On this page, we have collected frequently asked questions and answers concerning
the domain system. It mainly deals with general matters; more specific
topics can be found on the special pages describing every single top level domain.
Every computer on the internet has a unique number, comparable to a phone
number. Based on the fact that people can't memorize long numbers too well,
the computers are additionally given names. Those computers which belong to
a group (e.g. inside an enterprise) are combined to an area (= domain).
Domains are organized hierarchically, with a dot dividing each two levels of this hierarchy.
The first position stands for the name of a computer.
Best known are computers with the name »www«, which often provide the
data for the World Wide Web-service of a company.
Each domain holder may organize the hierarchy below his domain name
according to his needs.
For a domain »firm.de«, this could look like this:
The top level domains are the highest level in this hierarchy.
In the given example of »smith-pc.sales.firm.de« this would be
the suffix »de«. A distinction is drawn between country specific domains, such as
»de« for Germany (Deutschland), »fr« for France, or »jp« for Japan, and
the so-called generic top level domains, like »com«, »net«, »org«, and
the newer ones »info«, »biz«, and »name«.
In addition to that there are sponsored top level domains. They are being administered
by sponsors and can only be registered by a limited group of users.
Examples for sponsored TLDs are »aero« for the aviation industry or »museum« for museums.
Besides that there are a number of other domains (as for example
»edu«, »mil«, »int«), which are of minor importance.
There is a rather small set of characters that is allowed for all
top level domains. There is an international agreement on the lowest common
denominator, i.e. the letters »a« to »z«, the digits »0« to »9«, and the
Beyond this common set there are great differences between the domains
concerning which local language characters are allowed in the domain names,
if any. These are then called »Internationalized
Domain Names« (IDN).
For .de domains, there is a set of 92
additional characters available by now.
And for .com and .net domains there
have been substantial expansions, too. Other domains
and .info) at
least allow for the usage of the Umlauts »ä«, »ö« and »ü«, which are of great
importance for the German-speaking world. You can find more
information on the status of internationalization for the various top level domains
in this overview.
In many cases, there are additional restrictions, however, regarding the
length of the domain names, for example. The exact regulations are
described on the respective pages for each top level domain.
That depends on the top level domain. Most registries do not limit
the number of domains a company may register, like .de domains, and .net
and .info domains, for instance.
Details can be found on our pages that specifically deal with each top level domain.
There are so-called Whois servers for this purpose. You can inquire these
servers on our website. Each top level domain operates its own Whois servers.
As a special service for you, we have created
a »Global Whois«-page which
makes it possible to inquire all the domains that can be registered at
Every name can be used only once.
The following principle is basically true: The early bird catches the worm.
In the past, business people have tried to make profit by dealing with
domain names again and again.
However, legal practice in Germany takes into account if the plaintiff has
a »legitimate interest«. For example, the Quelle corporation has a
better right on the the domain »quelle.de« than the individual Heinz-Otto Quelle.
The contact data of the domain's holder and the domain's administrative contact
will be stored. These contact information differ from top level domain to
top level domain. Details can be found in the FAQ of the respective top level
As mentioned above, computers are specified on the basis of internet numbers.
The domain name server converts names to these numbers and vice versa.
That is comparable to a company's telephone directory.
The domain's name server is being operated by the company or by their internet
provider. In case that the name server has an outage or isn't reachable because
of a technical malfunction, there has to be at least one backup name server.
Knipp operates the name servers for it's customers free of surcharge.
The registration via Knipp's DRS will be processed immediately.
It does not matter if you use an e-mail application form or the web interface.
The registration process usually takes only a few seconds.
Modifications of domain data can only be processed by the registrar who
has registered the domain. For example, Knipp cannot modify a domain
as long as it is being administered by NSI. On the other hand, NSI
isn't able to change domains that are being operated by Knipp (CORE).
To identify who has registered a domain you can use
our Whois service.