Ever wondered just how many domain names there are on the Internet? DaniWeb has, and can reveal the answer as being an almost astonishing 215 million worldwide.
According to global Internet infrastructure provider and domain registrar Verisign, more than five million domain names were added to the total during the second quarter of this year alone, which represents a growth rate of 2.5 percent above the previous three months. To put that into some perspective, that's a year on year growth in the number of Internet domains of 8.6 percent or some 16.9 million domains.
If you were to look at just the number of .com and .net domains registered, then you are talking about a running total of more than 110 million by the end of that second quarter 2011 cut off point. New registrations within the two domain high flyers accounted for 8.1 million in the quarter. However, according to the DomainTools statistics site the Internet could have been be so much bigger if domains had not expired and been deleted over the years - or could it? The current numbers suggest that a staggering 328,456,608 .com domains have been deleted since the Top Level Domain was first created, and 36,196,098 .net domains for good measure. Actually, domains which expire are added to the deleted column and remove3d from the active, but are available for re-registration immediately. So the deleted column is a cumulative total over the decades.
Interestingly, China moved ahead of the European Union after the .cn domain became the eighth largest in the world and .eu dropped down a place to ninth. And if there are any DNS server admin nerds out there who are interested in such things, take comfort in knowing that the average daily DNS query load on the Verisign servers during that second quarter of the year alone was 56 billion, peaking at 68 billion!
I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .
That may be true for the number of registered domains but the even bigger question is how many domains are possible. Technically, a domain name can have all the letters, all the number and a dash. But, the domain name cannot start or end with the dash. The total characters allowed is 63 and must contain at least 2 characters. It's a big big number so it means there are plenty of opportunities for domainers.