A Brief History of the Domain Name

Posted on:2022-02-25 17:44:54 Views: 202

At the end of 1985, there were a whopping total of six domain names registered in the world. That number has expanded to more than 3 million names registered globally. Below, we've listed a few of the most influential and interesting moments in the history of domain names.


1985: The first .com domain

On March 15, 1985, Symbolics Inc., a computer manufacturer in Massachusetts, registered the domain name Symbolics.com, making it the first appropriately registered .com domain in the world. Symbolics.com remained under the same ownership until 25 years later, in 2009, when it was purchased for an undisclosed sum by XF.com Investments.


1995: Domain name registration is no longer free

Before 1995, anyone who wanted a domain name could register it free of charge. That all changed when the National Science Foundation awarded tech consulting company Network Solutions the ability to charge for registration. Domain prices began at $100 for a two-year registration.


1998: Privatization of the DNS and ICANN

In 1998, the Department of Commerce, under President Clinton's urging, issued a proposal for privatizing the Domain Naming System (DNS), which was then controlled by the U.S. government. The document -- known as the "Green Paper" -- was created with the goal to both increase competition in the market and encourage more participation internationally. Public criticism of the proposal led to the creation of the "White Paper," which addressed many concerns with the original document and led to the formation of ICANN.


2003: Truth in Domain Names Act

Incorporated into the PROTECT Act of 2003, this piece of legislation set a punishment for the creators of deceptive domain names, which lure users to a pornographic website without their consent. Early offenders included "Bobthebiulder.com" and "Teltubbies.com".


2012: Man registers 14,962 domains in 24 hours

In April 2012, Mike Mann, a domain speculator registered nearly 15,000 domain names in a span of 24 hours. In explanation of his actions, he said, simply, "I'm just really greedy. I want to own the world."


2013: Internet runs out of four letter .com-domains

In December 2013, WhoAPI, a domain data analysis startup, revealed that every possible combination of four-letter .com domain names had been registered. From AAAA.com to ZZZZ.com, all 456,976 combinations have been exhausted. The three-character .com domains have been used up since 1997.