What is a .net domain? Meaning and uses

The .net domains are used around the world for a wide variety of applications and websites. A .net domain is similar to a .com domain. The .com domain is the oldest domain extension among the top-level domains, which it why it has earned consumers’ trust. These domains are advantageous for companies and diverse web projects, as they can be used flexibly and universally.

What is a .net domain?

A .net domain is one of the most popular universal top-level domains (TLDs). Web addresses ending in .com or .org are also among the most popular. The .net domain was a generic top-level domain and it only served internet service providers as a TLD initially. However, it is used internationally now. It may offer more advantages than country-code domains, as it is also suitable for cross-industry, globally active companies and multilingual websites. A .net web address is known to all visitors and it is generally associated with quality and security. It is important that.net addresses also offer SSL and HTTPS.


Top-level domain is often abbreviated to TLD. It is the last part of a domain and refers to the highest level of DNS resolution of domain names. Other domain types include second-level domains or subdomains.

What does .net stand for?

The ‘net’ in a .net domain stands for ’network’ and it was used in the early stages of the internet. This makes it one of the oldest domain extensions. The name originates from internet service providers who used it as a TLD. It was originally intended that only network companies and internet providers would use this web address. However, the .net domains have become a popular domain extension for all businesses.

How did the .net domain extension come about?

The .net domain extension was one of the first top-level domains to come out in 1985, along with five other TLDs. Only selected computer groups used a .net TLD at that time. This was a part of the U.S. military ARPANET TLDs. This communication network was intended to facilitate information exchange between universities and various research institutes using the hierarchically designated ARPANET domains. However, TLDs such as .com, .org or even .net, which were originally intended for different purposes, became so widely used that .net domains could be registered universally from 1986 onwards. The first registered domain is nordu.net, which is why the .net domain is considered the oldest registered TLD.

Who assigns .net domains?

Any natural or legal person can register a .net domain. The US company Verisign has been acting as the domain registry since 2000. It looks after the administration and registration for widely used domains such as .net and .com. However, a fee is charged for a .net domain registration, and this registration does not take place directly between Verisign and the end users. Rather, domain providers act as accredited domain registrars and intermediaries between end-users and the domain registry. Registrars and providers such as IONOS offer domain names and TLDs for commercial marketing. They also provide services such as hosting and cost accounting.

What does a .net domain cost?

The cost of a .net domain depends on the domain provider. They usually start at about £0.50 per month. Annual billing usually offers more favourable prices between around £12 and £20. Reputable providers will have transparent pricing, so it is worth checking for reasonable rates with different providers. Domain costs mainly depend on the domain extension. Popular domains like .com, .net and especially .io are more expensive than country-specific addresses such as .us domains due to their prevalence and popularity.


A trustworthy and well-known domain extension indicates professionalism to your potential customers. Register your individual .net domain with IONOS and benefit from numerous subdomains and an email account with storage and 24/7 support.

Domain Check
  • .com
  • .net
  • .org
  • .biz
  • .info
  • .online
  • .shop

Who are .net domains suitable for?

You can’t go wrong with a .net domain. A .net domain offers many advantages for a wide variety of private or commercial web projects, thanks to its popularity and recognition. Although a TLD with an international focus does not offer a direct SEO advantage, .com and .net domains promote your website’s credibility and professionalism. The .net domains are useful for companies who are targeting a multilingual audience.

What are the pros and cons of a .net domain?

The .net domains are universally recognised and internationally known. They are therefore considered trustworthy to online users. The popular domain extension makes up more than 13.5 million registrations (as of August 2022). The biggest advantage is that they can be used for simple and complex web projects for private and business purposes worldwide. The .net domains are on a similar level to .com domains, which make up about 50 percent of all website addresses. However, .net domains actually have more favourable registration costs. The .net domains are also viewed as credible and professional TLDs.

The table below gives an overview of a .net domain’s pros and cons:

Pros Cons
✔ Almost as popular and well-known as the .com extension ✘ .com domains are usually the better option when building a brand
✔ .net domains are recognised worldwide and are synonymous with credibility and security  
✔ Universal and cross-sector for private and commercial purposes  
✔ Suitable for small and complex websites  
✔ Favourable registration costs depending on the provider