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Domain jargon plainly explained

On this page you may glean plenty terms that deal with domains. If you cannot find a specific term you are looking for, please inform our support department. We are always willing to broaden the glossary.

A record, AAAA record

A records are units of information in the DNS that are used to assign IP addresses in the IPv4 format to domain names. The corresponding resource record type for IPv6 is AAAA.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

ADR is an alternative procedure for solving disputes that EURid offers in case of conflicts about .eu domain names.
ADR, which is an alternative to a normal court procedure and can be compared to UDRP, is facilitated by the Prague-based Arbitration Court in the Czech Republic. It administers ADR Proceedings in line with the Public Policy Rules for .eu of the European Commission (EC Regulation 874/2004).
The ADR rules, fees and all other relevant information can be found on the website of the Czech arbitration Court (www.adr.eu).


Enterprise that operates the registry for the top level domain .info. Afilias is also the technical operator of the top level domain .org and other small top level domains. Afilias is strictly speaking an American managed company which has a letterbox domicile in Ireland.

Authinfo, Authcode

Authinfo is some kind of password, which is required for changing the registrar of a domain. It thus protects you against unauthorized persons initiating such an operation.

Changing the Sponsoring Registrar(CTSR)

Identifies the transfer of a domain from one registrar to another. By the way, for .de domains this process is called KK.

Contact handle

A contact handle is a short alphanumeric code specifies a certain combination of different contact data, like “first name”, “last name”, “city”, and so on. A contact handle might for example be “C4711-LRMS”.
Details can be found in the DRS explanations.


Acronym for Council of Registrars. Worldwide federation of registrars, who initiated the process of new top level domains in 1997. Knipp is a founding member of CORE.
CORE itself is registrar on the one hand, but also technical operator of the and thus part of the registries for the top level domains .aero and .museum on the other hand.

Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD)

This is a top level domain, whose ending represents a two-letter acronym of a particular country. Examples are “de” for Germany (Deutschland), “fr” for France or “jp” for Japan. A complete list of acronyms is specified in the industry standard ISO-3166-1. The registries of these top level domains are usually operated in some kind of self-administration by the internet users of the respective country, together with universities and, to an increasing degree, state-controlled authorities. The German top level domain is being operated by DENIC e.G.. Knipp is a member of DENIC's cooperative society.
Often ccTLDs are divided into categories, and only allow the registration of a name in the third level (i.e. in front of the second dot). Examples: “redcross.org.uk” (org = acronym for non-commercial organizations) or “microsoft.co.at” (co = acronym for commercial category group, at = Austria).
More and more ccTLDs are “misused” by shady tradesmen who “buy” the administration of smaller, less solvent countries. A well known example the archipelago Tuvalu with its top level domain “tv”. These domains are willingly being used by telestations.


Frankfurt-based Registry which is organized as cooperative society for the .de top level domain .

Domain Name System (DNS)

The Domain Name System is a distributed, hierarchical system to store and retrieve information in the Internet. It is one of the most important services of the Internet. Its main purpose is the resolution of domain names into IP addresses. Without the DNS, we would always have to type IP addresses into the Browser or when sending e-mails. However, there are many more information other than IP addresses that can be administered in the DNS that are either useful or necessary to operate domains. The DNS entries themselves are stored in so-called resource records.

Domain Registration System (DRS)

A system developed by Knipp for the registration and management of domains. It is based on more than 200,000 lines of source code. Despite its complexity the system is characterized by its easy handling and an exemplary user interface that has even been awarded with a design price (iF Design Award 2004).


The European Registry for Internet Domains (EURid) is the non-profit organization chosen by the EU commission as the designated registry for the .eu top level domain. The Brussels-based registry consists of the three founder members “Istituto di Informatica e Telematica” (IIT, Italy) and the country code domain administrations of Belgium and Sweden, as well as the ccTLD administrations of Slovenia and the Czech Republic as associate members.

First Come First Served

Describes an often used allocation principle with domains. A similar proverb is also known in Germany (“Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst”).
Due to the fact that a domain name can only be used once, this procedure is commonly accounted as “fair”.

General Availability (GA) | Go Live

The General Availability phase (sometimes also called Go Live phase) is the introductory phase that follows all Sunrise and Landrush periods. It is the open-ended phase where a new TLD becomes available on a first-come, first-served basis to the general public.

generic Top Level Domain (gTLD)

This is a top level domain, which can be registered by anyone worldwide. There are no admission restrictions. Some domains of this kind are for example “com”, “net”, “org”, “info”, and “biz”.

