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Domain Names

The domain name tells you the type of organization sponsoring a page. It is a three-letter code that is part of the URL and preceded by a period, commonly called a "dot". Here are the most common domains:

.eduEducational Institution
Even though a page comes from an educational institution, it does not mean the institution endorses the views published by students or faculty members.
.comCommercial Entity
Companies advertise, sell products, and publish annual reports and other company information on the Web. Many online newspapers or journals also have .com names.
Federal and state government agencies use the Web to publish legislation, census information, weather data, tax forms and many other documents.
.orgNon-profit Organization
Nonprofit organizations use the Web to promote their causes. These pages are good sources to use when comparing different sides of an issue.
.netInternet Service Providers (ISP)
Companies that offer access to the internet

Recently, the division between these top-level domains has become blurred. Sometimes non-profit organizations and educational institutions are now found under .com or .net. This makes it more difficult to determine the organization that is publishing the page.

The number of top-level domains is increasing. New domain names include .museum, .info, and .biz. The origin of some international sites can be determined by country codes found in the URL.