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How do I register a domain-name, but without using providers like 1&1 or GoDaddy? Basically I just need a DNS-Server, no?

Or to rephrase the question: What does GoDaddy actually do? And can I do it myself?

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You have two options here depending on what it is you actually want, but realistically registering domains with an existing registrar like GoDaddy is the answer. Domain names need to be registered so that the central body handling that TLD tells people where the nameservers for your domain are.

1) If you only want your domain name to work internally to your network, then there is no reason to actually register the domain publicly. However with the amount of remote access people expect these days, it's useful to have a publicly accessible domain name. Still, you could run your domain name as example.lan internally to your network and not need to register that with an external body.

2) You can become a domain registrar yourself, but this takes an awful lot of time and effort and money. Unless you're planning on becoming the next Go Daddy then there's no reason to go down this route. And even if you did want to sell domain names to your customers then you'd probably be best becoming a reseller of another registrar's services.

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No you can't do it yourself. You have two parts in fact. The first one is the official recording of your domain name to the NIC (FRNIC, APNIC, etc.). This implies doing a match between your domain name and one (or more) DNS server addresses (ip). The second part is the content of your domain, I mean, the records below your domain (www., ftp., foobar., etc). That part can be done by you, and even hosted on a server you own (if it's on a public ip address). Most of the time, the registrars like 1&1, goDaddy gives you the possibility to manage these dns files for you.

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1. The French registry is AFNIC, not FRNIC. 2. APNIC is the RIR (Regional Internet Registry) for IP addresses in Asia Pacific, not for domain names. – Alnitak Aug 30 '10 at 18:27

The ICANN accredited registries (for the gTLDs) don't take direct registrations at all as far as I know - you have to go via a registrar. Becoming a registrar costs several thousand $US.

Some of the ccTLD domain name registries take direct registrations from end users. .uk does, for example, but it's much cheaper to go via one of their registrars.

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