ICANN Pushes to Replace the 192.168.x.x Top-Level Domain

All websites are accessible by URLs, but on occasion, you might need to access pages that aren’t really on the internet. It could be something like a Wi-Fi router’s configuration page, or a page within an internal server. When that’s the case, however, you usually just type in an IP address rather than actually typing in a URL. With a new TLD, ICANN wants to change this.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has put forward a proposal to create a new top-level domain (TLD) named .INTERNAL, which is intended solely for internal use and would not be delegated through the global domain name system (DNS) root. ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) recommended the development of this TLD in 2020 to prevent DNS servers from handling and rejecting queries for domains only used internally.

Back then, the SSAC said that “many enterprises and device vendors make ad hoc use of TLDs that are not present in the root zone when they intend the name for private use only,” going on to add that “this usage is uncoordinated and can cause harm to internet users.”

After a consultation process involving 35 candidate strings, ICANN settled on two viable options: .PRIVATE and .INTERNAL. Ultimately, ICANN announced .INTERNAL as its preferred choice.

While ICANN’s board still needs to approve the creation of .INTERNAL, we’re actually wondering whether it would really matter at all. Currently, if you’re making an internal domain, since it doesn’t need to be registered and is not associated with the global DNS root, you can use whatever TLD you feel like. Even ones that don’t exist, as a matter of fact. Most people use the standard .LAN for local servers, but you could easily use .MyCoolServer or some other unique TLD.

ICANN’s proposal is mostly geared towards two things—avoiding use of .COM and other TLDs that are reserved for proper websites (as well as avoiding the use of IPv4 addresses in place of URLs), and coming up with a standardized solution everyone can use. We’ll have to see whether there are any advantages to this we haven’t seen once the .INTERNAL rolls around.

Source: The Register


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