First, let us review what we know about domain names.
They are user-friendly representations of numeric IP addresses, which help use the Internet to its full potential. Domains can be of different sizes (from just a few to more than fifty characters), scripts (in addition to Latin they can be Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic etc.) and purposes (primary URLs,shorteners, forwarders). Moreover, they can be at different domain extensions (.me, .com, .info, .net, .org, .pro, .me, .tv, .us, .it, .de etc.). But where do these extensions come from and who is responsible for their management?
ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the organization which oversees domain name system and tries to make sure that everything runs smoothly. They approve allocation of generic extensions (.com, .net, .org, .info, .museum etc.) and their department IANA delegates the country code domain extension (.us, .it. .ch, .me, .ru) to every country and eligible entity in the world.
Most recently, ICANN is willing to expand the generic extension space (.xxx launch is already approved!), so if anybody believes that domain name registration is a lucrative business now it’s a high time to submit an application to become a Registry.
Companies directly responsible for management of a specific domain name extension are called registries. They maintain the database of domain names within their extension and make it accessible through WHOIS tool. Therefore, if you want to make sure to get the most relevant info about a specific domain name or about the registration policies related to the extension involved, go to the Registry website. But, if you want to register a domain name you will probably have to go to a domain name Registrar.
A domain name registrar is a company, which sells domains to the end customer.They can do this either directly or through their resellers. In addition to registration, registrars offer a number of other services related to domain names like privacy protect (possibility to hide your data in WHOIS database), domain forwarding (service which enables you to point domain to any other URL) and even domain shops (you can rent a domain shop from a registrar and start your own domain selling business i.e. become a reseller).
This is the title you earn once you register the first domain name. Good luck and use it wisely!