Crystal clear: a registry

30 January 2020

Nearly every country has an organisation for the technical management of domain names with specific extensions (such as .be, .fr, .nl etc.). Such an organisation is known as ‘ registry ’ in the jargon. As the task of such a registry sounds rather vague, we provide a word of explanation.

Core tasks

A registry has 2 core tasks that are important for the proper functioning of a part of the Internet, namely to:  

  • Keep certain data of the registrant , such as name and address, per domain name. In this way, each domain name can be linked to a specific person or organisation. The registry moreover maps other technical information, such as name servers. 
  • Ensure that you arrive at the right place online and see the right website when you click on a link or type in a URL. Furthermore, when you send an e-mail, it reaches the right person through the registry. The registry converts the domain name into an IP address in fact, so that the right servers (where the website or mailbox is hosted) are addressed.  

What if DNS Belgium did not exist? 99% of the surfers would not manage to visit the right websites and the "Belgian internet" would stand still.

We at DNS Belgium are responsible for the Belgian Internet part, i.e. we are the registry for the .be, .vlaanderen and .brussels domain names, for which we work together with sales partners whom we call ‘ registrars .’ We are committed to the core tasks of a registry, where we focus on safe and stable Internet traffic. 


A registry often provides an online search service called ‘ WHOIS ’. You can use this service to see who is behind a certain domain name. In other words, you look up who uses a given domain name. You can do such a check here:

Other services that may be provided by a registry include: a legal framework in case of domain name disputes, a customer service that can be contacted by telephone or e-mail for advice about domain names, etc. Some registries even sell domain names, others work with a sales channel to that end.