The .AN Domain

Population of Netherlands Antilles
.AN is a
Country Code Top-level Domain
The main Language used
Register .AN as
Domain For
Netherlands Antilles
Domain Registration term in years
Domain Character Limit
Domain Registration

What is a .AN domain?

.an was the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Netherlands Antilles, now officially retired.

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About .AN Domain

Understanding the .an Domain Landscape

The internet is a vast repository of information, accessible through a myriad of domain names that serve as gateways to millions of websites. Among these domains, .an holds a unique place. This article delves into the intricacies of the .an domain, offering insights and data that illuminate its role and specifications within the digital realm.

Historical Context and Transition

Originally assigned to the Netherlands Antilles, the .an domain has a rich history. Despite the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010, the .an domain continued to be in use for a transitional period. This domain is a relic of a bygone era, encapsulating the digital legacy of the Netherlands Antilles.

Key Specifications of the .an Domain

The .an domain comes with a set of specifications designed to meet the needs of users and administrators. Understanding these specifications is crucial for anyone looking to navigate the .an domain space effectively.

Registration Eligibility

One of the primary considerations when exploring the .an domain is understanding who is eligible for registration. Unlike some domains that have open registration policies, the .an domain has specific criteria that must be met.

  • Individuals: Prior to its phase-out, individuals with a connection to the Netherlands Antilles were eligible to register a .an domain.
  • Companies: Companies registered in the Netherlands Antilles could also secure a .an domain to establish their digital presence.

Character Limitations

Every domain has restrictions on the length of the domain name, and .an is no exception. The .an domain adheres to the following character limitations:

  • Minimum Characters:3
  • Maximum Characters:63

Demographic and Linguistic Landscape

Understanding the demographic and linguistic context of the Netherlands Antilles is essential for grasping the significance of the .an domain. At its peak, the population of the Netherlands Antilles was approximately 300,000. Dutch served as the official language, reflecting the country's colonial heritage. However, a multitude of languages was spoken across the islands, including Papiamento, English, and Spanish, showcasing the region's diverse cultural tapestry.

Statistical Overview of .an Domain Registration

While the .an domain is no longer available for new registrations following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, historical data provides insight into its utilization. The table below highlights key statistics related to .an domain registrations:

Year Number of Registrations
2005 1,200
2008 1,500
2010 1,800

The gradual increase in registrations leading up to 2010 reflects the growing digital footprint of the Netherlands Antilles before its dissolution.

Legacy and Transition

"The .an domain serves as a digital monument to the Netherlands Antilles," states a leading internet historian. Despite its phase-out, the domain remains a topic of interest among digital archivists and internet historians. The transition process involved migrating existing .an domain names to other TLDs (Top-Level Domains) such as .sx (for Sint Maarten) and .cw (for CuraƧao), ensuring the continuity of the online presence for entities originally registered under the .an domain.

Future Considerations

The story of the .an domain underscores the dynamic nature of the internet and the impact of geopolitical changes on digital territories. As the internet continues to evolve, the lessons learned from the .an domain transition can inform future decisions regarding domain management and preservation in the face of changing national boundaries and identities.


The .an domain stands as a testament to the intricate relationship between the digital and geopolitical landscapes. Through its historical significance, registration dynamics, and transition process, the .an domain offers valuable insights into the complexities of internet governance and the transient nature of digital domains.