.nu is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) assigned to the island state of Niue. It was one of the first ccTLDs to be marketed to the Internet at large as an alternative to the gTLDs .com, .net, and .org. Playing on the phonetic similarity between nu and new, it was promoted as a new TLD with an abundance of good domain names available.

TLD typeCountry code top-level domain
Registry.SE (The Internet Foundation in Sweden)
SponsorInternet Users Society - Niue
Intended useEntities connected with  Niue
Actual useUsed for a multitude of sites all over, few with any connection to Niue; especially popular in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium since "nu" is Swedish, Danish and Dutch for "now"
Registration restrictionsNone
StructureRegistrations permitted at second level
DocumentsTerms and conditions
Dispute policiesUDRP
Registry websiteIIS.se


As of September 2, 2013 .se (The Internet Infrastructure Foundation) has assumed responsibility for administration and technical operation of the .nu domain.[1]

In November 2018, the government of Niue initiated a lawsuit against the Swedish Internet Foundation in the Stockholm District Court, to obtain control over the domain. It stated that the Foundation had "taken over Niue's .nu domain without consent in 2013", resulting in a significant loss of revenue for the country. Niue's government states that the .nu domain is a "national asset of Niue".[2] The lawsuit was accepted by the court on March 20, 2019 with the case number T16029-18. The case was ruled by Higher Court to be moved to and tried at Södertörns Tingsrätt, the largest Court in Stockholm municipal. The re-continued trail started January 24, 2020.

Usage of .nuEdit

The .nu domain is particularly popular in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium, as nu is the word for "now" in Swedish, Danish and Dutch[3] – an example of a domain hack. Although nu in Norwegian is an archaic word for "now", with being used instead, .nu was initially more popular than .no, with 43,000 .nu addresses being registered in Norway in 1999 compared to 30,000 .no ones.[4] Partially owing to restrictive domain rules for the ccTLD assigned to Sweden, .se, .nu was used for creative marketing of websites such as www.tv.nu to show what is currently showing on TV, and in the Netherlands for websites like waarbenjij.nu, Dutch for whereareyou.now.

Internationalised domainsEdit

In March 2000, .NU Domain Ltd became the first TLD to offer registration of Internationalized domain names,[5] supporting the full Unicode character set.[6] Unlike other TLDs, no browser plugin or punycode capable browser was required on the client side for use of these names, as .NU Domain's web servers converted and redirected any web queries issued in a variety of international character encodings. However, in March 2010, .NU Domain announced at ICANN that they had recently disabled their general wildcard domain name resolution technology, and thus were implementing IDNs only by the now standard punycode implementation, and were reducing the accepted set of IDN characters for .NU Domain names to a subset of the ISO-8859-1 western European characters.[7]

Domain revocation policyEdit

.NU domain names are revoked without refund for displaying images of child pornography, being involved with phishing, spamming, email theft, search engine abuse, or any unlawful purpose.[8]

In February 2012, library.nu, a site listing links to scanned books, a substantial number of which are claimed to be pirated copyrighted material, went offline after a coalition of the world’s largest book publishers obtained an injunction against the site. A few days later the site also had its domain name revoked by domain registrar Nunames. The domain revocation was recorded in screenshots taken at the time.[9]


Domain names can be as short as one character. A premium of €500/yr applies to name registrations of one character in length, €250 for domain names of two-character length, and €30 per year for domain names of any other length, although alternate registrars have two-letter domain names available for the price of normal length names. In June, 2008, .NU Domain began permitting registration of all-numeric domain names.[10]


A 2005 UDRP case regarding nudomain.com[11] made the assertion under "Factual background" that "The Complainants [WorldNames, Inc. and NU Domain Ltd] own and operate the .NU ccTLD". The companies in question are operating the registry for .nu on behalf of the Internet Users Society, but it is incorrect to state that they "own" the TLD, as TLDs in general are delegated and managed rather than "owned".[12][13] The case does, however, point out that these companies own a registered trademark to ".nudomain" in several countries.

McAfee SiteAdvisorEdit

In March 2007, McAfee SiteAdvisor issued a report explaining the functionality of SiteAdvisor. As part of that report, .nu domain websites were stated to be among the highest-risk TLDs for browser exploits. However, in most other respects, .nu sites were ranked overall as a low to moderate risk.[14] Shortly thereafter, .NU Domain issued a press release stating that SiteAdvisor had ranked .nu sites among the lowest for risk.[15] In 2008 McAfee reported that .net and .com had become the riskiest TLDs.[16]


  1. ^ ".SE completes successful transition of the .nu domain". iis.se.
  2. ^ "Niue launches legal action in Sweden over domain name", Radio New Zealand, 10 December 2018
  3. ^ "nu". OmegaWiki. 2006-07-22. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
  4. ^ ".nu større enn .no", IT Avisen, NO, 11 August 1999.
  5. ^ "NU Domain Ltd Challenges .Com With Announcement of First Non-English Internet Addresses; Microsoft endorses NUBIND as compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0, and Windows 2000". Thefreelibrary.com. 2000-03-07. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
  6. ^ "IDN details". Nunames.nu. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
  7. ^ "Mozilla - add .nu to IDN whitelist". Mozilla. 2010-04-19.
  8. ^ "NU Domain Terms and Conditions, section 12, "Acceptable Use"". Nunames.nu. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
  9. ^ "Domain Registrar Profits From Revoked Library.nu Domain". torrentfreak.com. 2012-02-24. Archived from the original on 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  10. ^ "NU Domain Launches Numeric Domain Names". Archived from the original on 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  11. ^ See the WIPO Administrative Panel Decision
  12. ^ Computerworld NZ: Niue struggles against ‘digital colonialism’ Archived 2007-09-11 at the Wayback Machine, 27 March 2007
  13. ^ "Niue government criticised over internet stance". Radio New Zealand International. 13 November 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  14. ^ SiteAdvisor: Mapping the MalWeb, March 2007
  15. ^ .NU Domain Press Release: McAfee Report Ranks .NU Websites Among Lowest Risk, March 2007
  16. ^ Keats, Shane (2008-06-04). "Mapping the Mal Web, Revisited" (PDF). McAfee. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2008-06-04.

External linksEdit