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domstats.jpg 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!


As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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.

Are we ever going to reach a saturation point when everything just stops?

the .cn domain became the eighth largest in the world

Indeed, China has come out many websites in recent years. Because of its large population, many website has high ranking...

Which mean ICANN is making over 50 million dollars every year on registration fees. I wonder if that's enough to cover their costs :/

If the "Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) were to open up the approval for more domain names, what would be the advantages or disadvantages?

David_49, are the 1 billion web sites counted by NetCraft equivalent to the count of Internet Domain Names noted in this article? For instance, if and are different personal websites, I assume they would only be counted once for domain but perhaps twice as different web site. I couldn't find a description of how NetCraft counted "websites".

Wow, it's a huge amount of domain name that have their identity over internet, I really wondered to know the estimated amount that you have published here. its really informative article.

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