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I have just seen Dash Worlds Domain Names and I was wondering how do they work. They claim that you can register a free domain like example-com (not example.com) and then you download a plugin that you can display all dash-com domain names. How is this possible? Can anybody on the internet access these sites, or only if they have the plugin installed?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

This service looks highly questionable. I don't know the internals of how it's working, as they don't entirely reveal it, and use a lot of buzzwords like "Private Networking Technology", but here is my best understanding:

  • You "register" a domain like superuser-com with them
  • They add superuser-com to a database, but do not actually register any real DNS domain
  • When you install their plugin, it looks at the domain you enter. If it is in their database of "dash" domains, then they return the IP address that corresponds with it. So, if you type in superuser-com, the plugin would look in their database, then send the browser to the Super User website, but it would appear that you were going to superuser-com.

There are numerous downsides to this. First of all, if you do not have their browser plugin, you cannot visit the site. This cuts off 99.9999999999% of the internet. Their sites also do not currently show up in Google searches, and when they do, it will probably be through sketchy means:

Will my domain name appear on Google?

We are currently setting up a system for spidering these sites on Google. Users will be advised when the system is ready by a newsletter.

Keep your e-mail of registrations always working to receive the DASHWORLDS newsletter.

As a website creator, you would be foolish to use this service. Forcing visitors to install sketchy browser plugins, using a service which does not use standard DNS to resolve sites, and their completely unclear pricing policies are all reasons that I would be wary at the least. While the product likely does what they claim, you would be much, much better just registering your own regular domain with a reputable registrar.

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+1 much better, clearer answer than mine, deleting mine –  Sathya Mar 12 '11 at 5:58
    
Thanks @Sathya. Feel free to edit my answer to include any additional info you think might be relevant. –  nhinkle Mar 12 '11 at 6:01
    
+1: Amazing answer. –  Wuffers Mar 12 '11 at 17:19
    
+1 for calling fools foolish. :) –  music2myear Jun 21 '11 at 15:13

I dont see it as a horrible thing... they offer an alternative to ICANN top level TLD domains that have very few short URLs taken...

As someone with a dozen top level TLD domains... I see this as an investment that costs me ZERO dollars... Either ISPs and browsers will catch on to this ICANN alternative and Ive managed to scoop up some names that i would want for myself... or I wasted a few minutes (just like i did writing this comment)

I dont expect to be handing out my dash-com to anyone while there isnt support from ISPs and web browsers but it doesnt mean i cant register my dash-com for now... hell i dont even have to install their plugin myself...

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Dashcom domain names are a new type of Top Level Domain that extends your brand name into the top level. A dashcom name consists of two keywords separated with a dash. An example would be http://abc-widgets. This is one of two proposed methods to extend a company brand name into the top level domain and is currently only offered by dashworlds.com. The other method is the upcoming ICANN initiative. The ICANN solution will work in any browser, but is very expensive. The dashcom solution requires a plugin to resolve the DNS name and is free. This article examines both of them - http://digitalpresencemanagement.com/2011/06/20/new-developments-in-top-level-domains-could-be-game-changers/

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