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FAQ #004 - What is DOMAIN? Why www.ibm.com is not a domain?


Domain Internet is a developing standard. Before domain names are used, IP addresses are used, e.g. 202.181.123.123, 4 chunks of 0..255 numbers. They are difficult to remember.

Domains W, unique human-readable names, are then used in Internet to identify a company, e.g. ibm.com, hp.com, ... A domain holder can assign unlimited names to computers in Internet, including www.ibm.com and ftp.ibm.com, and assign name servers and email servers to that domain.

When you type in www.ibm.com in a browser, your PC will ask a certain group of computers to figure out ibm.com and its name servers, then ask the name servers in turn to find out the web server www.ibm.com.
Domain Registration Fee Therefor the domain holder have to pay that group of computers for registrating domain name and name servers. This domain registration fee is normally US$35/year for .com domains or HK$200/year for .com.hk domains.
Other Fees Domain holder need these basic services: name server, web server, email server and some storages. Advanced services are: design static web pages, use specific web program packages, database storage and tailor-made web programs, Internet related applications and programs such as Internet security, Internet data collection and re-distribution.

In some situations, the service provider may ask for setup and service fees other than monthly usage fee.

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