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Domains - Concepts

Domain Name

A domain name is an unique alphanumeric name used to identify a computer (web or email server) on the Internet. It translates the numeric address of the computer to a more memorable name.

DNS Server

A DNS server is a program that responds to requests for DNS zones configured by the administrator. DNS servers typically operate in pairs, each pair consisting of a primary and secondary server.

DNS Zone

Computers connected to an IP network, for example the Internet, all have an unique IP address. These addresses are numeric because it is easier to handle for a machine. With IPv4 these addresses have the form of xxx.yyy.zzz.aaa, where xxx, yyy, zzz and aaa are four numbers in the range of 0 to 255 (in the decimal system). Whilst these numbers are easy to handle for a computer, it is impossible for a human.

Therefore a mechanism was deployed to associate an IP address with a more memorable name, called a domain name. The DNS zone links these memorable names with their IP addresses. If you want to connect to our website www.scaleway.com, your computer sends a request to a DNS server, hosting the DNS zone. This is a file that has the information about the IP addresses linked to a domain name.

IP Address

An Internet Protocol address is a unique address that identifies a device on the internet or a local network. Generally, when we talk about IP addresses, we are referring to IPv4 addresses. However, due to the global shortage of IPv4 addresses, IPv6 addresses have also been in deployment since the mid-2000s.


TLD is the acronym used for top-level domains. It is the last segment of a domain name after the final dot. The most common example is .com, but there is a whole wide world of different TLDs.


DNSSEC cryptographically ensures that DNS content cannot be modified from its source without being detected. It works by digitally signing each DNS record so that any tampering of that record can be detected.

TLD specifications at Scaleway

Some TLDs have special requirements that can block you from ordering or renewing a domain. Registry may also ask for some verifications.

  • .eu: the owner’s postal address must be located within the European community. Following Brexit, the UK is no longer considered part of the European community
  • .be: your authcode is only available directly from the registry. The phone number must be linked to the country declared in the postal address
  • .de: administrative contact and technical contact must be an individual located within the European community
  • .la: administrative contact and technical contact must be an individual
  • .li: administrative contact and technical contact must be an individual


WAPS, or Whois Accuracy Program Specification, is a system introduced by the ICANN to validate the contact information of a domain name. ICANN requires that all registrars validate the identity and the continuity of the information entered in the contact of a domain name in order to have up-to-date information about the owners.