August 19, 2013
The .NET extension recently bypassed the 15 million registration milestone - as at the time of writing, the number of currently registered .NET domains was 15,086,349.
The extension is the old man of the Internet and it had its beginnings even before the World Wide Web. The .NET extension was established in 1985 and the world's very first domain name was nordu.net. It wouldn't be until November of the following year the next .NET registration would occur, which was nsf.net. The world's first .COM domain was registered on March 15, 1985.
According to Verisign, Inc; the .net zone has doubled in size since 2006 and has expanded by roughly 10 times the size it was in 2000.
Some of .NET's popularity (it's the world's third most registered extension) is due to its accessibility.
Originally intended for use by tech networks; .NET names these days point to sites covering a huge array of topics with both commercial and non-commercial intent.
Verisign, which oversees the registry, states approximately half of the 15 million currently registered .NET domains are registered within the United States; but the extension has registrant representation in over 200 countries.
For those who can't register a short-ish .COM domain name of their choice (most are taken); it appears more than 99.9% of 6+ character .NET domain names are available.
While .NET has enjoyed substantial success; it's still a long way behind .COM in terms of number of registrations. There are currently 109,816,129 .COM's registered. Germany's .DE extension is also hugely popular but not that far ahead of .NET - the .DE registry currently boasts 15,511,893 names.
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