Short Domain Names

Short Domain Names

August 15, 2020

What’s the shortest in-use domain name? There are quite a few three-letter domain names being used, such as Google’s g.co and Facebook’s m.me.

However, these aren’t the shortest domain names in use. A TLD is a valid domain name on its own, and there’s nothing stopping registrars from creating A records for their TLDs. For example:

$ dig +short A ai
209.59.119.34

Here’s a list of all TLDs which have A records and resolve to responsive servers (as of August 2020):

Note: Try adding full stops after the domain names if your browser has issues opening them.

Now that Google has its own gTLD, there’s nothing stopping them from using https://google as the URL of their homepage. Well, nothing other than some strong words from the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee:

Recommendation: Dotless domains will not be universally reachable and the SSAC recommends strongly against their use. As a result, the SSAC also recommends that the use of DNS resource records such as A, AAAA, and MX in the apex of a TopLevel Domain (TLD) be contractually prohibited where appropriate and strongly discouraged in all cases.

(emphasis mine).

James Williams • 2020