What is domain privacy?

Domain privacy replaces your WHOIS info with the info of a forwarding service done by a proxy server. In result, your personal info, such as  physical address, emails, telephone number, etc is hide from the public. Domain privacy is a service offered by a number of domain name registrars. A user buys privacy from the company, who in turn replaces the user’s info in the WHOIS with the info of a forwarding service (for email and sometimes postal mail, done by a proxy server).

Domain privacy is important because your domain record (ie. the WhoIs data) may also be used in ways that aren’t legitimate or desirable. Since anyone can look up a WhoIs record, spammers, hackers, identity thieves and stalkers may access your personal information!

Unethical companies check domain expiration dates then send official looking “renewal” notices in an attempt to get the domain owners to transfer domains to their company, or send invoices that are service solicitations for search engine submissions and other questionable services.

Both email and snail mail spammers use the WhoIs databases to contact domain owners with solicitations as well.

Domain Privacy by default

Note that some domain extensions have privacy caveats:

  • .al: No information about the owner is disclosed.
  • .at, .co.at, .or.at: Since May 21, 2010, contact data (defined as phone number, fax number, e-mail address) is hidden by the registrar and must be explicitly made public.
  • .ca: Since June 10, 2008, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority no longer posts registration details of individuals associated with .ca domains.
  • .de: Owner and technical contact must show their postal addresses. Phone number and e-mail address do not have to be made public
  • .eu: If the registrant is a natural person, only the e-mail address is shown in the public whois records unless specified otherwise.
  • .gr: No information about the owner is disclosed.
  • .is: May hide address and phone number.
  • .nl: Since January 12, 2010, registrant postal addresses are no longer publicly available.
  • .ovh: Contact data is hidden by the registrar and must be explicitly made public.
  • .us: In March 2005, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said that owners of .us domains will not have the option of keeping their information private, and that it must be made public.
  • .uk: Nominet, the guardian of UK domain namespace, provide inclusive domain privacy tools on their extensions (.co.uk, .me.uk etc.), providing that the registrant is not trading from the domain name.

 

 

How do Domain Name Work?

Registering a domain name is essentially like owning a small slice of internet real estate and, just like in the real estate market, consumers will be expected to cough up a good deal of information about themselves and pay for the privilege of claiming their corner of the internet’s public space.

Domain registration guidelines are not set on a pre-registrar basis, but are instead determined by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. This governing body is essentially a global regulator of best practices for registrars, web hosts, and the clients who interact with them. According to the body’s standards, all customers registering a domain name must be prepared to furnish contact information for themselves, their organization, their business, and even their employer in some cases.

Domain names work because they provide computer users with a short name that is easy to remember. Users enter web addresses into the URL field at the top of their browser’s page from left to right. The domain name itself is read from right to left according to the naming hierarchy discussed below. This link provides directions to the network, which ultimately results in a successful page load at the client end of the transaction.

The common fictitious domain name, www.example.com, is comprised of three essential parts:

  • .com – This is the top-level domain.
  • .example. – This is a sub-domain.
  • www. – This is a sub-domain prefix for the World Wide Web. The original use of this prefix was partly accidental, and pronunciation difficulties raised interest in creating viable alternatives.

Many servers use a three-letter naming convention for top-level domains, and they are separated from sub-domains by a dot. The significance of the top-level domain is the most important for new users to grasp. It identifies the highest part of the naming system used on the Internet. This naming system was originally created to identify countries and organizations as well as categories.

The most common categories are easily recognized by new computer users, and they include:

  • .com
  • .org
  • .edu
  • .net
  • .mil

A significant expansion of the top-level domains occurred, and they now include:

  • .biz
  • .museum
  • .info
  • .name

Country codes are also easily recognizable to new users because the abbreviations are the same ones used for other purposes. The organization of the domain name hierarchy and the ability to reserve them for only one purpose has already undergone several modifications. Discussions and debates concerning the availability and affordability of domain names can be expected to continue.

For those customers who are seeking to register a country-specific domain name option (like “.us” or “.co.uk”), a good portion of the registration process will be dedicated to determining whether or not the customer is a resident of that country and therefore legally permitted to purchase one of its country-specific top level domains (will talk about this later). And that should hammer home a secondary point to consumers.

While there are hundreds of available domain name suffixes (like “.com” or “.net), many of these domains have specific registration requirements. For example, only organizations can register a “.org” domain name, and only American citizens can register a domain name that ends in “.us.” Failing to meet the guidelines and requirements for each type of domain during the actual registration and payment process will result in the domain name being “released” back into the pool of available domain names; the customer will have to pick a top level domain for which they actually qualify, or cancel their purchase altogether.

Sub-domains are organized to the left of the top-level domain, and this is the part of the domain system that is most recognizable to humans. It is common to see several levels of sub-domains, and some countries developed specific conventions of organization to communicate information within their internal naming systems.

 

The difference between web hosting and domain name

It is very common for newbies to get confused between a domain name with a web hosting.It’s easy to think a domain name and a website are the same. While they are closely connected, they are very different things. This video explains how they are different and why you must have a domain name to have a website.

