What is an IDN domain name?


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Added: 08.07.2005 19:48:11     Last updated: 24.08.2007 11:24:48

For many top level domains it is possible to register domain names containing national characters such as æ, ø and å.

IDN is a technique that makes it possible to use such characters in domain names by translating them to a form called ACE-form. The ACE-form contains only the standard characters such as the letters a-z, the numbers 0-9 and the hyphen, and it is this form that is added to the DNS.

Programs supporting IDN will be able to translate between the 2 forms so that the user can type in the domain name with national characters in addition to the ACE-form. In programs that not support IDN you have to type in the ACE-form of the domain name.

The following programs support IDN:

  • Netscape 7.1+
  • Mozilla 1.4+
  • Opera 7.20+
  • Internet Explorer 7+

To upgrade Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.5 or 6.0 to support IDN you have to install a plugin called i-Nav from Verisign. Verisign have also made plugins for Outlook and Outlook Express so that you will be able to send or receive emails with domain names containing national characters.

Link to Verisigns plugin:
http://www.idnnow.com/