Grace Period

This indicates several “granted reprieves”. For some top level domains, for example, the transferral of a domain to another registrar is not possible until the domain exists for at least 60 days. Another example for a Grace Period is the procedure for unpaid domains. In this vein the domain can be reactivated within the a granted reprieve.
So far, this procedure is only provided with a few gTLDs.


Internationalized term for contact.


The person or enterprise that holds a domain. Also called “registrant”. The holder is the responsible contact person in case of legal disputes.
Important: If you register domains for other persons but yourself (for one of your customers, for example, if you are an internet service provider), the customer's address must be specified as holder!


“i18n” is an abbreviation for “internationalization”. Some lazy technicians came up with this short form because they didn't want to type the long word all the time. So only the first and the last character remained while the number “18” replaces the 18 characters omitted in the middle.


ICANN stands for The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is an umbrella organization which is responsible for assignment and organization of three important parts of the internet:
  • domain names, mainly focused on top level domains,
  • IP addresses as well as
  • technical standardized protocols.
The actual tasks are often being delegated to other organizations.


“IDN” means “Internationalized Domain Names”. These domain names may include “special characters”. We provide a list of frequently asked questions and answers according to this topic.

IP Claim

This term is an abbreviation for Intellectually Property Claim and means the claiming of rights on intellectual property and names or trade marks.
The introduction of a new top level domains often starts with a registration phase for owner of trade marks and other rights to a name (as for example Coca-Cola). After this so-called Sunrise Period the registration is free to others.

Konnektivitäts-Koordination (KK)

This is the German term for a transfer of a .de domain from one registrar to another. In an international context this is called “Changing the Sponsoring Registrar” (CTSR).

Landrush | Landrush Period

The term Landrush is originated in the early USA. During the land distribution activities you just had to be fast enough to gain a piece of land for very favorable conditions.
When the registration is being released to general public after the start-up phase of the introduction of a new top level domain, there are naturally many “nice” domain names still available. Then usually follows a run on these domain names, since the allocation is normally conducted according to the First Come First Served principle.

LOC resource record

LOC records are units of information in the Domain Name System that can be used to assign geometrical locations to a domain name. The position is determined by the specification of longitude, latitude and elevation data in the coordinate system that is also used for GPS.

Naming Authority Pointer (NAPTR) resource record

Today's DNS operation often requires more information than the pure name resolution, i.e. the translation of domain names into an IP addresses. In contrast to traditional A records, NAPTR resource records can provide that additional information and are also very flexible, thanks to prioritizing mechanisms and the use of regular expressions.

Name server

A name server is a computer who knows which computers of a domain use which internet address (IP address). There are different types of name servers. Interesting details are available in the DRS explanations.


An Enterprise that acts as the registry for the .biz top level domain. Besides that, NeuLevel is a kind of sales partner for the .cn top level domain outside of China. It is an American affiliate company of NeuStar.


Enterprise that operates the registry for the .us top level domain. NeuStar is an American company that holds the majority of shares of NeuLevel. NeuStar got known in USA for coordinating telephone number plans with telephone companies.

New Top Level Domains (nTLD, new gTLD)

New Top Level Domains are all generic domains that are introduced within the application process started by the Internet administration ICANN in January 2012. These include general descriptive terms, many city domains such as “.cologne”, and geographical names such as “.nrw”. Moreover, there are numerous internationalized (IDN-) domain endings among the nTLDs, such as the cyrilic variants of “online” and “site”.

Pre-ack / Pre-nack

Pre-ack and pre-nack denote preset answers for transfer requests. If a domain is to be transferred (see CTSR), the holder of that domain has to accept or decline the request within a given time frame. If he or she fails to respond in time, the transfer is either being accomplished or rejected, depending on the registry.
The DRS of Knipp offers the possibility to automatically reject any transfer request by setting a pre-nack, thus preventing unintended transfers of domains. Likewise, with pre-ack, all incoming transfer requests will automatically accepted.

Redemption Period | Redemption Grace Period (RGP)

This is a limited time period after the deletion of a domain. During this phase, the domain cannot be registered by third parties but only be reactivated by the previous holder (for a considerable fee).
This procedure is not available for all TLDs, but more and more Registries adopt it.


A synonym for holder.


