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Frequently Asked Questions

Global Registry Services

Afilias offers a wide range of top-level domains, suitable to the business model of any registrar or reseller network. A key advantage to working with Afilias is that once you are accredited for one TLD, our streamlined process makes it easy to add the other TLD's to which Afilias provides registrar services.

For information on accreditation, please contact, including all country code TLDs.

Click the links below for information on becoming accredited for these specific domains:

Afilias is the registry services provider of choice to some of the largest TLDs on the planet. Let us help you too!

Afilias currently provides services to a diverse and growing set of top-level domains, whether gTLDs or ccTLDs. We also have a history of completing service transitions smoothly. Whether you are launching a new domain or looking to improve your service, Afilias' Global Registry Services will provide you with the best registry technology and service available.

To get more information on why Afilias provides the most reliable registry solutions, and discuss how we can ensure your registry excels please fill out a Request for Information form or contact us at


The "domain name" field will display the registered name in Punycode (e.g. probestü will appear as Three additional fields will be introduced to the Afilias Whois:

IDN Script: The intended script / language (based on RFC3066) of the IDN as determined by the registrant (e.g. "de" for German)

Unicode Hex: The IDN in Unicode Hex format (e.g. U+0070 U+0072 U+006F U+0062 U+0065 U+0073 U+0074 U+00FC U+0063 U+006B)

Unicode HTML: The IDN in HTML entity format (e.g.: probestück)

The .INFO registry allows IDN hostnames to be setup. The hostname portion is validated based on the IDN standards, however linguistic relevance (i.e.: the language tag) is not enforced at the hostname level. IDN hostnames are displayed only in Punycode through the Whois.
Yes. One of Afilias' founding principles as a technology provider is that we provide proven, standards-compliant service that will enhance the user experience, and not deviate from adopted standards. Our IDN solution will meet the ICANN guidelines and we will continue to work with local communities to ensure that our technology solution is relevant to the needs of the market.

The ICANN guidelines mainly address the following issues:

  • That the registry be compliant with IDN technical standards
  • That the registry, where appropriate, observe the additional prohibited character rules specified by ICANN
  • That the registry require the registrant to announce the intended language / script of the domain registered
  • That the registry roll-out IDN in a conservative manner with regards to linguistic complexity and work with local language authorities to determine appropriate registration policies
The .INFO registry first and foremost ensures standards compliant resolution of IDNs in the TLD-root name servers. Those using IDNA-compliant browsers (i.e.: IE 7, Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.4, Opera 7, Safari 3.2, Chrome) are able to type in the encoded domain (e.g.: mü into their browser, which will automatically convert the name into Punycode – the approved standard for converting IDNs into ASCII domains that can be looked up at the TLD nameserver
IDNs are available in a minimum of 1 year registration and a maximum of 10 year registration.
There has been a strong demand in the ICANN community for supporting an Internet that is not English-only. When the Internet was first developed, it was spearheaded by the US, and since then more and more countries have come online and adopted the Internet in mission-critical communications processes. Because of this, it is now time that the Internet expand with the overall globalization of the world's economy and offer improved solutions to non-English speakers.
.INFO is the only truly global gTLD. The abbreviated word INFO translates into many languages and as such has international meaning. Therefore it is only a natural extension of .INFO's international nature that we rollout IDNs to meet market demand.
The .INFO registry first and foremost ensures standards compliant resolution of IDNs in the TLD-root name servers. Those using IDNA-compliant browsers (i.e.: IE 7, Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.4, Opera 7, Safari 3.2, Chrome) are able to type in the encoded domain (e.g.: mü into their browser, which will automatically convert the name into Punycode – the approved standard for converting IDNs into ASCII domains that can be looked up at the TLD nameserver
The .INFO registry accepts IDN registrations in compliance with the IETF IDN standards and ICANN IDN guidelines for the German script only. Registrars are responsible for converting an IDN to its Punycode equivalent before submitting it for registration to the registry. As such, according to the IDN technical standards, the "ß" (Eszet) is effectively mapped to "ss" based on the Nameprep mechanism. Therefore, in short, YES, you may register domain names that contain the "ß", but that information, when passed to the registry by your registrar, will essentially be registered as double-s: "ss". More specifically, Afilias does not recognize or distinguish between a registration for "ß" or "ss", somewhat similarly to how the registry treats registrations for "XyZ" as "xyz" (i.e. the domain "straß" will be technically equivalent to the domain ""). IDNA-compliant browsers should convert the encoded domain (e.g.: straß into ASCII (e.g.: to facilitate resolution.

When two or more Unicode code points share one meaning or are linguistically deemed equivalent by local authorities, this results in "character variants". For example, they occur between Simplified and Traditional Chinese scripts, and are potentially confusing to people who are using these scripts. Someone in mainland China, for example, might enter a domain name in Simplified Chinese and be sent to one site, while someone in Taiwan might enter what they perceive as the same domain name in Traditional Chinese and be directed to a different site.

Based upon consultation with language experts, the German script does not result in variant issues.

Registrars are responsible for the conversion. A Registrar Toolkit (RTK) that supports valid Punycode generation is available to registrars to help them with this process. The obligations of all parties are explained in the Registry-Registrar Agreement (RRA).
Afilias' Web-based Whois and Port 43 Whois output displays both the registered Punycode name, a Unicode HEX sequence representing the registered IDN as well as an HTML encoded display of the IDN name in its native form.
The full list of scripts supported for .INFO is available here.
It is up to the registrar to determine the retail pricing of the name, although we expect it to be consistent with existing prices for .INFO domains.

