Technical features

IDN

The .cat domain allows the use of accents, diaeresis, ç and l·l. Any .cat domain can contain the characters of Catalan language.

IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) is an Internet domain name that can contain non-ASCII characters: that is, characters not belonging to the standard Latin alphabet. The standard for domain names does not allow this type of character, but the .cat domain does, making it the first domain in the world to accept IDN from the start.

.cat is the only domain in the world given over to a language. To respect the characters of the Catalan language (accents in both directions, diaeresis, ç and l·l), the Fundació puntCAT incorporated the possibility of resolving IDN from the very beginning. Any .cat accepts the eleven special characters of Catalan (à; ç; è é; í; ï; l·l; ò; ó; ú; ü). In addition, when you register a domain with any of these characters, the Fundació puntCAT offers the same domain without the accents free of charge, as part of the service. For example, when you register fundació.cat you get fundacio.cat for the same price. These two domains will behave like a single one and will allow access to the domain from keyboards that don’t have Catalan characters.

The possibility of using IDN characters allows 100% respect for Catalan names and brands. Use this capability and register your .cat name with proper Catalan spelling!

IPv6

The result of the Fundació puntCAT’s long-standing commitment to technological leadership, the .cat domain has been able to accept IPv4 and IPv6 DNS addresses since it began.

IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the latest address protocol on which the Internet operates, allowing you to have almost unlimited addresses. Since it was created, the Internet has operated on the IPv4 protocol but, because of the exponential growth of the net in the last few years, IANA, the body that manages Internet addresses, gave out the last IPv4 addresses in February 2011. The Internet currently operates with these two protocols – IPv4 and IPv6 – at the same time, but IPv6 is the one that allows the net to continue growing. It also allows other uses and will help to develop what is known as the Internet of things, the network of interconnected everyday objects.

By adopting and offering the latest available technologies as simply as possible, we make .cat one of the best domains in the world and our first-choice domain.

DNSSEC

Since autumn 2009, when it was the second domain in the world to do so (only a few hours after .org), .cat has offered DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions). These are cryptographic keys ensuring the domain name is correctly converted to an IP address, providing the domain in question with an extra level of security. This additional security is available to anyone and is especially designed for websites where electronic transactions are carried out or those handling sensitive data.

Latest-generation DNSSEC technology is beneficial both for the domain holder and for users browsing the web with DNSSEC. Any .cat domain can have it. To get DNSSEC, you need to ask the registrar with which you have contracted your domain.

Private Whois

The .cat domain allows the contact details of users making non-commercial use of their domains to be hidden without breaking the rules. This is one of the latest technological innovations implemented by the Fundació puntCAT on the domain and it is offered free of charge to private individuals who use .cat.

Under ICANN rules, the contact details associated with a domain have to be public. The whois.cat tool allows searches for holders of any .cat domain. However, thanks to the implementation of an own data protection service, private individuals using a .cat can protect these contact details, preventing them being found by the public, although they remain internally available to ICANN in case it needs them. The Fundació puntCAT has made this improvement to boost the privacy of the .cat community. It is the most useful and sophisticated data protection system on any general domain – a pioneering model that has aroused great expectations among other domains. Domain registrars generally have private whois protection services. However, these services do not meet ICANN regulations and, in many cases, they have to be paid for. With this improvement, since January 2013, .cat holders have been able to enjoy one of the great technological advances for domain holders free of charge.

Anycast addressing

This is an addressing and routing system that can be applied to different Internet services, making it possible to improve the quality of the response to a user query. Specifically, it takes charge of routing the query to the server that can provide the best service from a pre-established list of servers. There is also constant monitoring of the availability of the equipment offering this service, which prevents a query being sent to a server that is no longer operative.

The .cat domain uses this Anycast technology on some of its DNS query servers – what are known as secondary servers – achieving a quicker response time and a more robust service. As an anycast group consists of different pieces of equipment, the one that can give the user the fastest response can be chosen at any time, improving the loading speed of the webs consulted. In addition, if there is an attack and a piece of the group’s equipment stops working, the other equipment will continue operating without problems, preventing any alterations to the normal speed of .cat.

Continuous improvement

Ever since it began, .cat has been a technologically innovative domain. In the spirit of offering Catalan-speakers the best domain in the world, the Fundació puntCAT has never stopped researching and implementing the latest technologies on the domain, and it never will. The field of security and user data privacy is where the .cat domain has the most advanced technologies and these have been continually applied to the domain without increasing its price.

This concern for innovation and continuous improvement of the service to users has earned the .cat domain international recognition. The most powerful domains in the world, such as .com or .net, have drawn attention to .cat and recognised its excellence. Although it is one of the last domains to join the market and is aimed at only a small community, .cat is a leading domain and a model followed by many other domains in the world.