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What is the difference between .com, .net, .org, etc.?

domain name stackThere is little difference which domain suffix (com, net, org, etc) you use.  Meaning that I can pick any and use any way that I want with exceptions.  Some domain names like .edu and .gov require additional requirements and authorizations.  The names available loosely and specifically define the type of website you the domain name represents.  To give you a good example, I ordinarily search for research data from .gov or .edu sources since the .com sources may be unreliable (.gov = Government source and .edu = Educational institute source like a school, college, or university).  Some domains require authorization and additional information.  Below is a chart of some of the domain suffix and their meaning.








.comCommercialAny person or entity is permitted to register and is currently used by all types of entities including nonprofits, schools, and private individuals.
.orgOrganizationAny person or entity is permitted to register and was originally intended for use by non-profit organizations.
.netNetworkAny person or entity is permitted to register and was originally intended for use by organizations pointing to a distributed network of computers like Phone companies and ISPs
.eduEducationThis domain is limited to specific higher educational institutions such as, but not limited to, trade schools and universities.
.govU.S. National and State Government AgenciesThis domain is limited to United States governmental entities and agencies as well as qualifying state, county and local municipal government agencies.
.milU.S. MilitaryThis domain is limited to use by the United States military.


.com stands for Commercial and is common for businesses.
.net stands for Network and is often used by telecommunications network
.org stands for organization and is popular with not-for-profit organizations and charities.
.biz stands for Business.  This came into action after the .com side of things became “junky” with websites that weren’t businesses.  It’s not as popular as the .com
.gov stands for Government so when you see this in a website domain name then you know that you are on a government website.
There are other domain names that reflect the country of origin.  List source
Keep it simple when it comes to purchasing a domain name.   Choose .com if you are a business or not-for-profit organization or .org if you are not-for-profit organization.   This is the assumption that most people make.  Someone may be more willing to donate money to a .org domain name than a .com.