Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) are a system used to convert domain names written in languages other than English (for example, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, etc.) into ASCII or Punycode, thus enabling them to be correctly processed by the Domain Name System of the Internet. This allows international users to access websites written in their own native language.
IDN works through a process called “Domain Name Punycode Encoding.” This process takes the domain name written in its native language (such as in Chinese) and converts it into the ASCII or Punycode format, which is what computer systems can understand.
In order to utilize IDNs, domain registrars must support the domain name conversion process and must also include a special script (a set of instructions) to enable it. Not all domain registrars offer this service, so users must check to see if that particular registrar provides the capability before attempting to register a domain in a non-English language.
For security reasons, IDN usage is generally restricted to top-level domain names (TLD). Having a TLD such as “.com” in an internationalized language allows it to be rendered more accurately and safely in the native language.
IDN is an important part of making the internet available in languages other than English, allowing millions of users to access the web in their own language. This increases the reach of the internet to more people, enabling them to easily connect with and utilize the services available to them on the worldwide web.