This reminds me of myself when I had no knowledge about domain names. I used to think if I buy a domain name once it will remain with me forever. It is not true, domain is actually like renting an apartment if you keep paying the yearly rent it’s yours. If you don’t pay the yearly fee, the domain will expire and will be available for rebuying.
There are 4 parties involved in the whole process, they are ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), registry, registrar, and registrant. To understand all four of them let’s talk about them one by one.
ICANN: Overseeing the entire domain name system is ICANN. It is a non-profit organization responsible for coordinating domain names, IP addresses, and DNS. They create and manage the root directory. For example, they created the root for .COM which is then bought by VeriSign.
Registry: A person or company who manages Top-Level domain names. They are responsible for managing the extensions. In a nutshell they are selling TLDs to the registrar. For example VeriSign manages .COM, Donuts manages .LIVE.
Registrar: A person or company that sells domain names to end-users. Collects the yearly fees, maintains user data, and other domain-related products and services. For example GoDaddy, NameCheap, Epik, Dynadot, and many more.
Registrant: A person or company who buys a domain name. This is the end-user and this person makes the website and uses the domain name. For example, you and I are the end-users who ultimately develop these domains.
All four of them play a vital role in the domain industry. Each one of them is interlinked and interdependent on each other. I hope with the above explanation I was able to point out the difference between ICANN, Registry, Registrar, and Registrant.
Must Read: What is a domain name?