Infobox Top level domain

type=Country code top-level domain
sponsor=DENIC eG
intendeduse=Entities connected with flag|Germany
actualuse=Very popular in Germany
restrictions=Must have administrative contact resident in Germany
structure=May register at second level
disputepolicy= [http://www.denic.de/en/domains/recht/dispute-eintraege/ DISPUTE-Entries]
website= [http://www.denic.de/en/ denic.de] |

.de is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Federal Republic of Germany. 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")among. Prior to 1989, East Germany had a separate ISO 3166-1 code ("dd") but it was never assigned its own ccTLD; "de" is the only German ccTLD that ever existed.

In Spanish, French, Romanian and Portuguese "de" is the genitive form (like "of" in English), so there are a lot of romance-language webhosts that offer customized sites like "elforo.de" [http://www.elforo.de] (theforum.of) putting your name after it (example: "elforo.de/wikipedia" theforum.of/wikipedia).

.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. [ [http://www.cnnic.net.cn/html/Dir/2003/12/13/2020.htm Domain Names Registered Under ".CN"] by CNNIC] [ [http://www.denic.de/en/domains/statistiken/domainvergleich_tlds/index.html Comparison of international Domain Numbers] by DENIC]

The first point of registration for .de domains was at the University of Dortmunds Department of Computer Science."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).

The domain name must have at least 3 letters, may not be exclusively composed of numbers and may not contain a German license plate code. [ [http://www.heise.de/newsticker/Abmahnungen-wegen-Kfz-Kennzeichen-in-Domain-Namen-Update--/meldung/41165 News item (German)] by heise.de] The only current known exceptions are db.de [http://www.db.de/en] (Deutsche Bahn), ix.de [http://www.ix.de] , and hq.de [http://www.hq.de] which have only 2 letters and were registered before the 3 letter rule was put into practice.

Registrations of internationalized domain names are also accepted so that all the diacritics of German may be used. [cite web |url=http://www.denic.de/en/domains/idns/liste.html |title=IDN character list |publisher=DENIC |date=2004-03-01 |accessdate=2008-08-13]


External links

* [http://www.denic.de/en/ DENIC]
* [http://www.denic.de/en/denic/mitgliedschaft/mitgliederliste/index.jsp List of DENIC members]
* [http://www.iana.org/root-whois/de.htm IANA .de whois information]

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