What is a .NET domain?

Colleen B. | February 10, 2023
9 mins

The world of domains is huge. Registration criteria, fluctuating fees, market transfers... if you’re new to this space then you’re probably a little confused. And that’s understandable. As is the case with anything, you’ll just need to learn a thing or two.

Nobody, however, said learning should be difficult.

As the title suggests, you’ll uncover what a .net domain extension is. By knowing what it is, where it came from, and how it functions, you’ll also learn how it could serve your online presence.

But before we get into it, you may want to know a little more about domain names in general.

So let’s break it down quickly.

What is a Top-Level Domain?

A .net domain is something called a top-level domain (TLD). A TLD is the address information after the second dot of the web address — aka second-level domain.

Some classic examples of TLDs include .com and .org.

It’s important to know that your TLD is also referred to as a domain extension. So, in this case, a .net TLD could also be expressed as a .net extension.

TLDs can do a lot for your brand, but throwing a load of jargon at you here probably won't help, so all you need to know now is that .net is a top-level domain.

To read up more on TLDs, check out these articles below:

What does .NET mean in a web address?

In the section above you’ll have read the words ‘web’ and ‘address’. You obviously know what they mean, at least a little, but you might not know that they’re also referred to as domains.

A domain definition could look a little something like ICANN’s — “A unique name that forms the basis of the uniform resource locators (URLs) that people use to find resources on the Internet”.

Translation — the words you type into your browser to access a web page.

And if you or your visitors want to navigate the web with ease then using a well-known TLD could help in a number of ways. For example, .com stands for commercial business, .org for organization, and the domain suffix .net means network — they’re easy to remember and informative too.

While .net websites are traditionally centered around network-based products or services, if you want to go beyond the .net domain meaning then you can.

In fact, nowadays, most people do.

The practice of defined and top-level domain usage is largely over. And TLDs are now used in a variety of creative ways. Because these restrictions are gone, registration is mostly open for all — apart from gTLDs assigned for the government, such as .gov and .mil.

If you want to learn even more about TLDs then read below:

The history of .NET domains

Okay, to understand why the .net extension is one of the most popular TLDs, standing strong against other classics like .com, .ca and .org, let’s look at its past.

When did the .NET domain extension launch?

Like all great origin stories, the rich origin of TLD evolution comes from a small force facing big problems. In the 80s, the Internet was mainly managed by students and lecturers of universities.

Eventually, they needed solutions to rising communication issues.

Due to increased internet usage, a group called IANA decided to categorize their sites to make things easier to remember, easier to recognize, and easier to index. This was done in something called a Domain Name System.

And so, the .net extension was launched.

Who owns the .NET extension?

A company called Verisign grabbed the .net registry rights in 2001.

To this day, Verisign is the registry of .net TLDs, meaning all domain names with a .net extension are provided by them.

Organizations like Verisign and ICANN had, and still have, control over TLD usage, dictating what .net, .org, and .com should be used for. But what does that mean for you?

What are the .NET domain requirements?

“Are there requirements, documents, or information needed for .net? — No.”

The above sentence is according to 101 domain, a Verisign accredited registrar.

Is the domain .NET restricted?

If some of the questions you came with sound like, ‘is the .net domain restricted, and who can use it?’ then the answer is no — anyone can.

Sure, if you’re setting up a site built on Internet services, software, or collaborative tools then .net makes perfect sense. But if you want to set up a fishing site, for example, using the domain fishing.net, now you can.

What is the .NET domain used for?

Today, .net domains are used for pretty much anything.

However, you have to remember that the connotations of websites that end in .net, like php.net and speedtest.net, will affect your brand image.

But there's more — even beyond tech-based associations, whatever your purpose of .net TLD usage, you need to account for people misinterpreting that meaning entirely.

For example, fish.net could mean something a little different to certain readers…

Using a .NET domain for a business;

You may be thinking, ‘is this TLD good enough for businesses?’

The answer is, absolutely.

For example, gymequipment.net could tell your customers that you’re a big player in the gym equipment supply network. But social media platforms, email services, or even sports pages, like basketball.net, could all be used with a .net too.

Using a .NET domain for education

Using the ethos of ‘being in a network’, primary schools, secondary schools, private tuition, universities — they’re all part of the education network, so why not use a .net?

Oh, and it’s also great for wider resources aimed at students or parents.

Using a .NET domain for a personal website

You know that gTLDs (generic top-level domains) like .blog, .shop, and .florist can help specify your brand. But when it comes to a personal site, a .net could help in more ways than you think.

