internet domain names surpass 180 million

Verisign Industry Brief of first quarter 2009 sheds light on DNS and domain statistics.

VeriSign Inc., a provider of internet infrastructure services, publishes in the first quarter 2009 Domain Name Industry Brief, that the internet now encompasses more than 180 million domain names.

The company says that the first quarter of 2009 ended with a total base of nearly 183 million domain name registrations across all of the Top Level Domain Names (TLDs). This represents a 3 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2008 and a 12 percent increase over the same quarter from last year.

The company avers that the first quarter is historically strong for registrations in the domain name industry, and Q1 2009 was no exception, with an average of 2.4 million new .com and .net registrations added each month. During the quarter, the overall base of .com and .net domain names grew to 92.4 million domain names. That total represents a two percent increase from Q4 2008, a jump of nine percent over the same quarter of the previous year, and an increase of 34 percent over the first quarter of 2007.

It further adds that Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs) rose to 74.1 million domain names during the first quarter, a four percent jump from the previous quarter and an 18 percent increase year over year. Gauged by total registrations, .com remains the most popular TLD category, followed by .cn (China), .de (Germany) and .net. This composition remains unchanged from Q4 2008.

During the quarter, VeriSign continued to provide 100 percent uptime for DNS queries. VeriSign's daily DNS query load averaged 38 billion during the first quarter of 2009, resulting in hundreds of millions of internet users accessing Web sites or sending email. This is an increase from the 35 billion queries in fourth quarter 2008.

The latest VeriSign Domain Name Industry Brief also analyzes DNS queries and DNS resolution. In addition to provisioning domain names, a domain name registry operator enables users to actually reach those domain names by resolving the domain names to an internet address that serves the content users seek.

The company explains that their analysis reveals how the most queried .com domain names - sites like and - are not necessarily the only domain names internet users rely upon. Rather, there are infrastructure oriented domain names that support DNS servers, hosting farms or even advertising platforms and the number of DNS queries the infrastructure domain names receive can be in the same range as the many popular end user-oriented domain names with more familiar and recognized domain names.

"As the authoritative registry for .com and .net domain names, VeriSign has a unique view into the pulse of the Internet," said Jill Corso McNabb, vice president, Naming Services at VeriSign. "DNS resolution truly comprises the backbone of what makes the internet operate across the globe. DNS becomes even more critical to the overall infrastructure of the Internet not only as Internet usage grows but also as innovative products and services related to the DNS proliferate."

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