Registrars may be either enabled or disabled for IDN registrations. Please check our list of registrars offering .INFO IDNs.

With a fully IDN-aware environment, you should be able to setup and use IDN for emails just as you would for ASCII only domains, using the Punycode form of the IDN. However, support for full IDN email addresses (user@domain) requires an upgrade to email software that conforms to the pending IETF standard for Email Address Internationalization (EAI).
In a compliant browser (e.g. IE 7, Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.4, Opera 7, Safari 3.2, Chrome), you type the IDN in the address bar or click an active link. The IDN is then resolved, and the Web site you wish to access will be displayed.
To register a .INFO IDN, the IDN must come from an Afilias-authorized and ICANN-accredited registrar. The unique IDN is then placed into the Afilias registry IDN database. Before this can be accomplished, however, the names to be registered in the IDN database must be converted into the alphanumeric representation based on the Punycode IDN standard. The conversion of the IDN local language characters into the equivalent Punycode is performed by the registrar.
In 2009, ICANN decided to implement a new class of top-level domains, assignable to countries and independent regions, similar to the rules for country code top-level domains. However, the domain names may be any desirable string of characters, symbols, or glyphs in the language-specific, non-Latin alphabet or script of the applicant's language, within certain guidelines to assure sufficient visual uniqueness. In the Domain Name System, these domains use an ASCII representation consisting of the prefix xn-- followed by the Punycode translation of the Unicode representation of the language-specific alphabet or script glyphs.

Punycode uses only restricted ASCII characters and numbers (A-z, 0-9) and the hyphen (-). The Punycode schema and the standardization which specifies IDN wire-format to remain in the restricted ASCII repertoire was based on the following advantages:

  • Language independent
  • Superior in compression
  • Compact in code size
  • Round-trip safe
  • Superior for encoding Chinese/Japanese/Korean characters. (over other ACE schemes evaluated at that time)

When a compliant browser receives input for an IDN, it converts the IDN into Punycode – the official standard that has been approved for converting IDN domains into resolvable ASCII domains. This process converts the name into an ASCII string with the prefix "xn--" that can be looked up at the TLD nameserver to determine the location of the Web site. Other encodings use different prefixes, e.g., "bq--" is used in Row-based ASCII-Compatible Encoding (RACE). Punycode ("xn--"), was accepted as the IDNA standard by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on 14 February 2003.

Browsers that support this functionality include Internet Explorer 7 or later, Netscape 7.1 or later, Mozilla 1.4 or later, Opera 7 or later, Safari 3.2, and Chrome.

Typically, when a browser sees a host name, it sends a request to the DNS resolver service which then sends a request to a domain name server to return an IP address corresponding to that host name. When the IP address is returned, a connection is made to the appropriate Web server.

In the case of IDNs, when a browser sees a non-ASCII character host/domain name in its location bar, or a URL with a non-ASCII domain part embedded in a web page, the application is required to convert the non-ASCII characters into a special encoded format (Punycode) using only the standard ASCII subset characters. Punycode is required because the restriction that only a subset of ASCII characters be used in URL/URI at the network protocol level is still enforced, even with the introduction of IDNs. (This requirement is defined in RFC 3490 and states characters used in IDNs must be drawn from Unicode Standard 3.2.)

"IDN" is the acronym for: "Internationalized Domain Names". IDNs are domain/host names that are represented by native language, non-ASCII characters. The native language domain name is followed by the Top Level Domain (TLD), such as .info, .com, or .org. An example is: mü

New TLDs

Afilias is the most experienced and successful provider of domain name registry services in the industry. We are familiar with ICANN's processes and already support 15 different TLDs. Afilias is ready to speak with you about your plans. Please submit our Partnership Interest Form and let us know how Afilias can help with your launch.
Almost anyone can apply for a new TLD. Whether you head a major corporation, a non-profit or are just an entrepreneur with a great idea, the process is the same. Although the RFP has not been finalized by ICANN, it is anticipated to be released for public comment soon. Shortly thereafter, ICANN will begin accepting applications, so NOW is the time to get started. Contact Afilias now for information on how we can help you apply for your own TLD!
For information on applying for a new TLD and how Afilias can help, please visit our product page or submit a Partnership Interest Form.
As the Internet evolves, organizations must communicate with their audiences in more direct and personal ways. Applications such as social networking, niche content sites, and streaming media have created some of the most exciting new innovations in the last few years. What’s next? New applications and developments can be fuelled by a unique TLD whether it is .cause, .corporate, .fun, .city, or .topic. How about .YOU! Please fill out our Partnership Interest Form for more information on how Afilias can help you.


Afilias does not provide support to registrants directly. If you have any questions about a particular domain-name registration, please begin by contacting the sponsoring registrar for the domain name.

We offer 24 hour technical support for our customers.

Toll Free: +1 866.369.4636
Tel: +1.416.646.3306
Fax: +1.416.646.1541

Please refer to our support contact page for the correct contact.

If you are interested in obtaining more information on Afilias' products and services please complete our request for information form, or email

Afilias Web Application Supported Browsers

You can access Afilias Web Applications such as WAT and Customer Portal on your computer through Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Safari is only supported on Mac OS X Operating System.

Browser versions

In general, Afilias supports the current and prior major release of Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer on Windows and Safari on OS X.

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