fawny.org: Alternadomains

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Buyer’s guide to alternadomains

Updated 2001.03.26

Can’t find a domain ending in .com/.org/.net, especially a domain in your own real name? Of course not. A lot of the good ones are taken.

But all is not lost. A handful of countries, or regions masquerading as countries, sell their domainspace. For a small sum of money, anyone anywhere may own a top-level domain. They’re often not as sexy or memorable as .com/.org/.net, but we’re dealing with a shortage here. Yes, Arnie, you finally can own Schwarzenegger.cx!

Here, then, is a buyer’s guide to alternadomains (alternative domains), giving you all you need to know in a single page. We’ll use the example word "example" here in all cases. (You’ll figure it out, I’m sure.)

Special note: Speculators are getting wise to alternadomains and now it is quite common to find more than one registrar for a tiny sprinkling of remote islands. I attempt to give the main address for the domain authority, but may quote prices from whichever specific registrar I happen to like.

Quick pick


Full details

  1. Ascension Island (South Atlantic), .ac
    • Format: example.ac
    • Cost: £60 first year; £30 thereafter
  2. Cocos-Keeling Islands (Australian), .cc
    • Format: example.cc
    • Cost: US$100 for two years, then $60/year thereafter; you can also pay monthly for a $10 setup fee plus $5.95/month
  3. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Burundi, Republic of the Congo, .cd/.rw/.bi/.cg
    • Format: example.cd/.rw/.bi/.cg
    • Cost: 550 French francs in the first year, FF350 each subsequent year
  4. Christmas Island (Australian), .cx
    • Format: example.cx
    • Cost: £20 first year, £10/year thereafter. One may also use cash, money orders, and the like
  5. Micronesia (a Pacific island), .fm (.am [Armenia] also available from an allied registrar)
    • Format: example.fm
    • Cost: US$200; unclear if each subsequent year costs the same
  6. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos, French Southern Territories, British Virgin Islands, .gs/.ms/.tc/.tf/.vg
    • Format: example.gs/example.ms/example.tc/ example.tf/example.vg
    • Cost: US$50/year each; quantity discounts available
  7. Heard and McDonald Islands (“Southern Africa, islands in the Indian Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica”), .hm; Registry.hm provides a list of registrars
    • Format: example.hm
    • Cost: US$39.95 per year
  8. Isle of Man (a U.K. island), .im
    • Format: example.im
    • Cost: £40/year
  9. Jersey & Guernsey (islands in the United Kingdom), .je/.gg
    • Format: example.gg or example.co.gg (or example.je or example.co.je). Addresses using .net.gg/je are also available, but why’d you need one?
    • Cost: £39 one-time fee; £49/year thereafter
  10. Laos, .la
    • Format: example.la
    • Cost: US$200 first year; $100/year thereafter
  11. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Pacific islands), .mp
    • Format: example.mp, but you must own an actual trademark in the form example
    • Cost: Various packages, but a batch of ten domains runs for US$375, though they all must be related to the same trademark
  12. Norfolk Island (Pacific island), .nf
    • Format: example.nf (“premium”), example.com.nf (“standard”; many other second-level domains available)
    • Cost: US$1,000 premium, $350 standard first year; $100/year thereafter (premium), $50/year thereafter (standard)
  13. Niue (Pacific island), .nu
    • Format: example.nu
    • Cost: US$45 for two years total; $25/year thereafter
  14. Solomon Islands (Pacific Islands), .sb; see
    • Format: example..com.sb/example.org.sb/example.net.sb/ example.edu.sb/example.gov.sb
    • Cost: SB$300/year
  15. St. Helena (South Atlantic island), .sh
    • Format: example.sh
    • Cost: £60 first year; £30 thereafter
  16. São Tome & Principe (African islands), .st
    • Format: example.st
    • Cost: 1 year: US$35, 3 years $75, 5 years $100. They’ll also host your site for you
  17. Tajikistan (European republic), .tj; see
    • Format: example.tj, example.biz.tj/example.com.tj/example.my.tj
    • Cost: US$25/year for first-level domain, US$8/year for second-level
  18. Tonga (Pacific island), .to
    • Format: example.to
    • Cost: US$100 for two years, $50/year thereafter (or a five-year renewal for $200; other discounts available)
  19. Vanuatu (Pacific Island), .vu
    • Format: example.vu
    • Cost: US$100 for first two years; $50/year thereafter
  20. Western Samoa (Pacific island), .ws
    • Format: example.ws
    • Cost: Four or more characters, US$35/year; three characters, US$250/year; one or two characters, US$500/year

What about the infamous Tuvalu domain, .tv? It seemed to have disappeared into the ether for a while there (the registration page at dot.tv was nothing but a placeholder), but apparently Tuvalu has struck a new deal and .tv domains will shortly be "auctioned."