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OpenNIC Logo
FoundedJune 1, 2000; 19 years ago (2000-06-01)
PurposeProvides a non-national alternative to the traditional Top-Level Domain registries. OpenNIC is a user-owned and -controlled Network Information Center.

OpenNIC (also referred to as the OpenNIC Project) is a user-owned and -controlled[1][2] top-level Network Information Center that offers a non-national alternative to traditional Top-Level Domain (TLD) registries such as ICANN.[2] As of January 2017, OpenNIC recognizes and peers all existing ICANN TLDs, for compatibility reasons. However, OpenNIC has not yet evaluated and does not hold a formal position on future ICANN TLDs.[3]

In addition to resolving hostnames in the ICANN root, OpenNIC also resolves hostnames in OpenNIC-operated namespaces, as well as within namespaces with which peering agreements have been established.[3] Some OpenNIC recursive servers (Tier 2 servers) are known for their high speeds and low latency, relative to other more widely used DNS recursors,[4] as well as their anonymizing or no-logging policies.[5][6] Many servers offer DNSCrypt. Tier 2 servers are operated by community volunteers across a multitude of geographic locations.

Like all alternative root DNS systems, OpenNIC-hosted domains are unreachable to the vast majority of Internet users, because they require a non-default configuration in one's DNS resolver.


On June 1, 2000, an article was posted on advocating a democratically governed domain name system.[7] The first OpenNIC servers went into operation July of that year.

OpenNIC TLDs[edit]

OpenNIC namespaces[edit]

These TLDs are currently served by OpenNIC and were constructed with the approval of the OpenNIC community.[8]

Name Intended use Date introduced Restrictions Notes Status
.bbs Bulletin Board System servers, and related BBS websites and services. 2000-12-29 Domain must provide BBS type services.[9] Manual Registration
.chan A Top Level Domain "for imageboards and communities related to imageboard culture."[10] 2015-10-21 Active
.cyb Cyberpunk-related content. 2017-08-14 Active
.dyn Dynamic DNS pointers. 2014-05-30 Only A, AAAA, RP and TXT records can be modified. Unused domains are removed after 28 days. Active
.epic General purpose domain for anything of an "epic" nature. 2019-09-03 Active
.free Organizations that encourage the Non-Commercial use of the Free Internet. Non-Commercial use only. No new registrations accepted.[11] Moved to .libre following ICANN addition of .free.[11] Currently still resolving. Dropped
.geek Anything of a personal or hobbyist nature that would be considered "geeky" 2008-02-18 Active
.gopher Content delivery via the gopher protocol. Must serve content via the gopher protocol. Active
.indy Independent media and arts. Active
.libre Organizations that encourage the Non-Commercial use of the Free Internet. 2017-01-03 Non-Commercial use only. Successor to .free after the introduction of .free on the ICANN namespace.[11] Active
.neo General purpose. Usage should lean towards themes present in the 'emo subculture'[12] Manual Registration
.null Miscellaneous. Non-Commercial use only. Only natural persons may hold a .null domain.[13] Active
.o General purpose.[14][15] 2016-11-28[16] Prohibits domain squatting and spam usage.[15] Active[17]
.oss Open Source Software. Active
.oz Australian websites (alt-ccTLD) 2012-06-11 Active
.parody Parody websites. Non-Commercial use only. Active
.pirate[18] Internet Freedom and sharing. Active

Peering agreements[edit]

OpenNIC provides resolution of select other alternative DNS roots.[19]

Name Intended use Date Introduced Notes Peer Authority Status
.bazar free marketplace Emercoin Active
.bit Namecoin systems, websites and services Depeered due to disagreements between the OpenNIC and Namecoin projects. [20] Namecoin Dropped
.coin digital currency and commerce websites Emercoin Active
.emc websites associated with the Emercoin project Emercoin Active
.fur Furries, Furry Fandom and other Anthropormorphic interest websites[21] 2003-11-?[22] Originally an OpenNIC TLD,[22] now operated by FurNIC.[23] FurNIC Active
.ku Kurdish people New Nations Active
.lib From Words Library and Liberty - that is, knowledge and freedom Emercoin Active
.te Tamil Eelam New Nations Active
.ti Tibet New Nations Active
.uu Uyghur people New Nations Active

