Tonic Frequently Asked Questions

Tonic is the Tonga Network Information Center. Since 1995 we have been the national DNS registration authority for the country of Tonga and have provided domain name services to a wide variety of government, commercial, and personal Internet sites. We are committed to providing superior service to the global Internet community through a streamlined automated name registration and maintenance system available 24 hours a day at http://www.tonic.to

Simply click the New Domain Name icon on our home page, and you will be prompted to enter the domain name you want. If it's available, you can register it immediately, and it will be activated the same day. It's that easy.

Existing customers can reach our support staff at hostmaster@tonic.to.

PLEASE NOTE

Tonic is very serious about keeping the .TO domain spam-free. We have revoked - and will continue to revoke - registrations if we believe they are directly or indirectly responsible for the distribution of spam. If your domain name is being used, for example, for URL or email redirection you are responsible for each of your user/customer's behavior with respect to spam. If your business plan relies on making it easier for spammers to protect their identity while proliferating unsolicited bulk email, then there's a pretty good chance that we'll be revoking your domain name sometime in the future.

If you are planning to use your .TO domain for free URL redirection, be forwarned that this business is very difficult to run without becoming a spam harbor.

Please contact stopspam@tonic.to for information on cooperating with Tonic to help keep .TO spam-free.

  • What is a domain name, and why do I want one ?
  • Will my name in .TO work anywhere in the world ?
  • How does DNS work for my .TO name?
  • Why do I want a domain name ending with .TO ?
  • How can I tell if the name I want in .TO is still available ?
  • What is Tonic's policy on trademark and copyright issues ?
  • Are there any drawbacks to having a name in .TO instead of .COM ?
  • What does it cost for a name in .TO ?
  • How can I easily pay for my domain name ?
  • Does Tonic accept checks ?
  • How do I renew my domain name ?
  • How do I transfer a domain name from one owner to another ?
  • Why are there 2 passwords, a Master Password and a DNS Password ?
  • How long before the servers have the info for my new domain ?
  • Does Tonic offer a whois service ?
  • I'm a spammer. Is a .TO domain something I should use ?
  • What happens to expired names ?
  • Does .TO allow the registration and use of Internationalized Domain Names ("IDN") ?
  • What character sets are supported in an IDN registration under .TO ?
  • What is not allowed in .TO IDN registrations ?



  • What is a domain name, and why do I want one ?

    Every computer on the Internet is identified by a unique number. Because humans are much better at remembering names than numbers, the worldwide domain name system (DNS) exists to also let all computers on the Internet also be uniquely identified by name. Some examples of domain names you might be familiar with include: mcdonalds.com, hotwired.com, whitehouse.org, and the site you are now reading, tonic.to.

    Every time you send electronic mail or browse to a web site, you are using the Internet's domain name system to reach your destination. A domain name is how you represent yourself or your company on the Internet.

    Top level domains such as .COM, .ORG, and .NET have traditionally denoted commercial entities, non-profit organizations, and network access companies. All of the top level domains work the same way, but .TO is the first commercially available name space in which you can register names directly from a web site. Our fully automated registration system makes getting the name of your choice fast and easy.

    .TO was the first country code to be offered globally through an automated registry. Our registry has been running since June 1997.


    Will my name in .TO work anywhere in the world ?

    Yes, a .TO name works exactly the same a .COM name, it just happens to have a different ending. It is treated in precisely the way as .COM by all the DNS nameservers in the world.


    How does DNS work for my .TO name?

    The Tonic DNS Primer explains DNS in detail. You can test your DNS setup at our DNS test page.


    Why do I want a domain name ending with .TO ?

    There are more than a hundred million second level domains registered in the .COM top level domain. Most of the good, short, easy to remember names in .COM are already taken by someone else. The .TO top level domain is brand new, empty real estate, with most names still available. In .TO you can have a short name that is easy to say and easy to remember, and is just right for your business.


    How can I tell if the name I want in .TO is still available ?

    At our web site http://www.tonic.to you can instantly check to see if the name you want is available. If it is available, you can register and activate your name immediately.


    What is Tonic's policy on trademark and copyright issues ?

    Tonic has reserved a number of names. If you are trying to register a name and find that it has been reserved, please email hostmaster@tonic.to for more information if you have specific questions or needs. Other than reserved names, all names are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


    Are there any drawbacks to having a name in .TO instead of .COM ?

    None. Our primary name server for .TO works just the same way as the primary name server for .COM, making your domain name in .TO available instantly worldwide to anyone who needs to find your web site or email host. There are currently secondary name servers supporting .TO on four continents, including North America, Australia, Europe, and Africa, guaranteeing speed of access and global reliability of your domain name.


    What does it cost for a name in .TO ?

    The cost of a name in .TO varies with the number of years initial registration. The minimum registration period is two years and costs US$50 per year or US$100 total. A five year registration costs US$40 per year for a total of US$200 (one year free). Other registration periods are available and are explained during registration. This initial fee covers maintenance and certain updates to your customer information and .TO name.

