What is a TLD (Top-Level Domain)?

A top-level domain (TLD) is the name at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet. The top-level domain names are installed in the root zone of the domain name space.

For example, in the URL http://MyTLD.com, the ".COM" is considered the top-level domain. Management of most top-level domains is delegated to responsible organizations by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which operates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and is in charge of maintaining the DNS root zone.

ICANN currently distinguishes the following groups of Top-Level Domains:

  •   Infrastructure Top-Level Domain (ARPA)
  •   Country-code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD)
  •   Internationalized Top-Level Domains (IDNs)
  •   Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD)

Generic Top-Level Domains

Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are extensions / suffixes with three or more characters that represent generic words, categories, regions, cultures or brands. These include:

  • Unsponsored top-level domains: domains that operate directly under policies established by ICANN processes for the global Internet community.
  • Sponsored top-level domains (sTLD): These community-based domains are sponsored by private agencies/organizations that establish & enforce rules restricting its eligibility to use the TLD.  
  • Upcoming new gTLDs (generic, community, city or brand). 

There are currently 22 generic top-level domains:

  • .aero: the air transport industry
  • .asia: companies, organizations and individuals in the Asia-Pacific region
  • .biz: business use
  • .cat: catalan language/culture
  • .com: commercial organizations
  • .coop: cooperatives
  • .edu: post-secondary accredited U.S educational establishments
  • .gov: government entities within the United States
  • .info: informational sites
  • .int: international organizations established by treaty
  • .jobs: employment-related sites
  • .mil: U.S. military
  • .mobi: sites catering to mobile devices
  • .museum: museum
  • .name: families and individuals
  • .net: originally for network infrastructures, now unrestricted
  • .org: originally for organizations not clearly falling within the other gTLDs
  • .pro: certain professions
  • .tel: single name space for Internet communications services
  • .travel: travel agents, airlines, hoteliers, tourism bureaus
  • .xxx: pornography

 

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)

An Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) is a domain name that uses at least one character different from the basic latin letters (a, b, c...,z) digits (0,1,2...,9) and the dash "-". Internationalized Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) is a mechanism for handling internationalized domain names in various applications online, such as browsers.

In the process of testing internationalized top-level domains, ICANN implemented a set of IDN top-level domains that are translations of the name example.test into each language's script.

DNS name Link Script Language
xn--mgbh0fb.xn--kgbechtv http://مثال.إختبار Arabic Arabic
xn--fsqu00a.xn--0zwm56d http://例子.测试 Simplified Chinese Chinese
xn--fsqu00a.xn--g6w251d http://例子.測試 Traditional Chinese Chinese
xn--hxajbheg2az3al.xn--jxalpdlp http://παράδειγμα.δοκιμή Greek Greek
xn--p1b6ci4b4b3a.xn--11b5bs3a9aj6g http://उदाहरण.परीक्षा Devanagari Hindi
xn--r8jz45g.xn--zckzah http://例え.テスト Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana Japanese
xn--9n2bp8q.xn--9t4b11yi5a http://실례.테스트 Hangul Korean
xn--mgbh0fb.xn--hgbk6aj7f53bba http://مثال.آزمایشی Perso-Arabic Persian
xn--e1afmkfd.xn--80akhbyknj4f http://пример.испытание Cyrillic Russian
xn--zkc6cc5bi7f6e.xn--hlcj6aya9esc7a http://உதாரணம்.பரிட்சை Tamil Tamil
xn--6dbbec0c.xn--deba0ad http://דוגמה.טעסט Hebrew Hebrew
xn--fdbk5d8ap9b8a8d.xn--deba0ad http://בײַשפּיל.טעסט Hebrew Yiddish

 

Since the .test implementations ICANN launched the Fast-Track Program for introduction of new country-code Internationalized TLDs. Numerous countries participated in the program. A full, continously updated list can be found on ICANN's website here.

These are some resulting live examples with active websites: http://президент.рф (president in russian/cyrillic), http://правительство.рф (government in russian/cyrillic).

Country-Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs)

Country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) are all two-character extensions representing countries and their corresponding ISO3166-1 list codes. Below is  the full list of all generic and country-code top-level domains. The two-character combinations are the country-codes. 



