Can you own a domain permanently? Not at all. Was that a bit too direct? However, it is true that domain names are not intended to function in that manner.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has made it difficult for anyone to own a domain name for life, despite major and small businesses trying for decades to do so.
In reality, you don’t actually own a domain name even after you “own” it. The domain name is more like a lease. You visit a domain registrar to register a domain for a year (or up to ten years), but you’re really just renting the domain; it doesn’t actually belong to you. Although you can rent an address for a few years and then renew the lease before it expires since domain names are like addresses for websites, you can’t really own the address itself. Yes, domain names can be difficult to find.
It’s not all terrible news, though! First of all, ICANN created domain names in this manner for a legitimate reason. Second, there is a way through which you can come as close to becoming the long-term “tenant” of a domain name as you possibly can. Continue reading to see why domain names function in this way and how you can make sure that you own the domain name for the longest possible time.
Remember that you are not, in fact, purchasing a domain. Instead, you’re leasing it. Who is responsible for deciding how these domain names function, and who is leasing out all of these names?
The global Domain Name System, or DNS, is overseen by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization formed in 1998. Today’s internet operation relies heavily on the Domain Name System. Instead of entering a long string of numbers into the search bar of your browser, you can simply type in a domain name, such as google.com, thanks to the DNS, which links a domain name with the correct IP address of a website.
Today, ICANN makes decisions about the operation of domain registration, the addition of new domain extensions to the pool, and other issues. In order for domain name businesses, also known as domain registrars, to sell, or rather, rent, domain names to people, ICANN accredits them.
So, when you visit a domain registrar, you can register a domain name privately or under your name for a period of one to ten years. So, why are you unable to register a domain name for the rest of your life?
No one. It’s pretty tough. The domain registrar rents the name, i.e., pays for the right to lease it from ICANN, just as you are essentially leasing the name from the domain registrar when you register it.
If you’re concerned that the cost of your domain will increase or that someone else will purchase it before you can renew it, don’t panic; there’s a way to ensure that none of this occurs.