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Top-level domain .net
introduction January 1, 1985
category generic
Registry Verisign
Award unrestricted
number 13.4 million

.net is a generic top-level domain . It was created on January 1, 1985 and was initially intended primarily for Internet service providers , but is now used across industries. The abbreviation net stands for the English term network to German network .


The top-level domain is currently managed by Verisign . At times, other organizations have also applied to operate the registry , but have so far not been able to prevail against the dominance of the owner. DENIC , which is responsible for the administration of .de , was also among those interested . Most recently, ICANN and Verisign extended the contract for the operation of .net by five years in July 2011. Among other things, it envisaged an increase in the prices for .net domains by a maximum of ten percent annually, which Verisign actually made use of.

Along with .com and .org, .net is one of the oldest top-level domains. Symbolics.com is commonly referred to as the first domain ever registered, but Verisign corrected this in August 2013. In a report, the company made it clear that symbolics.com was the first officially registered domain, but that nordu.net had previously been assigned manually. This makes .net the first generic (and publicly available) top-level domain that was actually actively used.


Since there are no registration restrictions today, any natural or legal person can own a .net domain. It can be between two and 63 characters long; German umlauts can be used. In August 2013, Verisign also announced that it would support internationalized domain names in Devanagari , Chinese and Hangul languages . Owners of an existing third-level domain should be given preferential treatment.

In addition to .com and .org , .net has achieved enormous popularity and is one of the ten most frequently registered top-level domains. In April 2013 more than 15 million .net domains were counted, in May 2020 the number was 13.4 million.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Statistics about .com. Verisign, accessed May 27, 2020 (current .com domain number).
  2. Delegation Record for .NET. IANA , accessed February 18, 2013 .
  3. Florian Hitzelberger: Competition presses Verisign. In: domain-right. January 27, 2005, accessed September 10, 2012 .
  4. Florian Hitzelberger: DENIC insists on secrecy. In: domain-right. December 3, 2004, accessed February 18, 2013 .
  5. Monika Ermert: DeNIC rejected when applying for .net registry. In: heise online . March 29, 2005, accessed February 18, 2013 .
  6. Florian Hitzelberger: News from .net, .xxx and .neustar. In: domain-right. July 12, 2011, accessed September 10, 2012 .
  7. Florian Hitzelberger: VeriSign is raising the prices for .net domains. In: domain-right. August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013 .
  8. Florian Hitzelberger: A look behind the scenes of .net. In: domain-right. September 3, 2013, accessed September 6, 2013 .
  9. Properties of a .net domain. united-domains . Retrieved August 23, 2012 .
  10. Florian Hitzelberger: IDN plans from VeriSign. In: domain-right. August 1, 2013, accessed August 5, 2013 .
  11. Maximilian Kluge: The top ten ccTLDs and gTLDs. In: Domains.info. October 29, 2014, archived from the original on January 9, 2015 ; accessed on January 9, 2015 .
  12. Florian Hitzelberger: .net breaks 15 million mark. In: domain-right. April 12, 2013, accessed March 14, 2013 .