What is a domain? Despite this word being mentioned so frequently, it’s often unclear what the functions and structures of domains are. Knowing the hierarchical structure of the Domain Name System (DNS) is fundamental for anyone working in IT or in any online industry. We explain the difference between top-level, second-level, and third-level domains, and how you can benefit from subdomains that...
Imagine the case that you are no longer satisfied with your previous hosting provider. You’ll perhaps already have found a new provider that meets your needs in terms of web space, security, and functionality. Now it’s time to transfer your domain. Even if your old provider registered the domain for you, it is not tied to them. If you can identify yourself as the legitimate user of the domain, you can do with it what you wish and decide which server it should be hosted on. This is done via the Auth Code.
What is an Auth Code or EPP code and what is it used for?
The Auth Code (short for Authorisation Code) is sometimes referred to as the AuthInfo Code. Other terms for the same subject are EPP code (short for Extensible Provisioning Protocol code), EPP Authorisation Code, transfer secret, or transfer key. This is a type of domain password only known by the registered user or owner of a domain name. It consists of 6 to 16 characters and is a combination of letters and numbers.
When a domain is transferred from one registrar or provider to another, the Auth Code serves to verify your authorisation. Your new provider will require this verification to host the domain on their server. This is the only way they can be sure that you are the registered owner and avoid running the risk that it is an illegal domain transfer. Requesting the Auth Code is the first and most important step of every domain transfer.
Most providers, including IONOS, will handle the domain transfer for you. All you need to do is enter the current and future domain names and the corresponding Auth Code for your domain into a webform. Everything else will be taken care of for you.
How do you get the Authorisation code for your domain?
Request the Auth Code from the registrar
Usually, the hosting provider is also the registrar of the domain. They take care of the registration on your behalf and provide the corresponding hosting package. In this case, you only need to request the Auth Code from your current provider. You can often do this via a simple form on their website. In some cases, however, you may need to contact customer service or request it by fax. Following the request, you will receive an automatically generated AuthInfo Code which you will need to provide when requesting a new domain provider.
There are other domain registrars besides hosting providers. When you registered your domain, you should have received the corresponding contact information from your registrar, which you can then use to request the Auth Code for your domain.
Request the Auth Code or EPP code from the registry
If you registered your domain yourself with the designated registry for your top-level domain, you need to request the Authorisation code for your domain directly from the registry. For example, if you have a domain ending in .com (a top-level domain), then that registry would be Verisign, which allows you to manage your domain yourself, using their Domain Tools.
For other country-code domains (e.g. .fr or .co.uk) and newer generic domain endings like .shop, .music or .london, you will find specific registries designated for each case. You can consult ICANN’s Registry Listings page to find your registry.
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