Tim Burress (E-mail Etiquette and Organization Specialist) gives expert video advice on: What are 'domain names'? and more...
What are 'domain names'?
A domain name is ‘Yahoo', or ‘Comcast', or ‘Netscape', or ‘AOL'. That's the domain, what comes after that is the .com, and .net. That's the sort of third part of that domain name. Some domain names use .com and some .net or .org. It all depends on the domain and the address.
What are 'TLDs'?
Third Level Domains are what happens after the domain name. In other words, you have yahoo.com. The '.com', or '.net', or '.org' is the third level domain, or TLD. For most people, we don't really pay attention to it, but it's just more of the address. In other words, some people use @comcast.com and it would be comcast.org or '.net'. It's just a third level domain name getting more specificity to that specific address. So not everyone has '.com' addresses. Some people have '.net'. It's just like an address on a street, you could be 16 Maple Street, or you could be 17 Maple Street. And so sometimes that third level domain will signify a different domain or different address based on that domain level. In other words, yahoo.net or yahoo.org.
What is a 'fourth-level domain'?
After the domain name, there can be other initials and symbols such as '.uk' or '.st' and that is just signifying further in the email address where something is. So in other words, if you are going to email into a specific address, in the UK they might have yahoo.com.uk.something else, and that is just further specifying the exact email address or internet protocol, the ip address for that particular email address. So in other words, the more you have, the more specificity to that level because there are lots of people in UK with email address and you need a greater and longer email address, just like the telephone numbers are.
What is an 'ISP'?
Your Internet Service Provider is a provider that provides Internet for you, just like AT&T provides internet service for you. G-mail is your e-mail server and some people confuse those two. One is providing the Internet, the other one is providing your e-mail. Sometimes they co-exist as one company, like Comcast as you can get both Internet and your e-mail through Comcast. But you can't get the Internet through g-mail. So you're just getting your e-mail through g-mail, and you're going to have to get your Internet through something like AT&T, or Comcast, or Netscape.