What is a Domain?

Domains: Easier to Remember and Way More Fun

There is so much about Dynamic DNS that is part of our everyday lives. However, many people have a hard time defining or understanding the basic building blocks.In No-IP’s new blog series, we will go over the common ‘What is’ basics and subjects relative to Dynamic DNS. In today’s blog, we will go over the nomenclature of a website: What is a domain?


Every website has an IP address that is made up of a long string of numbers and letters. A domain is a way to access websites on the internet. They are sometimes confused with hostnames, which are used for naming devices in a local network. Instead, a domain allows users to access a website easily by using the website’s name instead of the IP address. Plus, they are an obvious solution for not having to remember IP addresses for the sites you are trying to visit, and then having to relearn a new IP address whenever it changes.

You’ll notice that domains are typically two or three parts. Think about the noip.com website. “Noip” is the second-level domain (2LD), and “.com” is the Top Level Domain (TLD). A TLD represents the first stop after the root zone and helps signal the purpose of domain names. The “.com” in the noip.com is intended for commercial businesses. Another example is “.gov”, which is reserved for US goverment organizations.

How Does it Work?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is commonly referred to as the phonebook or contacts list of the internet, and rightfully so. These days, we are able to keep so many contacts on our phones that we often don’t have phone numbers memorized, even for the people closest to us. Instead of looking up the phone number of someone you’re trying to call, you look up their name.

Imagine if you never saved your contacts by their names and instead had to enter everyone’s phone number every time you wanted to reach them. However, sometimes those numbers change, often without you knowing. DNS allows us to access websites via the designated names.

Private Domain Registration

When you register a domain, you are required to provide your name, address, phone number, email, and other information, such as your business name and state/country. This information is then added to the WHOIS database, a public repository that allows visitors to find details on who owns a specific domain and how to contact them. The WHOIS database enables individuals and organizations to verify the legitimacy of a domain, investigate potential intellectual property infringements, and contact domain owners for various reasons.

Want to research a domain? Use No-IP’s WHOIS Search Tool. If you’re interested in setting up a domain registration, you can take a look at one of our articles in the No-IP Knowledge Base.

More Than Just a Name

Domains also give us clues as to what the website is about, or what information you are going to get from them. In other words, domains are not just names for websites – They are an identity. A domain can make you approach a website as professional and serious, or give you something to remember them in the sea of other competitiors and domains.

No-IP Solutions

No-IP’s Domain Registration service brings all DNS management tasks under one roof.

Hostname creation is available on over 30 domains with our Free Dynamic DNS and over 50 premium domains with Enhanced or Pro Dynamic DNS. We have recently added several new domains that are available for hostname creation and are continuing to add new domain options to our Dynamic DNS Products.  Would you like to use your own domain name? Plus Managed DNS and Pro Dynamic DNS allows you to create hostnames on your own custom domain.

We also recommend users to upgrade to full strength DNS. Basic registration will get you a single host and management interface. For sites that have multiple hosts, we can bundle your registration with No-IP Plus at a special price.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to our awesome Customer Support team here.