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Internationalized Domain Names (IDN)

Terminology for Internationalized Domain Names

Script - A script is a collection of symbols used to represent text information in a language. Examples of scripts are: Arabic, Latin or Han.

Written language - A written language is a system containing characters from one or more scripts. Examples on written languages are: English, French, Swedish, Russian, German.

Since scripts can be used by more than one language, the domain does not have to be registered with the specific written language but can be registered as a combination of characters from several scripts.

How are the international characters handled?

The DNS protocol is 7 bits and can not handle characters outside the english language. To get around this, IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) developed a method of converting IDN domains to ordinary ASCII domains. This is converted on the client side and this is why all software using IDN domains, must be upgraded.

The standard of IDN domains - Punycode - is now ready, which means that more and more applications are supporting IDN domains. We have developed a punycode converter, which let you convert domain names to punycode easily.

How does IDN domains affect you?

If your company name consists of characters not in the english language you can now use your real name on the net. You no longer have to change your name to fit the web. The web has instead changed to fit you.

You may now protect your trademarks in the languages you think is relevant.

What applications have support for IDN domains?


Internet Explorer 5.x, 6.x
For IDN domains to work with Internet Explorer today, a plugin (i-nav) have to be installed on the client side. This plugin is developed by Verisign Global Registry Services which is the largest player behind Internationalized Domain Names. Newer versions of Internet Explorer supports IDN domains.

DownloadPlug-In: idnnow.com


Netscape 6.x, 7.x / Mozilla
Mozilla is the first web browser with built in support for IDN domains.


From Opera 7.20 (released 2003, july) there is support for IDN domains.


KDE (Konqueror)
In cooperation with Verisign, KDE/Konqueror has support for IDN domains.

Verisign has now released the i-NavOutlook which makes it possible to send and receive emails with IDN-domains.

Download Plug-In: idnnow.com

What is an Internationalized Domain Name?

Internationalized Domain Names are domain names that use national characters, not known in the ASCII-Standard.

In principle all Unicode characters are permissible in IDNs, however each registry regulates separately for domains, which indications they permits for their assigned domain names.

Which special characters are possible and how can I register a IDN domain?

Each registry has other conditions whether and which special characters are certified. An overview of the most usual TLDs and their certified special characters you will find here:

Special Characters for most popular TLDs

To order an IDN domain, simply enter the desired name in the way of writing with special characters in our "WHOIS-check". Our form converts the domain name automatically into the punycode, which is necessary in order to accomplish the registration.

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