What is IANA? Although the Internet is not really a centralized system, there are some key infrastructure elements that need to be coordinated. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is an organization that was founded in 1988 by the government of the U.S.A. but is now under the management of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). IANA is an essential ICANN department that is responsible for the allocation of domains and IP addresses, but also for the technical maintenance for some of Internet’s most important structures and rules that must be internationally coordinated.


What Does IANA Do?

In order to coordinate the communication between all devices online, IANA operates the root DNS root zone (the DNS root includes all TLDs and IANA is responsible for the maintenance and assignment of those domains), the .arpa (used for internal infrastructure purposes) and .int(used for international organizations) domains. IANA manages all IP addresses and AS numbers by allocating them to the five world Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). The RIRs provide the addresses to the local ISPs (Internet Service Providers), which finally offer them to end-users. IANA also takes care of the Protocol registries, consisting of all codes used in the standard Internet protocols.

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