IT Support 101: What is ICANN and IANA?

Ever wonder who controls the naming of websites and IP addresses on the world?

IT Support 101: What is ICANN and IANA?
IT Support 101: What is ICANN and IANA?

Google.com or Amazon.com or Facebook.com, websites with which we are familiar. If you have ever tried to log in to your router, the IP address 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.1.254 might sound familiar as well. Ever wondered who is managing or administrating these domain names and addresses in the first place? Who is stopping you from also launching another Google.com, is there a governing body behind all these names and numbers?

There is a system in place, or there would be chaos from the very start, which brings us to the organization named ICANN, short for Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers. And another organization to take note of is IANA or Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. To put it merely, ICANN looks after domain names and IANA is responsible for the assignment of IP addresses. While many might speculate or imply ICANN as the owner and manager of all domain names around the world, this is not true. ICANN's role is more dispute resolutions than anything else. It would be impossible for one body to manage domains or even claim the right to own any new domain name, primarily unique domain which ends with .asia or .tv as opposed to .com.


On the other hand, IANA is entirely different, IANA's role is regulatory and mandates which IP address range, especially in IPv4, used for specific purposes, which explains why we host a website on a public IP domain of 192.168.1.1. Since these specific IP ranges have been marked as reserved for private use and allow any organization to use it within their local area network.

IT Support 101: What is ICANN and IANA?
IT Support 101: What is ICANN and IANA?

Before we look further into ICANN, we should start with