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.de is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Federal Republic of Germanymarker. DENIC (the Network Information Centre responsible for .de domains) does not require specific second-level domains, as it is the case with the .uk domain range for example.

The name is based on the first two letters of the German name for Germany (Deutschland). Prior to 1989, East Germany had a separate ISO 3166-1 code (dd), and had a largely inactive ccTLD, .dd

.de is currently the second most popular ccTLD in terms of number of registrations, after .cn, and is third after .com and .cn among all TLDs.

The first point of registration for .de domains was at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Dortmundmarker. uni-dortmund.de was among the first registered .de-domains.

.de registrations may be directly ordered from DENIC but it is faster and cheaper to do so via a DENIC member (registrar).

As of 23 October 2009, DENIC allowed the registration of single- and two-letter domains as well as number-only domains.

Registrations of internationalized domain names are also accepted so that all diacritics of German may be used. The eszett, ß, cannot be registered, however, as existing internet infrastructure will automatically replace it with ss in any web address.

In many romanic languages, e.g., Spanish, French, Romanian and Portuguese, "de" expresses the genitive of a noun (like "of" in English). This is exploited in domain registrations under the German TLD for romance language webhosts that offer customized sites, like elforo.de (theforum.of), cleverly encoding the site name into the URL path, such as elforo.de/wikipedia, meaning theforum.of/wikipedia.

References

  1. Domain Names Registered Under ".CN" by CNNIC
  2. Comparison of international Domain Numbers by DENIC


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