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  INFO FAQ     General FAQ     Registry and Registration FAQ    

This FAQ answers general questions about .INFO, how to register domain names, and so on. To learn more about how and when .INFO is being introduced on the Internet, please read the .INFO Rollout Schedule.

What is .INFO?

INFO is the Internet's first unrestricted top-level domain since .COM, which began use in 1985. Intuitive, easy to use, and universally recognized, .INFO domain names are your opportunity to reach a worldwide audience with information about you, your ideas, or your organization.

What's a domain name?

Think of a domain name as a patch of land on the Internet, a unique electronic address where people host Web sites and receive e-mail. Some people like to think of their domain name as their "home" or "real estate" on the Web.

Examples of domain names include,, and

What is a top-level domain (TLD)?

A "top-level" domain is what comes after the last dot in a domain name. The most commonly known top-level domains are .INFO, .COM, .NET, and .ORG. There are also country-specific top-level domains, such as .UK for the United Kingdom and .JP for Japan.

Who can register .INFO domain names?

Anyone! There are no restrictions on who may register .INFO names. .INFO was created for general use around the world. Use your .INFO name for business, personal use, your organization — whatever you like.

Afilias makes no representations as to whether or not a particular domain name infringes upon any trademark or intellectual property rights.

Is .INFO universally recognized?

Absolutely. Anyone anywhere in the world can reach .INFO domains through their Web browsers or e-mail.

.INFO has been created under the auspices of ICANN, the non-profit corporation that governs that management of the Internet's domain name system. ICANN designated Afilias as the official .INFO registry, responsible for administrating the .INFO TLD and turning it into a globally used resource.

What is a domain name registry? A registrar? A registrant?

A registry is an entity that maintains the master database of domain names for a particular top level domain (TLD). Afilias is the registry for the .INFO TLD.

The registry receives domain name information from registrars, who register domain names on behalf of registrants-people like you who would like to register and use a domain name. The registry puts that information into what is called a "zone file," which allows computers to route Internet traffic to and from domains around the world.

How can I get a .INFO domain name?

You can register .INFO domain names through any Afilias-authorized .INFO registrar.

How much does a domain name cost?

Each registrar determines its own prices and policies for domain name registrations. In addition, most registrars offer additional services, such as Web site hosting, that may be of interest to you.

How do I find out if a .INFO domain name is available?

To find out if a name is available — or to find out who registered a particular name — use our handy .INFO WHOIS search. This database contains every .INFO domain name in existence.

What are the valid characters and valid lengths for domain names?

.INFO names can contain the English-language letters A through Z, and the digits 0 through 9. You can also use hyphens, but hyphens cannot begin or end your domain name. Spaces and special characters (such as !, $, &, ë, and so on) are never permitted. The minimum length is 3 characters, and the maximum length is 63 characters (excluding the "http://www" and ".info" portions).

At this time, .INFO does not support multilingual domain names in foreign character sets, but it may in the future.

How long should it take for my registration to appear in the WHOIS?

The .INFO WHOIS will generally be updated within five (5) minutes of a change being received. Changes are sent to the Afilias registry by your registrar. If there is a significant delay, you may want to call your registrar's customer support line.

How soon can I start using my domain name?

Once the registry has been updated, the information in our database is shared with the Internet's zone files worldwide. This sharing process is called "propagation," because the new information about your domain spreads or propagates across the Internet. The zone files are propagated frequently, every day of the year. We cannot control the rate at which the millions of name servers on the Internet are updated, but generally your domain should be available to Internet users within a very short period.

How do I change the information associated with a domain name I've registered?

You must change your domain name information — such as contact information — through your registrar. Your registrar then submits these changes to the registry. The speed at which your change is made — and therefore the speed at which it shows up in the registry and the .INFO WHOIS — depends on your registrar. It is important to note that each registrar may affect information about only the domain names for which it is responsible.

How soon can I transfer my domain name? Can I buy existing .INFO domain names from current owners?

Names cannot be transferred from one registrar to another registrar during the first sixty (60) days after initial registration of the domain name with the registrar. Please see Exhibit D section A of the Registry-Registrar agreement.

Names registered in real-time can be transferred from one registrant to another registrant at any time. Real-time registrations have "created on" dates in the WHOIS on or after October 1, 2001.

Sunrise domain names cannot be transferred to another registrant for a period of up to one hundred and eighty (180) days following the end of the Sunrise Period (August 31, 2001). Sunrise registrations have "created on" dates in the WHOIS before August 31, 2001. The only exceptions are for transfers required as a result of a successful Sunrise challenge. Sunrise names are subject to Sunrise challenges filed through December 26, 2001. Sunrise domain name registrants may lose ownership of the domain name as a result of a challenge proceeding, thereby rendering them unable to deliver the name being sold or auctioned. Afilias also intends to challenge a significant number of facially invalid Sunrise registrations near the end of the challenge period.

Similarly, names registered in the Start-up Period ("land rush") may not be transferred to another registrant until sixty (60) days after the conclusion of the Start-up Period (which ended October 1, 2001). The only exceptions are for transfers that result from an UDRP administrative proceeding or a court order. Start-up names have "created on" dates in the WHOIS between September 12 and September 22, 2001.

Afilias therefore urges all potential buyers and sellers of Sunrise and Start-up domain names to be aware of the special restrictions on these names. For more background about Afilias' statement specifically regarding auctions of Sunrise names, click here.

For more information about these transfer restrictions, please see Exhibit E, sections V.3 and V.4 of the Registry-Registrar Agreement, which is part of ICANN's agreement with Afilias.

What if I encounter technical difficulty using a .INFO domain name?

If you are having trouble setting up your domain name for use, you will want to call your registrar or your Internet hosting service, depending on your specific problem.

We have seen one case where a site's webmaster had his system check the site's e-commerce transaction page to make sure that the e-mail extension his customers typed was only two or three letters long. This was a well-intentioned attempt to make sure that people were not making typographical errors when entering their e-mail addresses. Checks such as this are obsolete, and are the responsibility of individual sites.

If you encounter such a problem while surfing the Internet, please report it in detail to the webmaster of the site in question, with a copy to

What services does Afilias provide to registrars?

The registration system developed by Afilias gives registrars the ability to add, modify, and delete information associated with domain names. In addition, Afilias provides registrars with account administration services, customer support, and other value-added services.

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