New Nations[edit]

New Nations provides TLDs for nation-states that are not recognized by the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 standard, and therefore haven't received their own ccTLD. Currently they provide .ku (Kurdish people), .te (Tamil Eelam), .ti (Tibet), and .uu (Uyghur people).[24]


FurNIC aims to bring a unique identity to Furries, Furry Fandom, and other Anthropomorphic interest websites across the internet. FurNIC and OpenNIC work closely, with .fur (Furry fandom) generally being treated as part of OpenNIC for most purposes, rather than a separate peer entity.[21]


OpenNIC resolves .bit (Namecoin) domains through the use of a centralized server which generates a DNS zone from the Namecoin blockchain.[25] Access is provided through a Tier 1 server which bridges the OpenNIC system and Namecoin.[26]

Some OpenNIC DNS servers make use of a Spamhaus-maintained blacklist of malicious .bit domains.[27][28][29]


On January 15, 2015, domains registered in Emercoin's blockchain became accessible to all users of OpenNIC DNS.[30] Emercoin DNS supports the domain zones .coin, .emc, .lib and .bazar. However, Emercoin DNS records can be registered/maintained from within the Emercoin software, and not as part of OpenNIC's management system.[31]

Technical zones[edit]

OpenNIC operates some special-use TLDs, which are meant for technical or organizational purposes.

Name Intended use Restrictions Notes Status
.opennic.glue[2] Provides hostnames for Tier 1 DNS servers and organizational websites and services.[citation needed] Domains cannot be registered. Domains are granted to each Tier 1 server operator or upon approval of the OpenNIC community. Example: "ns2.opennic.glue" Active
.dns.opennic.glue Provides hostnames for Tier 2 DNS servers on the OpenNIC network.[32] Domains cannot be registered. Domains are automatically created upon the approval of a Tier 2 server. Example: "ns1.any.dns.opennic.glue" Active

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zhong, Peng. "OpenNIC - Projects - PRISM Break". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  2. ^ a b c "Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on December 4, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "What is OpenNIC?:OpenNIC Wiki". Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  4. ^ "OpenNIC DNS Network". December 3, 2010. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013.
  5. ^ Coldewey, Devin (November 11, 2016). "Tech tips to help stay safe in Trump's America". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  6. ^ Harvey, Charlie. "Anonymous Public DNS with OpenNIC". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  7. ^ "". Archived from the original on November 26, 2007.
  8. ^ "OpenNIC Operated Namespaces". OpenNIC Wiki.
  9. ^ ".bbs TLD". OpenNIC Wiki. If a site is no longer providing BBS type services, that should also be grounds for removal of the domain.
  10. ^ "opennic.chan". Retrieved 2017-09-27.
  11. ^ a b c "Re: [opennic-discuss] Call for vote on .free issues". OpenNIC Mailing List Archive. January 3, 2017.
  12. ^ ".neo TLD". OpenNIC Wiki.
  13. ^ ".null TLD". OpenNIC Wiki.
  14. ^ ".o Charter".
  15. ^ a b ".o TLD". OpenNIC Wiki. November 30, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "Re: [opennic-discuss] [Vote] .o TLD Proposal". OpenNIC Mailing List Archive. November 28, 2016.
  17. ^ ".o Registration System Online". ModernTLD News. 2017-04-20. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
  18. ^ ".Pirate Domains Now Available Through OpenNic - TorrentFreak". TorrentFreak. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  19. ^ "OpenNIC Peers:OpenNIC Wiki". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b "FurNIC". www.nic.fur.
  22. ^ a b ".fur - WikiFur, the furry encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  23. ^ ".fur TLD". OpenNIC Wiki.
  24. ^ "new-nations". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  25. ^ "Dot-Bit: Secure Decentralized DNS". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  26. ^ ".bit TLD". OpenNIC Wiki.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Emercoin. "Emercoin reaches peering agreement with OpenNIC". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  31. ^ Emercoin. "Emercoin DNS". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  32. ^ "OpenNIC Public Servers".

External links[edit]