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Report: More Than 7 Million Domains Added in 1Q12

The latest Domain Name Industry brief published by Verisign Inc reports that 7.5 million domain names were added to the Internet in the first quarter of 2012, bringing the total number of registered domain names to more than 233 million worldwide across all domains. That equates to a growth rate of 3.3-percent over the fourth quarter of 2011.

"The .com and .net Top-Level Domains (TLDs) experienced aggregate growth in the first quarter, reaching a combined total of approximately 116.7 million active domain names in the adjusted zone for .com and .net," Verisign said on Friday. "This represents a 2.5-percent increase in the base over the fourth quarter of 2011 and an 8.1-percent increase over the first quarter of 2011. Additionally, the .com registry grew to more than 100 million domain names during the quarter."

Verisign said that new .com and .net registrations totaled 8.9 million during the quarter, a 7.7-percent increase year-over-year in new registrations. The .com/.net renewal rate for the first quarter of 2012 was 73.9-percent, up from 73.5-percent for the fourth quarter of 2011.

"Verisign's average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load during the first quarter of 2012 was 66 billion, with a peak of 74 billion. Compared to the previous quarter, the daily average increased 4 percent and the peak decreased 37 percent," the company said.

In addition to the rise in domains, Verisign's report also talked about IPv6 and security issues surrounding the new protocol. According to the firm, IPv6 actually presents an interesting security paradox: the capabilities IPv6 provides will enhance online security, but they may also present risks if not properly managed.

As a precaution, Verisign is suggesting that organizations begin monitoring networks for IPv6 traffic, especially if there are IPv6-enabled devices, operating systems and transitional configurations on the network. They should also turn off "IPv6 everywhere" to ensure that there are no unknown paths through the network. Other suggestions include launching an IPv6 pilot on a small portion of the network, and developing a plan to to transition an entire network to IPv6 incrementally.

To read the entire report, Verisign offers a PDF version which can be downloaded from the company here.