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What is the difference between a .CO.UK and a .COM?

The .com type or extension originated in USA to identify Commercial websites, in contrast to .org - Organisations, and .net - IT companies. These 3 original extensions are frequently referred to as the Core Domain Types. Although originally intended for the domestic US market, these extensions are used extensively around the world, and the phrase Dot-Com has now become synonomous with any business that has an online presence, particularly if they are engaged in ECommerce. The distinctions between .com, .net and .org have now become blurred, particularly in these days of high Web-Name registrations and the necessity to find a unique name, so the extensions used do not always reflect the original categories.

Owing to the popularity of Domain Names and the finite restrictions imposed by only having three Domain-Type extensions, most countries around the world introduced their own country-specific domain extensions. In the UK, the equivalent versions of the US extensions are .co.uk, .co.net and .co.org, although several others have since been added - uk.com, uk.net, gb.com, gb.net, and ltd.uk.

Although anyone in the world can register a Core Web-Name - .com, .net, or .org - individuals, businesses or organisations can normally only apply for a country-specific extension if they are domiciled (or have a trading address) within the country concerned.

The high demand for domain names in recent years has resulted in several new domain extensions, of which .biz (a replacement for .com) and .info are the most prominent.  Europe has not been forgotten either.  In April 2006, the .eu extension was introduced exclusively for use by European Community citizens and businesses.

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