Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

What Does Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Mean?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit public benefit corporation that develops policy on unique identifiers and coordinates the Internet’s naming system. In other words, the ICANN is the overseeing body for the domain names on the Internet.


Techopedia Explains Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

ICANN was formed in 1998 and administers the system that resolves domain names, such as “”, with IP addresses, which for this site is These numbers would be long and impractical for Web users to remember. As such, ICANN helps coordinate how IP addresses are supplied to ensure that no two sites are given the same address.

ICANN created the registrar market, in which hundreds of registrars sell domain names for new websites. When you purchase a domain, you do so through a domain registrar, but the the ICANN is the body that supervises the registrars. The ICANN also approves new top-level domains on the Internet, such as “.asia” or “.travel.”


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…