Home / Industry

Internet Adds 4.5 Million Domain Names in First Quarter of 2011

The Domain Name Industry Brief (Volume 8 / Issue 2 / May 2011) – Verisign provides this briefing to highlight to industry analysts, media, and businesses important trends in domain name registration, including key performance indicators and growth opportunities.Four and a half million domain names were added to the Internet in the first three months of 2011, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by Verisign, Inc., the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world.

The first quarter of 2011 closed with a base of more than 209.8 million domain name registrations across all Top Level Domains (TLDs), or a 2.2 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2010. Registrations grew by 15.3 million, or 7.9 percent year over year.

Verisign's combined base of .com and .net domain names experienced aggregate growth in the first quarter of 2011, surpassing a total of 108 million names. New .com and .net registrations totaled 8.3 million during the first quarter. The total represents a 9.2 percent increase year over year in new registrations, and a 2.7 percent increase from the fourth quarter. The .com/.net renewal rate for the first quarter was 73.8 percent, up from 72.7 percent from the fourth quarter.

The base of Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) was 81.7 million domain names, a 2.1 percent increase quarter over quarter, and a 5.1 percent increase year over year.

Verisign's average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load during the quarter was 57 billion, with a peak of 67 billion. Compared to the same timeframe in 2010, the daily average and the peak each grew 6 percent.

DNS Integrity, Availability and the Growing Threats Facing New TLDs

The latest Domain Name Industry Brief also highlights the security considerations for new generic TLD (gTLD) operators — along with the importance of improving integrity and availability in combating security threats. As the DNS expands to make room for more TLDs, it is vital to remain vigilant against cyber threats that increasingly target the DNS. If the DNS is compromised, the entire Internet is at risk.

In the past decade, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have increased in both frequency and severity. A weapon of choice for cyber criminals, DDoS attacks occur when hackers use malicious code to "enslave" unprotected PCs and cause them to overload a single target with Internet traffic, effectively taking the target offline. Bringing down a TLD can simultaneously wreak havoc on millions of sites and hundreds of millions of users. These are the realities that all TLD operators — even those that are small and new — face as they work to serve the registrars, registrants, and consumers who rely on them.

One essential safeguard against threats to the DNS itself is DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). Now being deployed around the world, DNSSEC addresses the problem of so-called "man-in-the-middle" attacks — in which attackers spoof DNS data — by allowing for the authentication of that data. As DNSSEC gets deployed more extensively throughout the Internet, these types of attacks should decline significantly.

With DNSSEC implemented at the root-server level, and in leading TLDs like .com, .net, .org and many others, the integrity of the DNS has taken a step forward. But as important as integrity is to the smooth and reliable operation of the DNS, another crucial element of information security — availability — may be even more critical.

When a network or TLD becomes unavailable — even for a short time — it has a trickledown effect. Everything else must be put on hold until it can be brought back online. This makes upholding availability a priority, especially for TLD operators. And while there are many issues that can cause network downtime, DDoS attacks are one of the most significant and unpredictable.

Verisign recently commissioned a market research report surveying 225 IT decision-makers in the U.S. from large and medium-sized businesses, which revealed that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents who reported experiencing a DDoS attack in the past year, sustained more than one attack. Eleven percent of surveyed businesses were hit six or more times.

In this rapidly evolving threat environment, traditional DDoS mitigation tactics such as bandwidth over-provisioning, firewalls and intrusion prevention system (IPS) devices are no longer solely sufficient to protect networks, applications and services. For many TLD operators, third-party DDoS mitigation services from specialized experts should help bridge the technology gap in defending their networks from an ever-widening array of threats and challenges.

One of the ways that Verisign is working to help network operators address these challenges is through Verisign DDoS Protection Services. Based on the company's expertise in successfully defending its global DNS infrastructure against DDoS and other attacks for more than a decade, Verisign DDoS Protection Services are cloud-based, network and hardware agnostic DDoS monitoring and mitigation services that detect and filter malicious traffic in the cloud so it never reaches the network. This approach enables IT teams to keep critical online applications and services available without requiring large investments in infrastructure or over-provisioning.

Verisign publishes the Domain Name Industry Brief to provide Internet users throughout the world with significant statistical and analytical research and data on the domain name industry and the Internet as a whole. Copies of the 2011 first quarter Domain Name Industry Brief, as well as previous reports, can be obtained here.

About Verisign


As the global leader in domain names, Verisign powers the invisible navigation that takes people to where they want to go on the Internet. For more than 15 years, Verisign has operated the infrastructure for a portfolio of top-level domains that today include .com, .net, .tv, .edu, .gov, .jobs, .name and .cc, as well as two of the world's 13 Internet root servers. Verisign's product suite also includes Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection Services, iDefense Security Intelligence Services and Managed DNS. (Learn More)

Related topics: DDoS, DNS, Domain Names, Registry Services, Security, Top-Level Domains

WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:

Related Blogs

Did the DPRK Hack Sony?

The Empire Strikes Back: "New" Verisign Hums a Familiar Tune

Thirty-Three Million and Counting

The Real Facts About New gTLDs

Can Big Companies Stop Being Hacked?

Related News


Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Season's Greetings - 2014 End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica

Minds + Machines in 2014 and 2015

New .VOTE and .VOTO Domains Launched

Consumers Prefer the .ORGANIC Domain for True-Organic Goods

DNW Podcast Interview with Antony Van Couvering

TLD Registry and Right of the Dot Establish a Domain Name Industry "Dream Team"

TLD Registry Ltd Welcomes New Board Members

New .LGBT Top-Level Domain Launched

.sydney Domain Names Now Available in Pre-Release

"Chinese Domaining Masterclass" to be Presented at NamesCon Las Vegas in January 2015

Auction and Sales Channel Update

Radix Set to Launch .SITE TLD in 2015

Annual Manthan Award Event This Week

Domain Name .Africa Faces Hurdles - Q&A with Sophia Bekele

Join Paul Vixie & Robert Edmonds at the Upcoming Distinguished Speaker Series

Q3 2014 DDoS Trends: Attacks Exceeding 10 Gbps on the Rise

LogicBoxes Announces Automation Solutions for ccTLD

List of New gTLD Availability & Key Information Provided for Download

Radix Launches .Space for Individuals, Freelancers and Professionals

TLD Registry Wins Best Marketing Award at China New gTLD Roadshow

Sponsored Topics



Sponsored by


Sponsored by


Sponsored by
Minds + Machines

Top-Level Domains

Sponsored by
Minds + Machines