A domain registrar acts as the middleman between the domain registry operator and a domain name registrant; the person who has registered a domain name.
In relation to Australian domain names, the .au name space is controlled by AusRegistry Pty Ltd; the registry operator for all Australian top level domains (TLDs). These are: asn.au, .com.au, id.au, net.au and org.au. It is also the operator of second level domains: act.au, nsw.au, nt.au, qld.au, sa.au, tas.au, vic.au and wa.au, along with edu.au and gov.au.
However, AusRegistry does not provide services directly to the public. AusRegistry, through .au Domain Administration Limited (auDA), provides accreditation to domain name registrars so that those registrars can offer registration services to the public.
A domain name registrar acts as a manager of domain names and makes them available on the Internet in accordance with the guidelines of auDA, or in the case of .com, .net and .org domain names, ICANN. The registrar pays fees to the registry operator for each domain name registered through their service and depending on the registry operator; an annual fee. Additionally, the domain registrar also plays a role in dispute resolution processes, such as cases regarding cybersquatting.
Bearing in mind that nobody can actually "buy" a domain name in Australia (or elsewhere for that matter), just the rights to lease it; a domain registrant can be viewed as a tenant, the domain registrar the property caretaker and the domain registry, the property owner.
Domain registration services that are not accredited by organisations such as the auDA or ICANN, yet offering name services for related domains, are often resellers. The resellers are an additional middleman between the registrant registrar and the registry operator. There are also other important differences between registrars and resellers.
When registering .au domain names, it can be a good idea to deal directly with an accredited registrar; such as Domain Registration Services.
Domain name registrars sometimes also offer additional services, such as web hosting; making the task of registering a domain name and setting up a web site a one-stop-shop type process. It's important to understand that web address services and hosting are two separate services and the availability of hosting is something worth considering when choosing a registrar.
How to register a name: Enter your choice in the search tool and click 'GO'. If after the check the domain names search results show your choice is available, you will then have the option to proceed to purchase registration; which is a very quick and easy process - start a search and find your ideal website address now.