Introduced1 January 1985; 39 years ago (1985-01-01)
TLD typeGeneric top-level domain
Intended useNetwork infrastructure
Actual useISPs; miscellaneous sites; used sometimes when desired name is not available in .com
Registration restrictionsNone
StructureRegistrations at second level permitted
DocumentsRFC 1591; ICANN registry agreement
Dispute policiesUDRP
Registry websiteVerisign .net Registry

The domain name net is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) used in the Domain Name System of the Internet. The name is derived from the word network, indicating it was originally intended for organizations involved in networking technologies, such as Internet service providers and other infrastructure companies. However, there are no official restrictions and the domain is now a general-purpose namespace.


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net is one of the original top-level domains[1] (the other six being com, org, edu, gov, mil, and arpa) despite not being mentioned in RFC 920, having been created in January 1985.

Verisign, the operator of net after acquiring Network Solutions, held an operations contract that expired on 30 June 2005. ICANN, the organization responsible for domain management, sought proposals from organizations to operate the domain upon expiration of the contract. Verisign regained the contract bid and secured its control over the net registry for another six years. On 30 June 2011, the contract with Verisign was automatically renewed for another six years. This is because of a resolution approved by the ICANN board, which states that renewal will be automatic as long as Verisign meets certain ICANN requirements.[2] As of May 2022, Verisign continues to manage .net.[3]


Registrations are processed via accredited registrars and internationalized domain names are also accepted.[4]

The first created .net domain name is nordu.net. It was created on 1 January 1985 according to the public records, and NORDUnet has used this domain name since 1985.[citation needed]

Net extension is the most preferred gTLD just after com. Total registered domain names with net extension are 13.4 million according to the Domain Name Industry Report published in March 2020, which publishes every quarter.

As of 2015, it is the fifth most popular top-level domain, after .com, .tk, .cn and .de.[5]


  1. ^ Postel, J.; Reynolds, J. (October 1984). Domain Requirements. doi:10.17487/RFC0920. RFC 920.
  2. ^ ".net Contract Renewed". 24 June 2011.
  3. ^ ".net Domains Search on Verisign". Verisign. Archived from the original on 13 December 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  4. ^ How Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) Work, verisigninc.com
  5. ^ "Verisign: The Domain Name Industry Brief March 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 13 May 2020.