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How do you get your own website (www.my-website.com) or mail domain ([email protected]my-website.com)?

It starts with getting your own domain name. You get a domain name by registering it with an accredited domain name registrar. The process of creating a website or mail domain begins by registering a domain name. Registrars insert the newly registered domain into the root DNS servers. The information that must be submitted includes the domain name (which will be awarded to the applicant if it is not currently in use), administrative contact names, phone numbers and addresses, and the IP address and name of the authoritative DNS server(s) for the domain.

Typical costs for an available domain directly from a registrar is below $30. Shop around, you can get a domain with your web hosting service provider for far less.

The organization named ICANN is responsible for accreditation of domain name vendors in the Americas.

InterNIC (Network Solutions, Inc.) was granted a monopoly by the United States Government in 1993 as sole registrar for the .com, .org, .edu and .net Top Level Domains (TLDs) for a period of 5 years. This contract ended April of 1998 and at present, several other organizations are in the process of gearing up to handle domain name registration process. All organizations will participate in maintaining a single database, and servers at each of the competitive registrars will utilize this database to perform top level domain resolution.

Actually, since the writing of this tutorial in 1998 an organization named ICANN has appointed itself to regulate and 'accredit' domain registrars. There are now hundreds of new registrars who can handle domain registration so you are no longer limited to only Network Solutions. Also, several new top level domains were added to the domain structure (complete list). The change in how the registration databases worked necessitated changes in how resolution and the WHOIS service works. Be aware that some older versions of the WHOIS tool (such as that found in Solaris 8 and in Red Hat 5, 6 and 7.0) no longer work properly.

-- InetDaemon

The registration process results in the entry of a DNS zone file into the root DNS servers, and various administrative and billing entries elsewhere. The zone file will contain a resource record pointing all requests for the named domain to the name server supplied by the registrant. You as the owner of your domain are therefore responsible for providing DNS server information to your registrar. Your domain won't 'work' until you have a DNS server properly configured to accept resolution requests for your domain and your registrar has entered the correct lookup information into the root DNS servers.

Here is the whois lookup result for berkley.edu:

	Registrant:
	University of California at Berkeley (BERKELEY-DOM)
	   Information Systems & Technology
	   Data Communication and Network Services
	   281 Evans Hall #3806
	   Berkeley, CA 94720-3806
	   USA

	   Domain Name: BERKELEY.EDU

	   Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
		  University of California, Berkeley  (UCB-NOC)
		  [email protected]
		  1-510-643-3267

	   Record last updated on 24-Mar-97.
	   Record created on 24-Apr-85.
	   Database last updated on 21-Aug-99 04:33:39 EDT.

	   Domain servers in listed order:

	   NS1.BERKELEY.EDU     128.32.136.9, 128.32.206.9
	   NS2.BERKELEY.EDU     128.32.136.12, 128.32.206.12
	   CGL.UCSF.EDU         128.218.14.2, 128.218.27.20
	   VANGOGH.CS.BERKELEY.EDU  128.32.33.5
	

For the example BERKELEY.EDU domain, the DNS servers listed are the Authoritative DNS servers responsible for domain name resolution of specific host names within the domain. It is possible to point a domain to a domain name server (DNS server) whose name-address does not match the domain being resolved. So long as the DNS server's IP address can be resolved, DNS will work.

NOTE: If the wrong server information is listed with the root DNS servers, then DNS resolution will not work for that domain. Notice that this is the local DNS administrator's problem, and not necessarilly the problem of the parent domain, or even the internet service providers problem, even IF they are providing primary DNS server . It is not the records in the Primary DNS machine that are incorrect. The error is in the template that was submitted to the root DNS servers or to whomever the registering authority was.

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