« Back to Domain Name Dictionary | Definition of TLD

TLD is an acronym for Top-Level Domain.

TLDs are the names at the top of the DNS naming hierarchy. They appear in domain names as the string of letters following the last (rightmost) “.”, such as “net” in “”. The administrator for a TLD controls what second-level names are recognized in that TLD. The administrators of the “root domain” or “root zone” control what TLDs are recognized by the DNS. Commonly used TLDs include .com, .net, .edu, .jp, .de, etc.

Generic TLDs are designated for use by the public. Each generic TLD is intended for use by a certain type of organization. For example, the TLD “.com” is for use by commercial, for profit organizations. However, the administrator of the .com, .net, .org and .edu TLDs does not check the requests of parties seeking domain names to ensure that such parties are a type of organization that should be using those TLDs. On the other hand, .mil, .gov, and .int TLD applications are checked, and only the U.S. military, the U.S. government, or international organizations are allowed in the domain space.

The following is a list of the current generic TLDs and the intended users:
.com – commercial, for profit organizations
.edu – 4 year, degree granting colleges/universities
.gov – U.S. federal government agencies
.mil – U.S. military organizations, even if located outside the U.S.
.net – network infrastructure machines and organizations
.org – miscellaneous, usually non-profit organizations and individuals

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