each part of the domain name provides some specific information . This information allows browsers to locate the web page.

The naming system is strictly regulated in order to avoid confusion or duplicate addresses. As demand increased exponentially, a new version of the Internet protocol, or IPv6 , was created to expand the number of available addresses.

How domains work?

Knowing what domain is, let’s better understand how it works. ?

Domain names exist to give Internet users a short, easy-to-access and memorable name. Users enter web addresses in the URL field at the top of the browser page from left to right.

The domain name itself is read from right to left, according to the naming hierarchy discussed below. This ” link ” provides directions to the network, which results in successful page load at the end of the transaction.

The common fictional domain name, www.mysite.com , is composed of three essential parts:

  • .com – This is the top-level domain, or top-level domain.
  • .my site. – This is a subdomain.
  • www. – This is a subdomain prefix to the World Wide Web. The original use of this prefix was partially accidental, and pronunciation difficulties increased interest in creating viable alternatives.

Internet domain names are organized by their levels, with the highest levels on the right. For example, for the domain ” mail.meusite.net ” the top-level domain is “net”, the second-level domain is ” myite.net ” and the third-level domain is ” www.myusite.net “.

At first it may seem confusing, but let’s get to know each of the domain levels better.

Top-level Domains or Top-Level Domain (TLD)

Originally, top-level domains were associated with the organizations they belonged to. In January 1986, the domain name space was restructured with eight domain-specific domains, with technical management performed by the ISI.

Top-level domains, also called TLDs, are the part of the address that are after the point (example: yahoo.com ). As in the previous example, the top-level domain is .com. We can also cite as an example of TLD the .com.us domain . Let’s see below the eight domains:

  • .com = commercial
  • .gov = government
  • .org = organization
  • .edu = educational institution
  • .net = originally intended for Internet-related websites but now used for a wide variety of websites.
  • .mil = Used for US military sites.
  • .bitnet = Used for computers in the BITNET network.
  • .int = Used by “International” sites, usually NATO sites.

Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD)

As the name suggests, the first level domains with country code are country-specific domains such as .br for Brazil. It is important to know that some of these domains can be registered by anyone from anywhere in the world, while others can only be registered by both individuals and legal entities residing in the country to which the domain is related.

Here are some country codes:

  • .us – United States
  • .nz – New Zealand
  • .jp – Japan
  • .de – Germany
  • .nl – Netherlands
  • .br – Brazil

What is second-level domain (subdomain)

Understanding well what is domain and its role, we can explore the levels of domain that exist.

The second level domain is nothing more than the domain name itself.

For example: globo.com

  1. globe – is the second level domain
  2. .com – is the first level domain

What about the third level domain?

The third-level domain does not rely on registration in any entity, as it is an integral part of the second-level domain, and can be created by the site administrator. In other words, the third-level domain is a sub-domain.

For example: teste.mysite.com

  1. .com – is the first level domain
  2. .my site. – is the second level domain
  3. test – is the third level domain


The domain name is the identity of a company on the internet. So before you decide, it is important to choose a name that has a strong connection with you, your product, or your company.

Some simple rules must also be respected, as you can see below:

  • Domains must be between 2 and 26 characters, not including termination
  • Domains (national) allow the use of accented characters, but they are not recommended. After all, not all email servers support this option
  • There is no differentiation between uppercase and lowercase letters. MySite.com will be recognized the same as myite.com , for example
  • The domain name should not be started or terminated by a hyphen.

Now that you understand what domain is well, check out the comparative domain companies and register yours! (I.e.

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