Quest for a short domain
April 17, 2006 3:35 PM   Subscribe

How can I get a list of every unregistered 4-letter domain name?

I understand there are around 450k 4-letter domains, and about 20% of them are left. Is there any way (preferably for free) to get a list of them?

Of course, if you know where I can get a list of all the ones that *have* been registered, I guess it wouldn't be that difficult to figure it out for myself.
posted by reklaw to Computers & Internet (24 answers total)
 
I think that 20% figure just referes to .com domains, I hardly think all the country code TLDs would really be that popular.
posted by tiamat at 3:39 PM on April 17, 2006


Ah, yeah, I knew I left something out. I mean .com-only.
posted by reklaw at 3:41 PM on April 17, 2006




To be precise, there are 264 = 456 976 four-letter domain names.
posted by Johnny Assay at 3:54 PM on April 17, 2006


it's a bit higher because numbers are possibilities and one can use dashes. So it's 37^4 (minus a couple because I don't think that www.----.com is legal, but I don't know the official rules).
posted by zpousman at 4:49 PM on April 17, 2006


Johnny Assay wrote...
To be precise, there are 264 = 456 976 four-letter domain names.

On the right track, but not quite. A domain name can contain the letters a-z, 0-9, and hyphens.

So, 374 = 1 847 161

I have now filled my pedantic geek quota for the day.
posted by tkolar at 4:55 PM on April 17, 2006


Damnit, zpousman beat me to the pedantic geekiness.
posted by tkolar at 4:57 PM on April 17, 2006


Well, I tried a search at whois.sc of the wildcard character '*', omitting numbers and with the domain length limit set at 4 characters. It said there were 65,971 results, but then said the search function was unavailable. Hope I didn't crash it!
posted by statolith at 4:58 PM on April 17, 2006


I know at least six that are available and I own another one, do you really think that there is value in four letter domains?
posted by jonah at 5:31 PM on April 17, 2006


Do I think there's value? I don't know... I'm not looking to speculate so much as have a nice, short-as-possible domain for myself. All the 3-letter .coms are taken, so...
posted by reklaw at 5:36 PM on April 17, 2006


I didn't just mean monetary value, but of value to you in some way, as in why four random letters instead of more letters that might mean something.

Email me (address on profile) if you want me to tell you a couple that I saw that are available.
posted by jonah at 5:47 PM on April 17, 2006


(I one-up your pedantic-ness by pointing out that "four-letter" names are not the same as "four-character" names, and the original 456k number was correct.)

Anyways, the real trick is that memorable is not the same as short. A four letter name with no vowels ('cxqp.com', taken) is usually less memorable than a longer name with a well placed 'o' or 'a' (coxquip.com, available!).
posted by smackfu at 6:32 PM on April 17, 2006


(I reclaim my uber-pedantic-ness by pointing out that one definition of "letter" is "A written symbol or character used in the graphemic representation of a word, such as the h in Thames." Thus, in the current context 3 is a letter as it is used to spell l33t. I will graciously split the difference with you, however, and agree that a hyphen is not a letter)

reklaw, I believe an exhaustive search is not the right approach to take on this. As an example, I present the first 64 unclaimed domain names that don't include numbers. If you allow numbers, the same sample contains 2351 unclaimed domain names. And we're only up to "ai" here.

(if you want the 2351 names, drop me email. I won't be continuing the lookup, as my ISP is probably already writing me a love letter as we speak)

aaku.com
abyk.com
abyt.com
abzz.com
achx.com
actf.com
acvg.com
acvv.com
adag.com
addp.com
adka.com
adzo.com
aedf.com
aedm.com
aewp.com
afgy.com
afjb.com
afjp.com
aflf.com
afqj.com
afqk.com
afql.com
afqn.com
afqv.com
afqw.com
afqx.com
afqz.com
agcz.com
aghs.com
agit.com
agvx.com
agwq.com
agxk.com
agxq.com
agxr.com
agxv.com
agxw.com
agyq.com
agzf.com
agzh.com
agzk.com
agzq.com
agzv.com
agzw.com
ahmg.com
ahqk.com
ahqw.com
ahvx.com
ahvz.com
ahwv.com
ahzv.com
aifa.com
aiiy.com
aijd.com
aijq.com
aikq.com
aimy.com
ainh.com
aipq.com
aiqf.com
aiqg.com
aiqk.com
aiqp.com
aiqy.com
posted by tkolar at 7:59 PM on April 17, 2006


I was just about to ask "what shall I get my cousin Ahqk for her birthday?", but you've solved the problem for me!
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:27 PM on April 17, 2006


On the right track, but not quite. A domain name can contain the letters a-z, 0-9, and hyphens.

So, 374 = 1 847 161


Domain names must start with a letter, so it'd be

26*373 = 1,316,978

aha!
posted by null terminated at 10:47 PM on April 17, 2006


Nice try! Now go visit

http://www.10thingswithkids.com/

or one of the many other domains that start with numbers.
posted by tkolar at 10:52 PM on April 17, 2006


ignore my idiotic post.

They can't start with a dash though, so

36*37^3
posted by null terminated at 11:12 PM on April 17, 2006


Wow. A) some people have *way* too much time on their hands and 2) some people just make crap up.

tkolar - how/where did you query those?
posted by FlamingBore at 1:07 AM on April 18, 2006


If you are willing to put this on the .com requirement, you can probably get something short and memorable. I have a domain like this for posting temporary things to newsgroups or sending links in emails: http://pimen.to

An international TLD list and a crossword dictionary can provide many possibilities (and hours of fun!)
posted by nonmyopicdave at 1:44 AM on April 18, 2006


If you're so inclined, you can also download the registry of domains straight from verisign. You'll need to fax 'em a form, though...
posted by ph00dz at 6:35 AM on April 18, 2006


FlamingBore wrote...
tkolar - how/where did you query those?

I wrote a little C program that attempted to DNS resolve "aaaa.com", "aaab.com", "aaac.com", etc. and printed out the names that couldn't be resolved.

At the rate it was going, I'd say it would have had to run for about 72 hours to try out the complete list.
posted by tkolar at 11:12 AM on April 18, 2006


null terminated wrote...
They can't start with a dash though, so

36*37^3


If you're going to do this, please at least go to the RFC. You want RFC3696 Section 2, which points out among other things (my emphasis):

If the hyphen is used, it is not permitted to appear at
either the beginning or end of a label.

posted by tkolar at 11:35 AM on April 18, 2006


tkolar - crafty, but not definitive. There are all sorts of reasons why a validly registered domain wouldn't resolve. But it's certainly a start.
posted by FlamingBore at 3:19 PM on April 18, 2006


tkolar - crafty, but not definitive. There are all sorts of reasons why a validly registered domain wouldn't resolve. But it's certainly a start.

Crafty is not how I would describe it. "Ugly brute force" comes to mind.

But yes, please don't coming suing me when you can't get "aimy.com". The 64 I posted were meant as a loose sample, to demonstrate to reklaw that his wish for a full list was IMHO misguided.
posted by tkolar at 4:07 PM on April 18, 2006


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