A domain name registration is the action one does during the process of achieving a web domain. Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) manages the domain names hierarchy and also administrates the data in the root name servers for the top of the Domain Name System (DNS) tree. IANA’s area of operation includes also the .int registry for intergovernmental organizations, the .arpa zone for protocol administration purposes, and other critical areas, like root-servers.net. The domains registered with ICANN registrars have to use the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).
A domain name registry is a database containing the domain names registered in a top-level domain. Registry operators, called NIC (network information center) are part of the DNS keep the database of domain names and generate the zone files which convert domain names to IP addresses. Each NIC is responsible for the registration of domain names, controls the policies of allocation, and technically operates its top-level domain. It is little distinct from a domain name registrar, an organization or commercial entity, accredited by a generic top-level domain (gTLD) and/or by a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registry. A domain name registrar manages the reservation of Internet domain names according to the guidelines of the designated domain name registries.
The domain names are allocated, assigned and made available by registries, using the WHOIS system and via their domain name servers. There are registries that sell the names directly and others that rely on separate third parts to sell them. Domain name registries have a first-come-first-served system of allocation and may control the interest to their local communities. Even though, they may reject to allocate specific domains on the basis of legal, political, or other reasons and may impose on users a third-level domains system.
Prices for domain registration widely vary for each registry. End users can choose from registrars offering related services at varying prices because of the competition created by the shared registration system or find a free domain name registration. 10 years is the maximum period for a domain name registration. Some registrars offer up to one hundred years. Such offer involves the registrar to renew their customer registration.