Adding IDNs to your .com, .net, .name and .cc domain name options lets you expand services and potentially increase revenues.
For assistance or questions, please contact the Verisign Customer Affairs Office at +1-703-925-6999 or send an email.
Registrars are welcome to download the IDN Software Development Kit (SDK) and implement IDN offerings into your domain name registration service.
You must first become a registrar of one or more top-level domain names before you can offer IDNs as an additional option.Become a Verisign Domain Name Registrar
Verisign IDNs follow Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standards related to IDN. There are important points to consider when registering an IDN.
The Verisign Shared Registration System (SRS) allows a registrant to register IDNs through a registrar in any script supported by Unicode. The registrant's IDN is stored in the Registry’s database in an ASCII-compatible representation called Punycode, defined by RFC3492. The uniqueness of a domain name registration is determined by its Unicode representation. Valid characters for IDNs are those identified within the Unicode 6.0. For more information, see Policy for IDN Code Points.
Verisign processes IDN transactions on first-come, first-served basis in the same manner as with all registrations in the .com, .net, .name and .cc registries. If a dispute occurs, Verisign follows any and all policies established by ICANN to uniformly administer the domain name transfer dispute process.
To assist with potential disputes, Verisign has created the IDN Conversion Tool, which works as follows:
- Any user may input an IDN character string into the tool and click Convert.
- The tool will perform the conversion and display the ASCII-compatible Punycode string (e.g., xn--yal93qak4a).
- Under Whois Query, the user may select either Domain or Nameserver, then click the Query button to query Verisign's Whois for the Punycode string.
- The Verisign Whois displays the appropriate registrar for the Punycode string, and the user may continue with normal procedures for researching, preparing, and submitting a complaint under ICANN’s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
Please contact Verisign Customer Service if you have any questions.
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) FAQ
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) are second- and third-level domain names or Web addresses, represented by local language characters. The native language domain name is followed by the Latin script top-level domain (TLD) such as .com or .net. An example of an IDN is: 스타벅스코리아.com (in punycode: xn--oy2b35ckwhba574atvuzkc.com).
IDNs enable more Web users to navigate the internet in their preferred script and more companies to maintain one brand identity in many scripts. Most domain names are registered in ASCII characters (A to Z, 0 to 9, and the hyphen "-"). However, languages that require diacritics such as Spanish and French, and those that use non-Latin scripts such as Kanji and Arabic, cannot be rendered in ASCII. As a result, millions of internet users struggle to find their way online using non-native scripts and languages. IDNs improve the accessibility and functionality of the internet by enabling domain names in non-ASCII characters.
To use IDNs, you must have an IDN-enabled browser. When a user enters an IDN using local language characters or follows a link, IDN-enabled applications encode the characters into an ACE string that the domain name system (DNS) understands. The DNS processes the request and returns the information to the application.
If you own a website or provide other internet-based services and would like to use IDNs to help your customers, you may register an IDN in available characters through participating ICANN-accredited and Verisign-authorized registrars. A registrant requests an IDN from a registrar that supports IDNs. The registrar converts the local-language characters into a sequence of ASCII-compatible characters using the Punycode encoding. The registrar submits the Punycode string to the Verisign® Shared Registration System (SRS), where it is verified. The IDN is added to the appropriate TLD zone files and propagated across the internet. Find a Registrar
In keeping with current domain name standards, multiple IDNs may share IP addresses.
Yes. However, just as current standards do not allow names to begin or end with a hyphen, the ASCII transformation cannot begin or end with a hyphen.
The encoded form of the IDN (including the characters for .com, .net or .name) may contain up to 67 characters. The characters may be letters, numbers or hyphens. A domain name may not begin or end with a hyphen. The IDN transformation software will reject a domain name if the encoded conversion exceeds the character limit.
IDN Registrar FAQ
By adding IDNs, registrars can expand services and potentially increase revenues with their existing infrastructure. A single .com domain name may be registered in as many as 350 different native languages.
To offer IDN options, you must first be a registrar for a particular TLD. Verisign, a pioneer in domain name technology, is a leader in the propagation and adoption of IDNs. Verisign has made IDNs available through the .com, .net, .name and .cc registries via the IDN SDK. To calculate the potential for IDNs to expand your domain name business, please download our IDN ROI Calculator (XLS).
Resolving an IDN requires the DNS to interpret characters in local languages and connect them to the relevant domains; however, there are many more languages than scripts. For example, in two different Latin-based languages the "ø" and the "ö" characters may be interchanged. The registration "thørn.com" could be a registration variant of "thörn.com". These characters are considered character variants and their overlap requires a special solution. Learn more about character variants.
Libraries that implement the IDNs in Applications (IDNA) standard for a variety of programming environments are available in the public domain. Verisign encourages and supports the work of such developers and provides links to these libraries. Application developers should choose the library that best fits their application requirements. Verisign offers a complete IDN SDK in Java and C to application developers. It fully supports the latest IDNA specification. You can find it on the IDN SDK download page.
The registration failure/error codes for IDNs and name servers are the same as those in the current EPP. Additional codes have been added to support errors specific to IDN conversion and encoding.
IDNs appear in Whois results in punycode. The domain name, registrar name, Whois server, referral URL, name server record and updated date are recorded using ASCII characters (the current standard). Because Whois will not accept native language queries, Verisign has created the IDN Conversion Tool, which converts an IDN character string into punycode. Keep in mind that domain names are unique registrations for each language.
IDN Language Tags FAQ
ICANN Registry Implementation Committee (RIC) guidelines require that each Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) be associated with a specific language using a "language tag." The registrant selects the IDN language tag during the registration process. If an IDN combines more than one language, the registrant must select the most appropriate language.
Language tags allow appropriate language rules to be applied to the domain name to prevent the registration of domain names that may confuse IDN users. Learn more about character variants.
The language tag is checked against a list of languages that have character inclusion tables or character-variant mapping tables. These tables are applied to the Unicode code points that make up a registration and determine whether the registration is valid for a specific language. If a registration fails for one language, the character set may still be available with a different language tag.
A default language tag may be used; however, registrants seeking domain names in a different language may be rejected because appropriate language rules have not been applied. For example, if a registrant submitted a registration using Cyrillic characters and the default tag set by the registrar was Chinese, the registration would be rejected because Cyrillic characters are not permitted under the Chinese character inclusion table.