If you want your visitors to feel a part of something, be involved in your content, and stay loyal to your brand, then a .net domain extension could imply a community or group — a unique crowd involved in unique content could be exactly what they’re looking to be a part of.

Remember, a big part of TLD usage is connecting users to your brand.

Using a .NET domain for a blog

Blogs are everywhere. All you have to do is go online for a second to see one.

In part, blogs are great because they feel personal.

So, you can use a .net to create a personal network, no matter your industry of choice. Let’s look at an example.

Say you own the domain name tennisgear.com. To protect your brand you’ve also bought the same domain name but with other popular TLDs: tennisgear.co, tennisgear.biz, or tennisgear.net.

Now, you could use tennisgear.net as your blog site, using it as a dedicated space that’s easy to remember while also keeping your main site simple and focused on offerings.

Using a .NET domain for a store

A .net extension for your online store could tell your customers what you’re about in seconds. If you’re selling tech-based products or services then a .net is an obvious choice.

But anything you sell that fits within a mindset of ‘network’ could be viable, even if your site is representing physical shops.

Maybe you have a franchise of gold exchange stores, for example. In this case, goldexchange.net could be a great choice. Either way, the connotations of .net in the business world could tell your audience you mean exactly that, business.

Is a .NET domain worth buying: pros and cons

Okay, so a .net might be the wrong choice for you. But the good news is that it doesn’t take long to find out.

To see if one’s worth buying, it’s good to know some pros and cons. Ask yourself, ‘why use the .net domain name for my site?’ and ‘is this domain extension still relevant?’

Let’s run through it now.

Is .NET a good domain?

So, naturally, you’re wondering if a .net domain is any good. Which means you’re also wondering what the main advantage of using a .net domain is for you.

Yes, you’ve learned that it’s great for tech-based companies. You’ve learned that you can now use it in inventive ways too. But you should also remember that in being part of the original TLD lineup, the .net domain contains global and historic recognition — this TLD is used by some of the most successful companies around the globe.

Are .NET domain names bad?

Why to avoid .net domain extensions… remember the fish.net example?

Well, using a .net extension in a clear way is essential so you can’t hurt your business.

But that’s not the only reason.

Your domain name may be perfectly clear but the TLD you’ve chosen doesn’t reflect your business most effectively.

Take the domain name blingtech.net.

This domain name may revolve around technology, but a .net may be less prestigious than, say, blingtech.io. This TLD is higher in price, is recognized as forward-thinking, and is great for memorability — head to Namecheap to see why.

How much does a .NET domain cost?

So, the cost of a .net domain can fluctuate. Generally, however, .net TLDs remain very much in the affordable category. So, whether you’re a start-up or an established brand, the benefits of a .net domain can far outweigh the initial cost of grabbing one.

Visit Namecheap to see how much a .net TLD is right now.

Is the .NET domain name increasing in cost?

Whether the .net is appealing to you or not, you may well be wondering about price. Good news, the price of .net domains is not going up for any specific reason. So if you’ve yet to make up your mind, .net value is unlikely to skyrocket any time soon.

Why do .NET domains cost more than .COM and .ORG?

While domain prices change over time, you’ll find that, generally, .net is a more expensive domain than .com or .org. One reason for this is due to the association of a global presence for companies with .net domains — global respect brings a unique value.

Remember though, all basic gTLDs have unique value, and it’s not like .com or .org TLDs aren’t internationally recognized.

A look at .NET domain popularity

Despite everything you’ve read so far you may be wondering, ‘just how popular is a .net domain?’

The .net TLD is one of the most popular on the market. According to DomainTools, there are 13 million .net registrations. And for good reason. Being one of the original TLDs comes with great recognition. But if you still need a bit of convincing then you should know that it’s the fourth most popular TLD after .com — the king of domains.

You may want to take inspiration from some of the most successful companies around, who wouldn’t?

Famous companies use .net domains around the world. Google used a .net for their page doubleclick.net. According to Semrush, this site registered an incredible 1.7 billion visitors. Other big companies like Pixiv, an illustration platform, registered 1.13 billion visits with their domain name pixiv.net.

How to register a .NET domain

After reading how a .net domain can easily strengthen your online brand, you’ll be glad to hear that registering one is just as easy. All you need to do is head over to Namecheap’s .net domain registration page. Simple. If you’re inspired by another TLD then go to our domains name search page now.

Start your online journey today!


Picture of Colleen B.

Colleen B.

Colleen started her copywriting career in 2008. She loves to write honest, clear, and concise copy, and her work has been featured in many places in print and online, including HuffPost UK and The Times. Colleen’s passions include cooking, playing pool, and board games.

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