Having to write down an IP address has always been a headache when we have a problem with a router or device. But it looks like it’s going to end.
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is the entity in charge of managing domain endings at a global level (such as the common .com, .org or .es) and has proposed the creation of a new top level domain (TLD) to solve just this problem.
This proposed new TLD is .internal and is intended solely for internal use on our connections. The idea is that .internal fulfills the same function as the IPv4 block 192.168.xx, which is available for internal use but, on a technical level, is not connected to DNS or other infrastructure that allows access from the Internet.
Three years of debate to make it easier
In 2020, ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) recommended the development of such a TLD. The SSAC noted at the time that “many companies and device manufacturers use ad hoc TLDs that are not present in the root zone when the name is intended for private use only. This use is uncoordinated and can cause harm to internet users.” “, in part because it forces DNS servers to process and reject queries for domains that are only used internally.
Therefore, the SSAC recommended the creation of a TLD that was explicitly reserved for internal use. Let’s say, isolate them from the internet to avoid risks.
The measure is yet to be established, but this way each manufacturer will be able to have its .internal domain and we have much easier to configure access.
There have been other candidates besides .internal
A consultation process was carried out resulting in 35 candidates as domain endings, each of which was verified to ensure that it was not already a TLD, and its “potential to avoid confusion, such as its length and its ability to be memorable and meaningful in multiple languages.”
Assessments were conducted for the six official United Nations languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. This process led to the selection of two viable candidates: .private and .internal.
After years of debate, ICANN announced that its choice was internal. The proposal must still be approved by the ICANN board.
How it will be implemented
Although ICANN has not yet given the go-ahead for the creation of .internal, some organizations already use ad hoc TLDs for internal use. For example, the open source Wi-Fi firmware project WRT uses .LAN, and network device manufacturer D-Link uses .dlink.
However, ICANN warns that operators who choose to use private domain names should be aware of the potential associated costs and that these could be avoided by using a subdomain of their own publicly registered domain name.
There are no clear dates yet and a suggestion period is now open, but ultimately, creating .internal as a TLD reserved for private use will provide a more secure and efficient solution for everyone.