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What Are .ID.AU Domain Names?

Published July 2, 2011

Most Australians would be familiar with, and; but not so much domain names - even though they've been available since 1995.

Unlike .com and .net names, which can be registered by anyone, Australia's domain extension is reserved for commercial enterprises only. The extension can only be registered by charities operating in Australia. 

The extension has a special place in the .au namespace - it's purely for individuals. While the name of the person who originally proposed the name is not known; in October 1994 an Australian online pioneer by the name of Robert Elz again floated the idea of an extension for Australians for personal use - and by early 1995 the domain was created.

The extension has only the following eligibility criteria - registrants must either be an Australian citizen or resident.

However, there are some limits as to the type of name that can be chosen. For example, generic terms usually won't be permitted. The following name selection guidelines apply:

- it must exactly match the registrant’s name, or be an abbreviation or acronym of the name.
- a name can be derived from or include one or more words of the person's name.
- can be a personal name by which the registrant is know; in other words, a nickname.


In order to keep the name space purely geared towards individuals, the extension can't be used for commercial purposes to represent a community group. One of the other benefits of the extension is that it's cheaper to register.


If you would like to register your name as a domain name and want it to have a distinct Aussie flavour, consider registering an - as its accompanying slogan says; "it's all about you."


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