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  2. Domain Names
  3. Domain Services
  4. What is the difference between a registry, registrar and registrant?

What is the difference between a registry, registrar and registrant?

Registry, registrar and registrant are the three different roles involved in the domain name registration process. These three serve various purposes in the domain name registration and management process. If you want to purchase a new domain, you have to know the difference between a registry, registrar and registrant. To make a website, you should have a domain name, and to interact with the public and hide your information, you have to perform various purposes. Here is some useful information that explains the roles of registry, registrar and registrant in detail and how they work.




The registry is an organization that is responsible for the overall administration of top-level domain names. This database contains registrant information for the second-level domains beneath a given top-level domain. Registry builds domain name extensions and set the rules for that domain name. Registry work with registrars to sell domain names to the public based on the rules.


It can manage various domains for .com and .net or just one domain for .nl. In simple words, it handles an authoritative database regarding the top-level or lower-level domains, including zone files. Registries decide registrations, settings, zone files and offer registrants all sorts of information. Some other responsibilities that include registry include resolving disputes between different parties.




Registrar is the process of linking the individual or organization that is a registrant with the domain registry. It is a business that manages the reservation of domain names and the assignment of IP addresses for those domain names. The registrar is like a middleman who sells domain names to the public. It facilitates the transactions and provides support services. It is like a dealership for domain names, and the registry is like the manufacturer.


Some registrar have the capacity to contract top-level domain names like .com, .net and .org and some may sell country-code top-level domain names like .us, .ca and .eu. If you want to buy and register your domain name, you can buy one of these from a domain registrar. The registrar is the person or entity who helps you to buy and register a domain. You can also get intuitive tools from registrars, which will help you to search available names.




The person or company who registers a domain name is known as the registrant. A registrant is a person or entity that gains access to use the domain for their website and email, as long as they pay the domain fee every year. They can handle their domain name settings via their registrar. It can hold the rights to a domain for the duration of the registration period. If the registrant commits any changes in their domain name, the registrar will send the information to the registry to be updated and saved in the registry’s database. When you register a domain name, you will obviously become a registrant. The registration can be renewed indefinitely for up to 10 years at a time.


What does it mean to own a domain name?


Most people often speak of purchasing a new domain name, but the truth is that registries own all of their domain names. The registrars will offer customers the opportunity to reserve those domain names for a limited amount of time. Ten years is the maximum reservation period so that the user can hold onto a domain name for longer than ten years. This is because the registers will keep renewing their reservation indefinitely. If you want to get the domain name, you can get it from registrars.


How do domain registrars work?


Domain names are not something that you can get as like buying simple items. ICANN Are a high-level non-profit authority for managing domain names. Every domain name will be entered in the domain registry, and your domain names have to find a place in it to be valid. Actually, the domain registry manages and handle domain name. If you want to be a domain name registrar, you have to get an accreditation from Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).


Registrars can sell domain names to you directly or through resellers. But if you want good service, it is advisable to get the domain names directly from the domain registrars. There are various domain extensions like .com, .edu and .ord or country-specific extensions like .en, .in and .au. Remember that not all domain registrars sell all extensions, which may limit your choice of domain registrars. You can get various add-on services from domain registrars like hosting, privacy, or domain transfers.


How do domain name registrars protect user privacy?


When you reserve a top-level domain, you have to fill out Whois information for that domain. In Whois, you have to fill in the person who registered the domain, including their name, email address, physical address, and phone number. Nowadays, most of the individual domain owners prefer not to share their personal information publically, so most registrars offer the private registration option.


By hiding your personal details, you can avoid unwanted activities and secure your pieces of information. In private registration, the registrar’s details are given in the Whois listing for that domain, and the registrar acts as a proxy for the registrant. The only private registration is the only way to secure your information since the original registrant’s information is held in the registrar’s database.


Whether registrars are the only ones who can sell domain name registrations?


Registrars can sell domain name registrations, but there is also another type of organization that sells domain name registrations is resellers. On behalf of the registrar, these resellers sell domain names. These resellers are usually operated as a side business and can thus lack dedicated customer support. Resellers are affiliated with registrars to offer several services offered by the registrars, like web hosting. They are bound by their agreements with the registrar to sell the domain.


Wrapping it up


You might get a clear idea about registry registrars and registrants with the abovementioned points. To understand the terms and conditions and get into a good registrar before buying any domain.

Updated on December 9, 2021

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