The process of registering a domain name is coordinated through an automated process called an "auto-parser." Once we have submitted a registration request to InterNIC, it will be processed immediately and you will be notified via e-mail when processing is complete. This generally takes less than 24 hours.
Following the registration, updates to the Internet's root name servers are propagated seven days a week at which time the DNS information for the newly registered name becomes visible to the DNS system. Domain names processed prior to 7 P.M. Eastern Time should be accessible on the Internet the next day.
Keep in mind, if a domain name was previously registered, and the DNS record is being modified rather than just created, the domain name server information that was previously propagated throughout the Internet has a Time To Live (TTL) value associated with it. Any server on the Internet that has a Domain's previous DNS information will not look up the new domain name server information until the TTL has passed. This causes a greater delay in the new DNS information propagating through the Internet. Most name servers have a TTL of 24 hours but other servers could have a TTL as long as 7 days.
During this period some accesses to your domain name may use your old DNS information (be directed to your old site) while others come to your new site. We suggest leaving your old site up for a week after your domain registration has been transferred to avoid any possibility that visitors would be unable to reach your site.
Other than resource records that InterNIC serves (delegation records), TTL's are individually set at the local level and vary widely. As you can see, the InterNIC does not have control over complete propagation - it is something that happens throughout the entire Internet. InterNIC only controls the domain registration and root zone server updates. Unfortunately, it may take some time for domain name updates to propagate throughout the millions of machines on the Internet.
There is also an extensive online manual available.
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