Glossary of domain-related terms

  • If you see a term in italics that you don't recognise, it has its own entry in this glossary.
  • Bold terms are expanded versions of abbreviations.

AAAA record | A record

A type of DNS record that holds the IP address of the server that the domain points to. AAAA records specify IPv6 addresses and A records specify IPv4 addresses.


The not-for-profit regulator and registry for .au domains.

Auth code

See What is an Auth Code/EPP?


Domain renewal handled systematically. To save you from going through a purchase process to retain ownership of your domain, auto-renewal makes the purchase for you. You receive reminder emails beforehand, and a confirmation after the transaction.


Country code top-level domain. All ccTLDs are two letters long, and every country has one. For example, New Zealand's ccTLD is .nz and Australia's is .au.

CNAME record

A type of DNS record used to specify a "canonical name", i.e. another domain that defines the right IP address. CNAME records are used to say "don't look for an IP address here - instead go and look at this other domain's records". One typical use is to relate a subdomain (like to the IP address of the main domain (


A TXT record related to email authentication. See DomainKeys Identified Mail.


A TXT record related to email authentication. See DMARC - Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance.


New Zealand's Domain Name Commission, part of InternetNZ, is the registry and regulator for .nz domains.


The domain name system translates between domain names that humans understand, like, and IP addresses that machines understand.

DNS records

These records each contain a small amount of information that relates to your domain. DNS records perform crucial functions like connecting your domain name to the right servers for your website and/or email. You can manage your own DNS records in the MyHost Client Area. For specific types of DNS record, see A record | AAAA record, CNAME record, and TXT record.

Domain privacy

An optional, paid service that hides the contact information that is recorded for your domain. Without privacy, anyone can use a WHOIS lookup to find the name, email address, and contact address that you provided for three different contacts - registrant, administrative, and technical.


See What is an Auth Code/EPP?


Generic top-level domains, for example .com, .org and .net. Unlike ccTLDs, gTLDs do not relate to any specific country.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a non-profit body with a broad range of functions including regulating important gTLDs like .com, .org, and .net.

IP address

IP stands for Internet Protocol. IP addresses are used by machines to identify servers and other devices that are connected to the internet. There are two types of IP address. IPv4 addresses consist of four numbers separated by dots (e.g. IPv6 addresses are longer, with colons rather than dots, and can include letters. (e.g. 2001:db8:3333:4444:CCCC:DDDD:EEEE:FFFF).

MX record

A type of DNS record used for email. When a domain is used for email addresses, then MX records specify the related email server(s).

Name server

Also known as DNS servers, name servers store DNS records. These are not the servers that store your website. Instead, they store and serve up information that browsers use to find your website when someone visits your domain.

Premium domain

Rather than charge the exact same price for every domain with a particular TLD, some registrars charge more for premium domains. There are no premium .nz, .au or .com domains, but two of the more popular TLDs with premium pricing are .co and .biz. Premium domains tend to be shorter or more memorable. See our blog article, What's a premium domain and why does it cost more?


The owner of a domain. If you have registered a domain, you are the registrant.


A company that can work directly with the registry to register and update domains on behalf of customers. Not every domain retailer is a registrar. Registrars have to meet conditions and technical requirements set down by the TLD's registry (and regulator, if there is one). MyHost's sister companies are registrars for .nz, .com, and .org domains. For other TLDs, we work through resellers.


The organisation that's responsible for the overall management of all the domains within a particular TLD. Some are public non-profit bodies, like New Zealand's Domain Name Commission (.nz). Some are private companies, like GoDaddy Registry (, and hundreds of others). Registries set wholesale prices and operate the systems that record information like who owns which domain. Along with regulators, registries can also set and enforce rules for their TLD - e.g. auDA upholds restrictions around who can register different types of .au domains.


An official body that sets rules for domains within a particular TLD. Some examples: ICANN is the regulator for .com, auDA for .au, and InternetNZ/DNC for .nz. Regulators can control prices, put restrictions on who can register particular domains, and set other rules.


When you register a domain, you choose a period (usually 1-10 years). After that time you have the option to renew it, i.e. to retain ownership for another period of 1-10 years. Also see auto-renewal.


A company that sits between a domain retailer and registry. There can be multiple resellers in a single supply chain or transaction. The highest-level reseller in any chain is the registrar. By working through resellers, we can offer more TLDs. In return, resellers add a margin to the domain's wholesale price.


A company or provider that you can buy domains from. Some retailers are registrars. Most are not. No matter which retailer you go through, the same registry sits at the top of each TLD's supply chain.

Second-level domain

Second-level domains are easiest to define with examples. The .co in and the .gov in are second-level domains.


Sender Policy Framework - a specific type of TXT record used to help authenticate email senders. See how to add MyHost's mail servers to your SPF record.


A domain with two separate parts before the TLD. is a subdomain of


Top-level domain. This is the bit that comes after the dot, for example .nz, .au, or .com. Different TLDs have different registries, different pricing structures, and different uses. See also: ccTLD, gTLD.


Domain owners can transfer domains from one retailer to another. For more, see our Information Regarding Domain Transfers into MyHost.

TXT record

A flexible type of DNS record that records text. TXT records can be for humans to read, or they can be formatted for machines. Examples of machine-readable TXT records include SPF, DMARC, and DKIM records.


No longer in use, Unique Domain Authentication IDs used to apply to .nz domains. They have been replaced with Auth codes. See What is an Auth Code/EPP?


The private company that owns and operates the registries for important gTLDs, .com and .net. They do this within regulations set by ICANN.


You can use a WHOIS lookup to find public information about a domain - like who owns it, when it was registered, and the name server(s) that it points to. Domain privacy can be used to hide the contact information that a WHOIS lookup would reveal.

  • 0 Users Found This Useful
Was this answer helpful?

Related Articles

How do I register my own domain name?

Simply visit our domain name search page, which is available here:...

Do you offer DNS Management for Domains?

DNS Management allows you to set the nameservers for your registered domain.We offer DNS...

Incorrect Auth code

If you are aware that you have the incorrect Auth Codes, you will have to contact your registrar...

What is an Auth Code/EPP?

Auth Code An Auth-Code also known as an EPP code, authorization code, transfer code, or...

How much do you charge for domain transfers?

All .nz domains can be transferred to MyHost free of charge, unless the domain is due to expire...