The Second One: .NET Domain Extension


The Second One: .NET Domain Extension

.NET Extension: The Second One

.NET, the little brother of .COM, introduced in the same year as .com, .org and .edu, in 1985. We will cover the details about .net, which is the second most registered domain extension with 13.7 million domain names

The Story of .NET

.NET extension history

The first created .net domain name is It was created on 1 January 1985 according to the public records, and NORDUnet (organization) has used this domain name since 1985. 

.NET was introduced in 1985, managed by Network Solutions from 1991 to 2001. VeriSign acquired Network Solutions in 2001 and became the registry of .net extension. VeriSign has been managing .net for 20 years

The extension was intended for network-related companies but it’s being used for general purposes

As of March 2020, with 13.7 million registered domain names, .net is the second most popular generic top-level-domain, following .com.

The Oldest .NET Domain Names

Oldest .NET domain names
1 01 Jan 1985
2 01 Apr 1986
3 05 Nov 1986
4 27 Jan 1987
5 20 May 1987
6 21 Jul 1987
7 27 May 1988
8 09 Jun 1988
9 08 Jul 1988
10 07 Sep 1988

These are the oldest still-existing .net domains that we detected by using You may also want to see our research about 100 Oldest Domain Names & Their Current Status.

Two of the oldest 10 domain names are still being used: 

  • The website of NORDUnet (NORDIC Gateway for Research and Education). 
  • The website of OARnet (The Ohio Academic Resources Network). was sold for $2,000 on 1 September 2013. was sold in 2005 for $185, and later it was sold again for $3,255 on 15 August 2015.

Also and are listed for sale now.

Most Popular .NET Websites

.NET Most Popular
1 25
2 89
3 100
4 140
5 151
6 152
7 165
8 167
9 284
10 287

(Most popular websites data was taken from Alexa.)

The first three of the most popular 10 websites are in Chinese:,, and

.com versions of some of the sites listed above are redirected to .net versions such as;,, and

The list of .com versions of the most popular websites that sold before:

DOMAINPRICEDATE$14,50020 December 2006$7,7898 February 2013$3,10023 November 2012$50,0006 January 2014

If we look to see how .net took part on at the most popular 100, 1000 and 100,000 websites:

  • 2% of the most popular 100 websites are .net.
  • 3.9% of the most popular 1,000 websites are .net.
  • 4.5% of the most popular 100,000 websites are .net.

Most Expensive .NET Domain Sales Ever

Most expensive .net domain sales
1 500,000 16 Apr 2014
2 300,000 06 Feb 2007
3 220,000 18 Aug 2010
4 200,000 17 Jan 2016
5 200,000 17 Nov 2007
6 187,500 18 Nov 2008
7 185,000 21 Mar 2012
8 180,000 19 Feb 2011
9 175,000 03 Sep 2014
10 175,000 14 Aug 2007

(Note: This list is not complete because not all the domain sales are reported. Domain sales data was taken from Namebio.)

There are 20,504 domain name sales over $10,000, and 898 of these sales, which is 4.5%, are .net.

Top Countries of .NET Domain Extension

Top Countries of .NET Extension

The United States has the most .net domain registration. 35% of all .net domains, 4.8 million, are registered in the US. China and Japan are following the US with 570 and 520 thousand domain names.

USA and China are in the first and second place, as in the .com extension. 

Please note that Panama took the 6th place on this list because a few of the popular whois privacy services use addresses in Panama.

Most Popular Keywords of .NET Domains

Most popular keywords of .net domains
1 group 84,352
11 online 79,343
12 bet 66,457
13 vip 62,406
14 home 59,560
15 tech 53,864
16 life 53,562
17 web 50,257
18 solutions 49,456
19 services 44,584

The most popular 10 words included in .net domains are group, online, bet, vip, home, tech, life, web, solutions, and services. More than 40 thousand .net domain names registered for each of the keywords above. 

The keywords group, online, home, tech, life, solutions, services are common with the top 10 popular keywords of .com domain.

Some other considerable keywords in the top 100 list are health, media, design, world, auto, shop, center, service, art, global.

We excluded the stopwords such as the, end, of, my, for, in, by, to, on, etc.

.NET Domain Count By Years

.net domain counts by years

(*2020: As of 14 April 2020.)

Every day thousands of domain names are being deleted because of not being renewed. So, the above numbers are not the total .net registration count for each year. These are the number of registered and still-existing .net domain names for each year.

.NET Domain Count By Length

.NET domain extension counts by length and are the only two single-character .net domain names. They were registered before IANA’s restriction of single-character domain names registration in December 1993.

Top .NET Registrars

Top .net domain registries
1 Godaddy 4,000,000
2 Tucows 710,000
3 Network Solutions 620,000
4 Alibaba 580,000
5 Namecheap 480,000
6 Enom 425,000
7 GMO 410,000
8 1and1 405,000
9 Google Domains 315,000
10 Public Domain Registry 280,000

With 4 million registered .net domain names, almost 27% of all .net domains, Godaddy is the domain registrar that has by far the most .net registration. Tucows, Network Solutions, Alibaba, and Namecheap are following Godaddy, with 710 thousand, 620 thousand, 580 thousand, and 480 thousand currently registered domains, respectively.

How Many of .NET Domain Names are Being Actively Used?

.net extension statistics

Not all 13.7 million .net domains have websites. 6.5 millions of .net domain names have active websites (with at least one page) and the remaining 7.2 million domain names are not being used.

  • ACTIVE WEBSITE: 6.5 million
  • NO WEBSITE: 5.4 million
  • PARKED: 1.8 million

“No website” means the domain name is not resolving at all.

.NET Domain Names for Sale on Marketplaces

There are more than 30 million domain names for sale listed on several marketplaces and 2.5% of these domain names are .net. That means 700 thousand .net domain names are listed for sale by their owners on the marketplaces such as Sedo, Afternic and DAN.

.net domain names for sale

Internationalized .NET Domain Names

Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), which was first introduced in 2000, allows anybody to register domain names with non-Latin alphabets characters.

There are 190 thousand .net internationalized domain names; this is 6.2% of all IDNs and 1.4% of .net domain names. 

The first .net IDN is Korean 일화.net that was registered on 10 November 2000 and it means “anecdote.”

.NET Domain Name Disputes

The popularity of .net domain names shows itself on domain name dispute cases. A domain dispute occurs when somebody claims the right to use a domain name.

According to which presents all domain dispute cases filled in WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), 9.5% of all domain dispute cases are .net domain names.

Where You Can Register a .NET Domain Name?

You can register a .net domain name on all domain registrars. Here is the list of some popular domain registrars:

  1. Godaddy
  2. Namecheap
  3. Network Solutions
  4. IONOS (1&1)
  5. Enom
  6. Alibaba Cloud
  7. Xinnet
  8. Google
  11. Namesilo
  14. 123Reg
  15. Dynadot
  16. Epik
register .net domain name

.NET domain extension, the second most popular gTLD, has kept its place in the ranking for years. As an alternative to .com, it’s generally preferred by the people who can’t get the .com. 

Will .net keep being the second most popular extension or lose its place to other alternatives? Please share your comments.



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