/ Domain-newbie

Most people and companies take owning a website for granted these days. What is not always clear to many is the distinction between domain names and the actual contents and the related necessary services (such as web space, e-mail address, ...).


My first domain

The first step to your own website is registering your preferred domain name. Depending on the availability of the preferred domain name, a decision needs to be made whether to use a country code top-level domain (such as .at or .de) or a generic top-level domain (such as .com, .info or .wien). It can be registered with various suppliers, also known as registrars or Internet service providers. You can find an overview of all the official nic.at partners in our .at partnerfinder.

In the following video we explain the main roles, functions, and concepts relating to the delegation of domains.



Helpful FAQs for domain-newbies  Open all


A domain name is a name under a top-level domain (TLD), such as name.at, that is globally unique throughout the Internet and that can be freely chosen in accordance with certain rules. In the case of TLDS, a distinction is made between generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as .com, .org or .info and country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), such as .at and .de. A domain can be used, for instance, for web, e-mail or FTP services. You can also have a sub-level domain created belonging to your domain name, i.e. an additional name preceding the actual domain name, separated by a dot (e.g. "mein.name.at"). This service is made available to you by an Internet service provider. You can find an overview of all the .at partners in our .at-Partnerfinder. You can find more information on gTLDs and ccTLDS in the "Interesting facts" section under the heading "Legal/Domain Policy".

As a rule, .at domains are registered by an Internet service provider, because he can also provide the customer with technical services and additional services (such as e-mail, web space, etc.) that nic.at doesn't offer. If you do not have a suitable Internet service provider yet, you can find an overview of all the official .at partners in our .at-Partnerfinder

If you merely want to register the domain and require no additional services, you can register your preferred .at domain directly via nic.at. In this event, you will require at least two correctly configured name servers at registration, because nic.at does not offer technical services. Ordinarily, new registrations are completed in a matter of minutes. If the application is technically correct, you should be able to use your domain on the same day. If the application was incorrect, the applicant will be informed by e-mail.

You can find more information on our prices here. Prices for the registration of .at domains via a .at partner cannot be provided due to individual pricing of Internet service providers.

You can find helpful tips and tricks for registering your domain under the heading "Interesting facts/Statistics and Studies".

Check whether the domain you want is available or has already been registered using the following link: Domain search.

With the WHOIS query, we provide - depending on the legal person - additional information on the domain holder, the technical contact person (tech-c) and technical data (nameserver, DNSSec information) of the delegated domain. Please note that nic.at does not publish the data of natural persons - no matter if they are the domain holder or technical contact person (tech-c) of a domain. Data of legal persons are published in the Whois database, although display of contact data such as telephone number, fax and e-mail address can be disabled.

nic.at is the registry for domains ending in .at, .or.at, and .co.at. We ensure that every .at domain is registered only once worldwide. The contractual relationship between the domain holder and nic.at refers exclusively to the .at domain. nic.at does not offer any additional services, such as web space or name services, therefore it has no influence on the contents of a website. Additionally nic.at is not responsible for e-mails or URLs. These services are usually offered by an Internet service provider with whom the domain holder can conclude an additional agreement. nic.at GmbH was established in 1998 and is headquartered in Salzburg, Austria. You can find more information under the headings "History" and "Our mission".

nic.at is the only delegating body (registry) for .at domains in the world. We do not offer any technical services, which means that only the domain name can be registered at nic.at. nic.at does not offer any of the other services you may wish to arrange for a domain, such as e-mail, hosting, installation of the website and other services.

Internet service providers are responsible for providing these. An Internet service provider offers technical services, such as setting up e-mail addresses with your domain extension, name servers, web space, etc.  

There is number of Internet service providers with which nic.at has a special cooperation contract for domain administration. These Internet service providers are called registrars or .at partners. They are subject to a certain degree of quality control and can perform transactions automatically. This means that registrars are authorised to make certain changes without being required to submit the domain holder's confirmation, but are also liable for errors. However, being a registrar is not a prerequisite for being able to register .at domains.

Many Internet service providers are so-called resellers. Internet service providers who have a contract with one of our .at partners (registrars) and can therefore work via our partner's system are referred to as resellers. Resellers do not appear in the nic.at system or in the registrar display, instead, only the registrar with whom the reseller has concluded a contract appears. If there is confusion about the presentation of resellers and registrars in your contractual relationship, please contact your Internet service provider with whom you concluded your contract.


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Find more information about domain- and internet-specific terms in our Glossar