What are the different domain name types used for?

Originally domain name types reflected their intended use for example:

Domain Type Original "Intended" Use
.com US / International Commercial Organisations
.net US / International Network Devices / Internet Service Providers.
.org US / International Organisations - for use by individuals and not-for-profit companies.
.co.uk UK Commercial Organisations.
.org.uk UK Organisations - for use by individuals and not-for-profit companies.
.ltd.uk UK Limited (Ltd.) Companies.
.plc.uk UK Public Limited (PLC) Companies.
.net.uk UK Internet Service Providers
.gov.uk UK Government departments and government funded organisations.
.ac.uk UK Academic institutions.

Please note that although this was their original "intended" use - as many more domain names were registered the rules have been relaxed and now there are restrictions only on a few domain types.

Certain domain names have restrictions imposed on them by the registrars, this means that they can only be used by specific people / companies or for a specific use.

.ltd.uk Only Limited UK companies with a valid Companies House registration No.
.plc.uk Only Publicly Limited UK companies with a valid Companies House registration No.
.net.uk Only intended for NIC (Network Information Centre), NOC (Network Operations Centre), and other administrative use, and users are required to be Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
.gov.uk Only UK Government departments and government funded organisations.
.ac.uk Only UK Academic institutions.

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