ad Andorra
ae United Arab Emirates
aero Air transport industry
af Afghanistan
ag Antigua & Barbuda
ai Anguilla
al Albania
am Armenia
an Netherlands Antilles
ao Angola
aq Antarctica
ar Argentina
arpa Old style Arpanet
as American Samoa
at Austria
au Australia
aw Aruba
az Azerbaidjan
ba Bosnia-Herzegovina
bb Barbados
bd Bangladesh
be Belgium
bf Burkina Faso
bg Bulgaria
bh Bahrain
bi Burundi
biz Biz
bj Benin
bm Bermuda
bn Brunei Darussalam
bo Bolivia
br Brazil
bs Bahamas
bt Bhutan
bv Bouvet Island
bw Botswana
by Belarus
bz Belize
ca Canada
cc Cocos (Keeling) Is
cf Central African Republic
cg Congo
ch Switzerland
ci Ivory Coast
ck Cook Is
cl Chile
cm Cameroon
cn China
co Colombia
com USA Commercial
coop Cooperatives
cr Costa Rica
cs Former Czechoslovakia
cu Cuba
cv Cape Verde
cx Christmas Island
cy Cyprus
cz Czech Republic
de Germany
dj Djibouti
dk Denmark
dm Dominica
do Dominican Republic
dz Algeria
ec Ecuador
edu USA Educational
ee Estonia
eg Egypt
eh Western Sahara
es Spain
et Ethiopia
fi Finland
fj Fiji
fk Falkland Is
fm Micronesia
fo Faroe Is
fr France
fx France (European Terr.)
ga Gabon
gb Great Britain
gd Grenada
ge Georgia
gf French Guyana
gh Ghana
gi Gibraltar
gl Greenland


gm Gambia
gn Guinea
gov USA Government
gp Guadeloupe (French)
gq Equatorial Guinea
gr Greece
gs S Georgia & S Sandwich Is.
gt Guatemala
gu Guam (USA)
gw Guinea Bissau
gy Guyana
hk Hong Kong
hm Heard & McDonald Is
hn Honduras
hr Croatia
ht Haiti
hu Hungary
id Indonesia
ie Ireland
il Israel
in India
info Unrestricted
int International
io British Indian Ocean Terr.
iq Iraq
ir Iran
is Iceland
it Italy
jm Jamaica
jo Jordan
jp Japan
ke Kenya
kg Kyrgyzstan
kh Cambodia
ki Kiribati
km Comoros
kn Saint Kitts & Nevis Anguilla
kp North Korea
kr South Korea
kw Kuwait
ky Cayman Is
kz Kazakhstan
la Laos
lb Lebanon
lc Saint Lucia
li Liechtenstein
lk Sri Lanka
lr Liberia
ls Lesotho
lt Lithuania
lu Luxembourg
lv Latvia
ly Libya
ma Morocco
mc Monaco
md Moldavia
mg Madagascar
mh Marshall Is
mil USA Military
mk Macedonia
ml Mali
mm Myanmar
mn Mongolia
mo Macau
mp Northern Mariana Is
mq Martinique (French)
mr Mauritania
ms Montserrat
mt Malta
mu Mauritius
museum Museums
mv Maldives
mw Malawi
mx Mexico
my Malaysia
mz Mozambique
na Namibia
name Name
nato NATO
nc New Caledonia (French)
ne Niger
net Network
nf Norfolk Island
ng Nigeria
ni Nicaragua
nl Netherlands


no Norway
np Nepal
nr Nauru
nt Neutral Zone
nu Niue
nz New Zealand
om Oman
org Non-Profit Organizations
pa Panama
pe Peru
pf Polynesia (French)
pg Papua New Guinea
ph Philippines
pk Pakistan
pl Poland
pm Saint Pierre & Miquelon
pn Pitcairn Island
pr Puerto Rico
pro Professionals
pt Portugal
pw Palau
py Paraguay
qa Qatar
re Reunion (French)
ro Romania
ru Russian Federation
rw Rwanda
sa Saudi Arabia
sb Solomon Is
sc Seychelles
sd Sudan
se Sweden
sg Singapore
sh Saint Helena
si Slovenia
sj Svalbard & Jan Mayen Is
sk Slovak Republic
sl Sierra Leone
sm San Marino
sn Senegal
so Somalia
sr Suriname
st Saint Tome & Principe
su Former USSR
sv El Salvador
sy Syria
sz Swaziland
tc Turks & Caicos Is
td Chad
tf French Southern Terr.
tg Togo
th Thailand
tj Tadjikistan
tk Tokelau
tm Turkmenistan
tn Tunisia
to Tonga
tp East Timor
tr Turkey
tt Trinidad & Tobago
tv Tuvalu
tw Taiwan
tz Tanzania
ua Ukraine
ug Uganda
uk United Kingdom
um USA Minor Outlying Is
us United States
uy Uruguay
uz Uzbekistan
va Vatican City State
vc Saint Vincent & Grenadines
ve Venezuela
vg Virgin Is (British)
vi Virgin Is (USA)
vn Vietnam
vu Vanuatu
wf Wallis & Futuna Is
ws Samoa
ye Yemen
yt Mayotte
yu Yugoslavia
za South Africa
zm Zambia
zr Zaire
zw Zimbabwe