However, it is important to be crystal clear on the differences between the two before you move on to your first website. To simplify: A domain name, is like the address of your home; web hosting on the other hand, is the space of your house where you place your furniture. Instead of street name and area code, set of words or/and numbers are used for the website’s naming’. The same goes with hosting, computer hard disk and computer memory are used instead of instead of wood and steel for storing and processing data files.

The idea is presented clearer with the diagram below.

The universal resource locator, or URL, is an entire set of directions, and it contains extremely detailed information. The domain name is one of the pieces inside of a URL. It is also the most easily recognized part of the entire address. When computer users type a web address directly into the field at the top of their browser window, it initiates a process of locating the page requested. To do so, the instructions contained inside the URL, including the domain name, must correctly point to that location. The IP address is a numerical code that makes this possible.

 

Domain Names and IP Addresses

An Internet Protocol, or IP, address is different than a domain name. The IP address is an actual set of numerical instructions. It communicates exact information about the address in a way that is useful to the computer but makes no sense to humans. The domain name functions as a link to the IP address. Links do not contain actual information, but they do point to the place where the IP address information resides. It is convenient to think of IP addresses as the actual code and the domain name as a nickname for that code. A typical IP address looks like a string of numbers. It could be 232.17.43.22, for example. However, humans cannot understand or use that code. To summarize, the domain name is a part of the URL, which points to the IP address.

 

Types of Web Hosting Services

Web hosting is the service that makes your website available to be viewed by others on the Internet. A web host provides space on its server, so that other computers around the world can access your website by means of a network or modem. There are literally thousands of web hosting services available today, ranging from free services with limited options to expensive, specialized business web hosting services. Which option you choose depends primarily on how you plan to use your website and how much you want to spend.

Free Web Hosting

Free web hosting is another good option for smaller, personal websites. There are many free hosting providers that offer all types of features; some include CGI access and more. The drawback to most free hosting services is that they are funded by advertising that appears on your site, so free web hosting so generally best for personal, rather than business, websites.

Paid Hosting

With paid hosting, you pay a fee for space and services on a web hosting provider’s server. Monthly fees can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. Obviously, the more you pay, the more features you should have at your disposal. Services can include CGI access, database support, ASP, e-commerce, SSL, additional space on the server, extra bandwidth, and more.

Cloud hosting

a new type of hosting platform that allows customers powerful, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. A cloud hosted website may be more reliable than alternatives since other computers in the cloud can compensate when a single piece of hardware goes down. Also, local power disruptions or even natural disasters are less problematic for cloud hosted sites, as cloud hosting is decentralized. Cloud hosting also allows providers to charge users only for resources consumed by the user, rather than a flat fee for the amount the user expects they will use, or a fixed cost upfront hardware investment. Alternatively, the lack of centralization may give users less control on where their data is located which could be a problem for users with

Clustered hosting

having multiple servers hosting the same content for better resource utilization. Clustered servers are a perfect solution for high-availability dedicated hosting, or creating a scalable web hosting solution. A cluster may separate web serving from database hosting capability. (Usually web hosts use clustered hosting for their shared hosting plans, as there are multiple benefits to the mass managing of clients).

Grid hosting

this form of distributed hosting is when a server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes.

Reseller web hosting

allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a reseller. Resellers’ accounts may vary tremendously in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a colocated server. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider’s shared hosting plan and provide the technical support themselves.

Virtual Dedicated Server

also known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS), divides server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be allocated in a way that does not directly reflect the underlying hardware. VPS will often be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, however virtualisation may be done for a number of reasons, including the ability to move a VPS container between servers. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. Customers are sometimes responsible for patching and maintaining the server (unmanaged server) or the VPS provider may provide server admin tasks for the customer (managed server).

Dedicated hosting service

the user gets his or her own Web server and gains full control over it (user has root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the user typically does not own the server. One type of dedicated hosting is self-managed or unmanaged. This is usually the least expensive for dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the server, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own dedicated server.

Domain Hosting

Domain names are used to identify one or more IP addresses. For example, the domain name microsoft.com represents about a dozen IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the URL http://www.powerhoster.com/index.html, the domain name is powerhoster.com

Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which top level domain (TLD) it belongs to. There are only a limited number of such domains. For example:

  • gov – Government agencies
  • edu – Educational institutions
  • org – Organizations (nonprofit)
  • mil – Military
  • com – commercial business
  • net – Network organizations
  • ca – Canada
  • th – Thailand
  • Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, every Web server requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate domain names into IP addresses.

    A good option for small businesses is to pay for domain hosting. Domain hosting allows you to host your site anywhere you like: on an ISP, a free hosting service, or even your own server. You buy a domain name and have the provider forward all requests for that domain to the actual web location. This is often less expensive than buying both the domain and the hosting service, and it allows businesses to brand their URLs.

    Collocation Hosting

    Collocation is an option for businesses that want to run their own web servers and machines, but don’t want to have to maintain them directly. With collocation, the website owner places its own server on the premises of its ISP or other host, where it is stored, maintained, and provided with an uninterrupted power supply. Collocation provides security and protection for your server while still giving you control of your own equipment.

    Adult Web Hosting