A domain name registrar is a company accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to sell Internet domain names. ICANN has authority over gTLDs, or Generic Top Level Domains. Examples of gTLDs include .com, .net and .org. ICANN does not have authority over ccTLDs, or Country Code Top-Level Domains. Registrars compete with each other to provide the best support and services at the lowest price.
A domain registry is database which keeps track of which domain name maps to which IP address in the domain name system on the Internet. Such a registry has two main tasks:
1. giving out domain names under their top-level domain (TLD) to those who ask for them; and
2. making the database of domain name registrations available to the world at large.
Registries can only operate if the top level domain they run has been delegated to them by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Hence, there can only be one registry for each top level domain. If there is more than one index, confusion would result (as has happened to a limited extent with the .biz top level domain).
The endings of the domain name dictate which organization controls them. In practice, this is the organization that controls the name servers for that domain. Therefore ICANN has de facto control of the overall Domain Name System (DNS) because it controls the root name servers.
Registries make the index available to the world via Whois systems and via their name servers, for the direction of internet traffic. Such systems have to be fully redundant because loss of name servers can affect all internet traffic sent to that domain.
In June 2011, ICANN's approved the Guidebook and authorized the launch of the New gTLD Program. The program's goals include enhancing competition and consumer choice, and enabling the benefits of innovation via the introduction of new gTLDs, including both new ASCII and internationalized domain name (IDN) top-level domains.
The application window opened on 12 January 2012, and ICANN received 1,930 applications for new gTLDs. On 17 December 2012, ICANN held a prioritization draw to determine the order in which applications would be processed during Initial Evaluation and subsequent phases of the program.
On 22 March 2013, ICANN released the first set of Initial Evaluation results to applicants and the public.
To view the latest gTLD’s (genetic top level domains) click here