On the web, the Domain Name System (DNS) stores and associates information with domain names. The DNS translates domain names into IP addresses.
By allowing the use of alphabetical addresses instead of numeric ones, domain names allow web users to easily find websites.
ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has the ultimate responsibility for managing the DNS. ICANN is able to authorize control over each domain to a domain name registrar, such as Godaddy or Namecheap.
As the internet has grown in popularity around the world, organizations, companies and consumers have found many uses for domain names. Interested parties are generally free to select an unallocated domain name as their own on a first come, first served basis, creating an investment market for desirable domains.
One reason for the inherent value of domain names is that they can attract consumers seeking services and products who simply type in the generic name. Furthermore, generic domain names such as cars.com are extremely easy for customers to remember.