Domain registries, registrars, and registrants are distinct entities within the domain name system (DNS). Here is an explanation of each entity and their roles in the process of domain registration:
- Domain Registry: A domain registry is an organization responsible for managing the database of domain names within a specific top-level domain (TLD), such as .com, .org, or .net. The registry maintains the technical infrastructure, ensures the stability of the domain namespace, and sets rules and policies for domain registration under its TLD. Examples of domain registries include Verisign (for .com and .net) and Public Interest Registry (for .org).
- Domain Registrar: A domain registrar is an accredited company or organization that acts as an intermediary between the registrant and the domain registry. Registrars are responsible for selling domain names, handling domain registration and renewal processes, and providing additional services such as web hosting, email, or SSL certificates. To become a domain registrar, a company needs to be accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) or by a specific domain registry. Some well-known domain registrars include GoDaddy, Namecheap, and Google Domains.
- Domain Registrant: A domain registrant is the individual, company, or organization that registers and holds the rights to a specific domain name. The registrant is responsible for providing accurate and up-to-date contact information, abiding by the rules and regulations set by the registry and registrar, and renewing the domain registration before it expires. The registrant is the ultimate “owner” of the domain name and has the authority to make decisions regarding the domain, such as transferring it to another registrar or changing the domain’s name servers.
In summary, the domain registry manages the TLD and its database, the domain registrar sells domain names and facilitates registration, and the domain registrant is the end user who registers and owns a specific domain name.