Registrar and Registry – Domain Definitions – NiceNIC.NET

Posted by ANDREW ALLEMANN at DomainNameWire.COM on MAY 27, 2015

The definition of registry is becoming fuzzy.

Domain definitions: Registrar and Registry -

Two of the most commonly misused words in mainstream articles about domain names are registrar and registry. Many publications use one when it should be the other.

A registrar is the company where you register a domain name, such as GoDaddy or NiceNIC.NET.

A registry is the company that manages the top level domain name.

So if you register a .com domain name at NiceNIC.NET, NiceNIC is the registrar and Verisign is the registry for the domain name.

Now, most DNW readers are aware of this. But I’ve started to run into a conundrum with the release of new top level domain names.

With new TLDs, there are often two companies referred to as registries.

For example, .Buzz is “owned” and marketed by dotStrategy. But the traditional technical registry tasks are handled by Neustar, the same company that is the registry for .biz and .us.

Are both considered registries?

In this case, I often call Neustar the “back end registry provider” or the “technical registry provider”, but these terms are cumbersome. Sometimes I refer to dotStrategy as the “TLD operator” and Neustar as the “registry”.

I don’t have a good answer to this yet, but I am open to suggestions.


SoFreeDomains says

In the case of .Buzz, I think dotStrategy is the “registry” while Neustar is the “TLD operator”.

John T. O’Farrell says

Andrew, I like your idea of “TLD Operator” (meaning owner but not providing the registry services) and “Registry” as the actual provider of registry services.

However do we need to differentiate between a Registry that is providing outsourced services and a Registry that is the operator and provider of services?

1) TLD Operator: Owner but no services
2) TLD Service Registry: A registry that provides outsourced services for the Operator
3) Registry: A traditional registry that is the operator and provider of registry services for a given domain.

An entity could be one, two or all three of the above names but would allow for the reader to know what capacity that entity was operating as for any particular domain.


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