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DNS Belgium: what is it, and what does it do?

Anyone who wants to register a domain name can do this very easily via a provider such as Combell: all you have to do is check whether your domain is still available, register it, and you are done! But behind the scenes, many organisations are working hard to satisfy your wishes. If you want to register a domain name with extensions like .be, .vlaanderen or .brussels, for instance, you have to go through DNS Belgium. You must be wondering what DNS Belgium is… Well, we were just about to tell you!

What is DNS Belgium?

Registry

DNS Belgium (previously known as dns.be) is a Belgian non-profit organisation in charge of the domain extensions (‘Top-Level Domains‘ or TLDs) .be, .vlaanderen and .brussels. Such an organisation that manages TLDs is called a registry.

Other examples of registries are:

  • SIDN – for extensions such as .nl and .amsterdam
  • Verisign – for extensions such as .com and .net
  • Donuts – for extensions such as .immo, .movie, .golf and many others
  • Combell – for .gent

The ‘DNS’ in DNS Belgium stands for Domain Name System. This is the system that ensures that every Internet user arrives at the right website when he or she enters a domain name into a browser.

Anyone who wants to register a domain name ending in .be, .vlaanderen or .brussels has to go through the DNS Belgium registry.

DNS Belgium is de registry voor .be, .brussels en .vlaanderen.      © DNS Belgium

Registrar

As an ‘ordinary person’, you cannot approach a registry yourself: you have to go through a registrar. A registrar is an official domain name seller that has to meet strict requirements. Combell is such a registrar.

When a customer wants to register a domain name, he must contact a registrar, such as Combell. Then, Combell contacts the registry (in this case, DNS Belgium) on behalf of its customers to register the domain name.

What does DNS Belgium do?

As mentioned above, DNS Belgium manages the Belgian TLDs .be, .vlaanderen and .brussels. It handles all aspects related to the management of these domain extensions.

The two main functions of a registry such as DNS Belgium are:

  • To maintain a list of data about the domain name holder, such as name and address, for each domain name. This way, every domain name can be clearly linked to a specific person or organisation. A registry also keeps track of all the technical information, like name servers. A registry thus knows exactly which domain names lead to which websites.
  • To ensure that every Internet user arrives at the right place and sees the right website when he or she enters an address into a browser or clicks on a link. A registry also ensures that e-mails are delivered to the right person. Via the Domain Name System, domain names are converted into IP addresses: this way, all traffic is directed to the right place.

In short: DNS Belgium makes sure that Internet traffic is secure and stable by keeping all the information about registered domain names up to date.

Read more about how domain names work!

What is the difference between DNS Belgium and a registrar or domain provider?

DNS Belgium manages domain names, but does not sell them: you have to buy your domain name from a domain provider (or registrar) such as Combell.

FAQ about DNS Belgium

Is DNS Belgium a public company?

DNS Belgium is not a public company, but an independent non-profit organisation.

Which domain extensions does DNS Belgium manage?

DNS Belgium is in charge of .be, .vlaanderen and .brussels.

Is DNS Belgium the official registry for Belgium?

Yes. Each country has its own country code (a Country Code Top-Level Domain or ccTLD), and each country code is managed by an official registry. In Belgium, that is DNS Belgium, in the Netherlands, SIDN, etc.

Can I buy a website or domain name from DNS Belgium?

You cannot buy a website or domain name from DNS Belgium. For a domain name, you can turn to a registrar such as Combell.

In addition, Combell also rents space on its servers to store your website. Because for a website, you need three things:
– a domain name
– web hosting to host your website or a website builder such as Combell’s SiteBuilder.

Check out Combell’s web hosting services here!

Can I register a .com (or .nl, .de, .fr, .eu, etc.) domain name with DNS Belgium?

No, you cannot buy any domain name from DNS Belgium. This organisation only handles the management of the extensions .be, .vlaanderen and .brussels.

In order to buy these, you need to get in touch with a registrar such as Combell. Other domain names, such as .com or .nl, can also be purchased from Combell.

Click here to find out if the domain name you want is still available!

What does ‘whois’ mean?

The whois (pronounced ‘who is’) of a domain name is a list of all the general information available on that domain name. You can use the whois tool to find out who is behind a particular domain name.

Try looking up a domain name using Combell’s whois tool! It won’t bite you. 😏

Where can I find the whois information of .be domain names?

Combell provides its own whois tool to find whois information, but for some domains, you need to use the tool of the corresponding registry. For .vlaanderen, .be, or .brussels, you should e.g. use the whois tool provided by DNS Belgium.

Updated on 31 January 2022

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