domain extensions

A domain extension is the last bit of information that you enter in an online address such as the .com in There are many different domain extensions, and they vary from each country. However, this guide is focused on domain names that are registered within the United States.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different domain extensions (.com, .net, .org, .gov, etc.) out there? Why can’t people just use the same extension? It will be so much easier to remember, right? Yes, it would be easier to remember, however, people like to categorize everything. Since there are so many domain extensions out there, which ones can we really trust? Why are some extensions considered to be more trusted than others?

The Most Trusted Domain Extensions

.gov: This is the most trusted domain extension, because it is regulated by the United States General Services Administration (GSA). You can’t use a .gov domain for private use. There are no exceptions, even for presidential candidates! This domain extension is designed to assure people that they are accessing an official government website.

.edu: Another top trusted domain extension is .edu, and it is regulated by EDUCAUSE and the U.S. Department of Commerce. This domain only allows accredited postsecondary institutions (schools that offer education beyond high school level). This is typically used for students attending accredited colleges. If the college doesn’t have a .edu at the end of their address, then it is not accredited.

However, few public schools get away with using a .edu extension, but most public schools use a different domain extension than a college such as .com, .org, or .net. For example, Boston Public Schools have their domain extension as, whereas the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has their domain extension as

.org: These domain extensions are generally used for non-profit organizations and charities and are considered to be one of the safest and trusted domain extensions, however, that doesn’t mean all non-profits using a .org are legitimate. Anyone can use a .com, .net, .info, and .org for a domain extension. Nobody is regulating these domain extensions as well, unlike .gov and .edu domain extensions.

Other Domain Extensions That Can Be Trusted

.com: This is the most common domain extension, and a lot of them are trusted. Most businesses, social media, directories, and blogs use .com so that people can easily remember their domain address. You can’t go wrong using .com as a domain extension because it’s so popular. How many domains that end with .com do you know? I bet you know a lot more .com extensions than the others!

.net or .info: These other domain extensions serve the same function as .com, but they are not as popular. However, the reason why developers added .net was to give people more options when choosing a domain address. There’s a lot of businesses, blogs, etc., that use .com as a domain extension, so chances are that someone somewhere already had the same idea for a domain name that you did. If someone already took, then I could use or .info.

Other domain extensions: There are a lot more domain extensions on the internet including .travel, .pro, .tel, .biz, and even .xxx. Be careful when you enter any new website that you are unfamiliar with, especially websites that don’t use either .gov or .edu for their domain extension. If your anti-virus program is telling you that a website can’t be trusted, then don’t click on the link! I can’t count how many computers my brother destroyed because he keeps clicking on those links. Remember what Benjamin Franklin said, “When in doubt, don’t!”


Let’s Hear From You!

Regardless of which domains are trusted, the best way to protect yourself from computer viruses is to download anti-virus and anti-malware software (computer programs). I know that a lot of my friends use Norton Anti-Virus, McAfee Total Protection, Spybot Search & Destroy, Microsoft Security Essentials, and Avira Anti-Virus just to name a few. My advice would be to download multiple anti-virus programs, because some programs can find viruses that others can’t. It’s like having bodyguards protect you from harm. The more bodyguards you have, the more likely it is for them to find and protect you from the bad guys.

Do you agree with this list? What do you think are the most trusted domains? Have you ever used a .gov, .edu., or .org domain extension that was not trusted? Which domain extensions do you feel are usually sending you viruses, slowing your computer, and just causing havoc on computer?