Published November 15, 2010
Early this decade, the loss of domain names through registration deletions cause by mistake or fraud became an increasing problem. To combat the issue, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) introduced two safeguards - the Domain Name Grace Period and the Domain Name Redemption Period. These also work in favour of registrants who have simply forgotten to renew their domain name.
.com, .net, .org, .info, and .biz expiry processes
When a domain name ending in .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz expires, it first goes into the Domain Name Grace Period (DNGP), which lasts for approximately 40 days.
During the Grace Period, a site associated with a domain name cannot be viewed with a browser and all other services such as email will also cease to function. The registrant's details are still available via a WhoIs query. The domain can be revived simply by paying the renewal fee. After payment, the domain name will automatically become active again, although it could be 24 hours or so before DNS (Domain Name System) propagation completes and a site is reachable again from every part of the world.
At the end of the Grace Period, the domain then enters an additional 30 day Domain Name Redemption Period (DNRP) where all WhoIs information is removed, but the domain may be retrieved by the original registrant. However, it is a costly and complex process costing up to a couple of hundred dollars and takes a number of days.
If after the Domain Name Redemption Period the name is not claimed by the original registrant, it then enters a 5-day Pending Delete Phase after which time, the domain name will be released and able to be registered by any other eligible party.
Australian domain names and expiry processes
The system for Australia domain names is a little different. After the registration of a .com.au, .net.au, .org.au or any other .au extension lapses, the domain name is removed from the DNS and enters the "serverUpdateProhibited" and "serverHold" status for 30 calendar days. During this period, it can be renewed. However, after the 30 days, the domain name is purged from the registry at a random time on the next business day.
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