A registrar is a kind of reseller for domains. He “receives” his “goods” from a registry and sells them to his customers, the holders (or registrants) of the domains.
The contractual relationships between the involved parties vary depending on the exact regulations of the different contracts. For .de domains, for example, there also is a contract between the holder and the registry (DENIC).
Knipp is a member of CORE and thus a direct business partner of the Registries.


A registry is an organization that is responsible for the operation of a top level domain. Afilias, for example, is the company that administers .info domains, while .name domains are managed by GNR (Global Name Registry).
Another well known registry is the DENIC e.G. (DENIC cooperative), which is responsible for .de domains.
The registries' “customers” are called registrars. The holders (sometimes called “registrants” as well) are customers of the registrars again.

Resource Record

Resource records (RRs) are units of information in the Domain Name System (DNS). They are used to publish data for the operation of domain names. There are a number of different types of RRs which contain various sorts of information. The most important types are A records and AAAA records, which contain the host address of a domain in IPv4 and IPv6 format, respectively. They are used for the resolution of domain names into IP addresses. Other important types are MX records for the indication of the appropriate mail server and NAPTR RRs, which can be regarded as an extension of A records.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

The intention of the SPF technology is to make the manipulation of e-mail sender-addresses more difficult. To this end, the list of mail servers that are allowed to send mails for a domain are stored in the DNS zone for that domain.

Sponsored Top Level Domain

A top level domain that can only be registered by a specific, usually small group of users. The .aero top level domain is restricted to members of the aircraft industry an related persons, for instance, while .museum domains can only be registered by museums. By the way, Knipp operates the registry's technical facilities for the above-mentioned top level domains in its data center.

Sunrise | Sunrise Period | Sunrise Phase

This is a preregistration phase that is often conducted at the beginning of the introduction of a new top level domain. In the Sunrise Period, holders of trademarks and other rights to a name have the possibility to register domains that correspond to the protected term. This shall help to avoid complex and time consuming legal disputes.
To register a branded domain during the Sunrise Phase of one of the TLDs introduced within the framework of ICANN's nTLD programm, a validated trademark entry in the Trademark Clearinghouse is required.

Thick Registry

This is a registry that stores all contact data itself. DENIC and Afilias are registries of this kind. There is a tendency to this kind of registry. The opposite are Thin Registries.

Thin Registry

This is a registry that only stores the domain name and the name server as well as the registration period. The contact handle data has to be stored by the registrar who registered the domain. This also means that the registrar has to operate his own Whois server. VeriSign with its .com domains is an example for a registry of this kind. The opposite are Thick Registries.

Time To Live (TTL)

Specifies the period of validity for an entry of the Domain Name System (DNS). That is, the TTL indicates the maximum time (in seconds) for which non-authoritative name servers may cache a DNS entry.

Top Level Domain (TLD)

The part of a domain name which is located behind the last (i.e. rightmost) dot. For the domain “knipp.de”, the top level domain is the string “de”. You can find a more detailed explanation in our list of frequently asked questions and answers on domains.

Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)

The Trademark Clearinghouse is a centralized database that serves for trademark holders to protect their rights in ICANN's new gTLD program. The TMCH functions by a) authenticating information from rights holders and b) storing trademark records and providing this information to registries and registrars.
Benefits of registering a trademark with the Clearinghouse include access to Sunrise registrations with new gTLD registries and notification from the Clearinghouse when a domain matching your trademark has been registered.

TXT resource record

TXT is a resource record type that can be used to publish all sorts of textual information in the Domain Name System (DNS).

Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

The UDRP is a strictly defined procedure that is applied for the settlement of domain disputes. It is cheaper, faster and easier than legal proceedings. As opposed to decisions of a court, which are often only binding in a single country, UDRPs are effectual worldwide.
So far it is bound to the following three pre-conditions:
  • There has to be an infringement of a trademark.
  • The defendant has no rights on the trade mark.
  • The infringement has to be committed deliberately.
The procedure can only be used if it had been declared valid by the registry at the time of the domain's registration. Today, most gTLDs use it. It has no effect on .de domains, however. The costs (about 2000 USD) always have to be payed by the complainant, never by the defendant. The objective is always the deletion or the transfer of the respective domain. A kind of punishment for the defendant does not exist.

Whois Server

This is a computer running a query service that provides information on a domain's holder or technical contact. As a special service for you, we have created a page on which you can inquire all domains that can be registered by Knipp.
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