Internet Registry


An Internet Registry is an organization responsible for allocating and managing IP addresses and Autonomous System (AS) numbers within a specific region. These registries include Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) like ARIN, RIPE, and APNIC, operating under the authority of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). They ensure the fair distribution of Internet resources and maintain the registration data for those resources.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Internet Registry” is:- Internet: /ˈɪn.tə Registry: /ˈɹɛ.d͡ʒɪ.stɹi/

Key Takeaways

  1. Internet Registry manages the allocation and registration of IP addresses and domain names, ensuring unique assignment and preventing conflicts between users and organizations.
  2. Various Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and organizations, such as ICANN and IANA, work together to maintain the global Internet Registry system, with each RIR responsible for a specific geographical region.
  3. Internet Registries help maintain the hierarchical structure of the DNS system, which plays a crucial role in ensuring the reliability and stability of the internet by enabling efficient routing and navigation.


The term Internet Registry is important as it refers to the organizations responsible for the allocation and administration of unique Internet resources, such as IP addresses and Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs). These registries ensure efficient and reliable management of these resources to maintain the seamless functioning of the internet.

They are classified into three categories: the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), and National Internet Registries (NIRs). The hierarchy of registries guarantees the proper distribution of resources, fair access to ISPs and end-users, and upholds the stability and adaptability of the internet while promoting the global growth of its infrastructure.


An Internet Registry serves the crucial purpose of allocating and distributing unique internet resources, such as IP addresses and autonomous system numbers, to network operators and service providers around the globe. This promotes the stable and secure operation of the internet by ensuring that each device or network in the online ecosystem has a unique identity.

These registries are essential for the overall organization and management of the internet infrastructure, as they maintain a hierarchical system that ensures the fair and efficient distribution of these critical resources amongst organizations of varying sizes and types. Furthermore, Internet Registries play a significant role in maintaining the internet’s overall health and addressing issues related to its growth.

They collaborate closely with other key stakeholders such as network operators, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), to develop and implement policies and best practices for resource allocation and management. By documenting and overseeing the addressing and routing details, these registries contribute to enhancing the overall stability, performance, and resilience of the internet.

Additionally, they support the adoption of new technologies, such as IPv6, which facilitates meeting the ever-growing demand for IP addresses in the expanding digital landscape.

Examples of Internet Registry

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN): ICANN is a non-profit organization responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the internet. It oversees the allocation and management of domain names and IP addresses, making it a crucial part of the internet registry system. ICANN coordinates and ensures the stable operation of the internet’s unique identifier systems, which facilitates seamless connectivity across the internet.

American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN): ARIN is a Regional Internet Registry (RIR) that manages the distribution of Internet number resources within its allotted region, which includes the United States, Canada, and several parts of the Caribbean. ARIN focuses on the allocation and registration of IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6) and Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs) to organizations, data centers, and Internet Service Providers. This ensures that there is an organized allocation of internet resources and prevents duplicate IP addresses.

Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Center (RIPE NCC): RIPE NCC is another Regional Internet Registry responsible for managing the allocation and registration of Internet number resources in Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Central Asia. As an RIR, RIPE NCC plays a significant role in maintaining the internet’s infrastructure by actively collaborating with other RIRs, governments, and technical organizations to create policies, ensure fair distribution of IP addresses, and maintain the public registration databases for the resources assigned within its region.

Internet Registry FAQ

1. What is an Internet Registry?

An Internet Registry (IR) is an organization responsible for coordinating, allocating, and administering Internet Protocol (IP) address space, Autonomous System (AS) numbers, and other Internet number resources. There are several types of Internet Registries, such as Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and Local Internet Registries (LIRs).

2. What are the main functions of Internet Registries?

Key functions of Internet Registries include IP address allocation and distribution, AS number allocation, managing and updating the registry database, policy development for Internet number resource management, and providing related technical services to their members and the wider Internet community.

3. What are Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)?

Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are large, non-profit organizations responsible for managing Internet number resources within their respective regions. There are five RIRs in the world: ARIN (North America), RIPE NCC (Europe, Middle East, and parts of Central Asia), LACNIC (Latin America and the Caribbean), AFRINIC (Africa), and APNIC (Asia Pacific).

4. What are Local Internet Registries (LIRs)?

Local Internet Registries (LIRs) are organizations that receive their IP address and AS number allocations directly from a Regional Internet Registry (RIR). LIRs are typically Internet service providers, universities, or other organizations with a need to manage and distribute a large number of IP addresses within their network. LIRs are responsible for registering the IP address assignments to their customers in the RIR database.

5. How do I request IP addresses or AS numbers from an Internet Registry?

To request IP addresses or AS numbers, you will need to become a member of the appropriate Regional Internet Registry (RIR) or Local Internet Registry (LIR) that serves your region. You will be required to provide justification for your request, including information about your network infrastructure, routing plans, and anticipated usage of the IP address space.

6. How are Internet Registry policies developed?

Internet Registry policies are developed through an open, transparent, and inclusive process known as the Policy Development Process (PDP). It involves the participation of the Internet community, RIR and LIR members, and other stakeholders. Policy proposals are discussed at public meetings and on mailing lists, allowing for feedback and consensus building before final decisions are made.

Related Technology Terms

  • Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
  • IPv4 and IPv6 address allocation
  • Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)
  • Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs)

Sources for More Information


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