What are internationalized domain names (IDNs)?
Internationalized Domain Names are domain names which contain characters other than unaccented Roman letters (A-Z), digits (0-9), and the hyphen. For instance, 日本語.idn.icann.org contains Japanese characters. DreamHost offers a wide variety of domain names other than the standard .COM/.NET/.ORG/.INFO domains that are more commonly used. A lot of these other TLDs offered are for other countries.
You can see the various domain extensions in the panel at (Panel > ‘Domain’ > ‘Registrations’). When the Registrations page opens, click the ‘See full pricing’ link.
Each international TLD is managed by a registry for that domain extension. Because of this, the policies and details for each section of this article may or may not apply to certain domains.
Registering and hosting your IDN
The option to register an international domain is currently not available at DreamHost. You can still host your IDN, but you must register the domain at another registrar that supports IDNs.
To host an IDN you've already registered elsewhere, visit the Add a domain article to set up hosting.
Enter your domain name in the panel's 'Fully Hosted' section in the converted format, without entering any special or international characters.
Keep in mind that most modern browsers display IDNs properly, but if your visitors are not using browsers that support IDNs, they may not be able to access your international domain name with their browser.
DreamHost does not currently support the registration of IDN TLDs (the extension after the first part of the example name - .com is a TLD) such as:
- .xn--55qx5d (.网络)
- .xn--io0a7i (.公司)
These are not currently a component of the ICANN DNS root and thus are not available to all Internet users.
Some international registrars have changed the way they handle TLDs. The registrations no longer include reference to the nameservers themselves but instead they reference an NSSET ID. You must register a group of nameservers to get this ID, then you can use it when registering the domain. The advantage is claimed to be that you can edit NSSET (change the nameservers) and this is applied to all domains referencing the same NSSET.
The TLDS that are known to use this are:
- .cz (Czech Republic)
The NSSET ID you must use is "DREAMHOST".