DomainTools Estimates 100 Million .Com Domains Active

According to, a provider of domain name research and whois information, the number of .com domains under management by Verising has surpassed 100 million domains:

Verisign publishes a daily “zone file” of registered .com domain names with their associated nameservers.  Yesterday the zone file listed 99,837548 .com domain names and that number has been growing by an average of about 22,000 net new .com domain names per day so far in 2012.  But there are two general categories of domain names that exist but are not listed in the zone files.

The first category is well known, at least to people who work in and around the domain industry:  domains in the Redemption or Pending Delete periods.  Each day tens of thousands of .com domain names hit their renewal date. There are currently 2.1 million .com domain names in either Redemption or Pending Delete status.

The second category is much less well known, a category DomainTools refers to as ‘dark domains’.  Domain names that exist, but are not pointed to nameservers, are not listed in the zone file and therefore not counted by most sites that track domain registration data.   An example of such a domain is; it exists but has no nameservers, and does not resolve to a website.  Another example is; the Whois record indicates a fraud alert on the domain name and a ‘suspended’ status.  This domain is also not in the zone file and yet is certainly not available for anyone to register.

Only Verisign knows for sure how big the list of dark domains is, but we have conducted ongoing proprietary research that reveals over 400,000 known dark .com domain names, as found in  This count is included in the  recently updated domain statistics data on our website.  Our calculation of .com domains includes those listed in the zone file plus the dark domains.  With that information in mind, we calculated the current total of .com domains managed by Verisign to be over 100.2 million.

100 million actively registered domains is an enormous achievement for the dominant TLD worldwide, and congratulations are in order for Verisign and the registrars which support .com! For the full article and research information head on over to

Posted on by Michael Boguslavskiy in
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