Networking Basics:Domain names

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

Internal domain name and Internet domain name

To help secure your network, it is recommended that you use a different internal domain name and Internet domain name.

Internal domain name

An internal domain name is a friendly name that identifies your local area network (LAN) and helps you manage access to resources on your LAN (for example, user accounts, client computers, shared folders, or printers). The internal domain name information is also used by Windows SBS 2008 tools and applications, such as Exchange Server or Windows SharePoint Services. The internal (local) domain for your Windows SBS 2008 network is created automatically during installation by using the internal domain name that you provide.

  • The internal domain name is not registered, and it can be any name you choose.

  • The internal domain name must be a unique name on the internal network. The domain name and the server name cannot be the same.

If you use Apple Macintosh client computers that are running Mac OS X 10.2. or later on your network, see the Microsoft Web site ( for more information.

You cannot change this name after the installation finishes.

Internet domain name

An Internet domain name is a friendly name that is used to identify your server on the Internet.

  • You must purchase an Internet domain name from an accredited domain name registrar who registers it for use on the Internet.

  • The Internet domain name uses a public top-level domain name extension such as .com, .net, or .biz.

  • Setting up the Internet domain name is one of the Getting Started Tasks that you perform after the Windows SBS 2008 installation finishes.

Acquiring an Internet domain name

The Internet Address Management Wizard helps you set up your Internet domain name in Windows SBS 2008.

  • If you need to purchase a domain name, the wizard helps you find a domain registrar, and then it helps you purchase the domain name and automates subsequent internal or external setup that may be required.

  • If you already own a domain name that you want to use, the wizard helps you specify the domain name, and then it automates internal set up that may be required. However, you must set up the external DNS records manually.

  • If you already own a domain name but you want to transfer support to a new provider, the wizard helps you set up the existing domain name with the new provider.

For more information about the Internet Address Management Wizard and how to use the wizard, see “Managing Your Windows Small Business Server 2008 Network” at the Microsoft Web site (

Community Additions