    Updates that are not covered by this fee are: changes to the domain name itself; transfers of the domain name to another party; changes in the Organization's information that in effect represent a transfer of the domain name to another legal entity. These actions are not considered updates and require a new registration to be processed, which will be subject to a new registration fee.

    After the initial registration period expires, there is a renewal fee based on the length of the renewal period. The minimum renewal period is one year for US$50. A five year renewal is US$40 per year for a total of $200. Other renewal periods are available.

    We offer substantial referral commissions to Internet Service Providers and other resellers. Please contact us for more information about our reseller/commission program.


    How can I easily pay for my domain name ?

    We accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, and Discover when you register a name on our automated web site. Our web page supports encryption for the transmission of your credit card data, which is not retained at our site after billing. If it's unlocked, just click on the lock icon to toggle into a secure mode, if your browser supports SSL.


    Does Tonic accept checks ?

    Yes, if you abide by Tonic's strict pre-payment policy: Checks must be deposited by Tonic before the name can be registered, and must be payable to "Tonic" in US funds (or equivalent foreign currency at current exchange rates). The amount and term length details are listed on www.tonic.to/newcust.htm.

    If the requested domain name has been taken by the time the check is deposited, Tonic will issue a refund.

    All of the required information found on www.tonic.to/newcust.htm (especially email address!) should be mailed to:

    Tonic Domains Corp.
    P.O. Box 42
    Pt San Quentin, CA 94964
    U.S.A.
    
    along with the check.


    San Quentin!? Isn't that a California prison?

    Yes, but it's also a tiny village right at the foot of the Richmond / San Rafael bridge in Marin County, California, USA. Its shore has some of the best summer wind surfing conditions on the San Francisco Bay.


    How do I renew my domain name ?

    Thirty days before your domain name registration expires, you will automatically be sent an email reminder. You can easily renew your name by credit card from our web site, at www.tonic.to/renewal.htm.

    At that time, you can choose to renew your name for one, two, three, five, ten, twenty five or one hundred years! Tonic is the only domain registry offering these multi-year registrations.


    How do I transfer a domain name from one owner to another ?

    To transfer a domain name the current owner must first create a transfer key. The new owner uses that key to re-register the domain in their name. Domain name transfers are considered new registrations. All new registration charges apply.

    DO NOT give away your master password as a method of transferring domain names --- this will result in reassigning the ownership of ALL of the domain names registered under that customer handle!

    If you have a transfer key for a domain name, go to www.tonic.to/transfersld.htm.


    Why are there 2 passwords, a Master Password and a DNS Password ?

    When you create a new domain name, you are asked to supply both a Master Password and a DNS Password. They protect different kinds of information. With the Master Password you can change all of your customer information, including the passwords. If you only know the DNS Password, you can only change the DNS nameserver information for your domain name. You can give the DNS password to your ISP or technical staff, and they can set up the technical details of your nameservers. Be sure to remember both of your passwords.


    How long before the servers have the info for my new domain ?

    The authoritative nameservers for .TO (tonic.to) are updated with information from our customer database every six hours. Note that you have to specify DNS information for your domain before it appears in the .TO zonefile.


    Does Tonic offer a whois service ?

    Tonic does not maintain a whois database that provides registrant information, as many of our customers consider the public display of this information invasive of their privacy. In fact, we will never sell a mailing list of our customers.

    We also do have a web-based facility similar to whois, that lists DNS and other domain name info, without revealing the customer name. Try for instance: http://www.tonic.to/whois?best.to. There is also a whois server on port 43 of whois.tonic.to.

    To verify your .TO domain names are available worldwide, you can use a tool like nslookup or dig.


    I'm a spammer. Is a .TO domain something I should use ?

    Tonic feels very strongly that the sending of unsolicited bulk email or excessive Usenet posting ("spamming") constitutes theft of service, and we do not condone the use of .TO domain names for this purpose.

    If we receive complaints that a .TO domain name has been used for this purpose, we will advise the domain owner of the complaint and request that they desist from this activity. Tonic reserves the right to remove any .TO name registration if a name is used as a source of spam, or an address to which to reply to such bulk mail solicitations. We will also publish the names and contact information for any accounts terminated for such a reason.


    What happens to expired names ?

    Registered owners of names are sent email warning them that their name registration is about to expire, and detailing how to renew the name. One month after expiration, names which have not been renewed are once again made available for registration on a first-come first-served basis.


    Does .TO allow the registration and use of Internationalized Domain Names ("IDN") ?

    Yes.


    What character sets are supported in an IDN registration under .TO ?

    At present, .TO allows the registration of domain names containing any unicode code point.


    What is not allowed in .TO IDN registrations ?

    .TO does not allow intentional homonym registrations. .TO has zero tolerance of malicious use of our ccTLD domain namespace. Registrations that are reported to be a "homonym" type registration used to perpetrate spam, phishing, fraud, or any activities deemed by Tonic to be inappropriate or illegal may be removed from the .TO zonefile without notice to the registrant.

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