.ac Domain Names

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Make a name for your

website. Literally.

Your domain helps people find you online

The .ac domain stands for two main things:

  • Country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD): It’s the official internet code for Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. Though Ascension Island is the primary user of this domain, anyone in the world can register a website with a .ac extension.
  • Abbreviation for “Academic”: Due to its resemblance to “.ac” used in some country codes for academic institutions (like .ac.uk for the United Kingdom), some schools and universities have also registered domain names under .ac.

Here’s a breakdown of how the .ac domain is used:

  • Officially for: Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha
  • Open registration for: Everyone globally
  • Unofficially used for: Websites related to academia by some educational institutions
  • Also used for:
    • Companies or individuals involved in air conditioning (due to “AC” meaning air conditioning)
    • Playful domain names with “ac” (like “braini.ac”)

I hope this clarifies the meaning and uses of the .ac domain!

3 Reasons to Register Today

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Client Portal

A client area is a secure section of a website or online platform specifically designed for clients to access information and manage their accounts with a company or service provider. It's essentially a self-service portal for clients

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Domain management

Registering a new domain name with a domain registrar like govaio, Renewing your domain registration before it expires to prevent it from becoming available for someone else to register.

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Domain Security

Domain security is all about safeguarding your domain name from unauthorized access, hijacking, or other malicious activities. It's vital because your domain name is essentially your online address, and any compromise can have serious consequences.


Registration depends on the intended purpose:

  • For Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha: There’s no specific restriction, but local connections might be preferred.
  • For unofficial “academic” use: Anyone can register, but there’s no guarantee of association with educational institutions.


  • Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha: If your website targets these islands, a .ac domain provides local relevance.
  • Unofficial “academic” use: It might be easier to find your desired name compared to .edu (which has stricter rules).
  • Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha: Limited audience reach due to the small population of these islands.
  • Unofficial “academic” use: Not widely recognized for academic affiliation. Institutions often use .edu or their own country’s specific educational domain (e.g., .ac.uk for the United Kingdom).

Accredited domain registrars offer .ac registration. However, availability for unofficial “academic” use might vary.

Registration fees depend on the registrar you choose, but they are generally comparable to other domain extensions.

  • For Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha: Consider a more general .com domain if your target audience extends beyond these islands.
  • For academic purposes: If you have a legitimate educational affiliation, registering a domain with the appropriate ccTLD (e.g., .edu for US institutions) is recommended. Otherwise, a .org domain could be a suitable alternative.

I hope this clarifies things! Remember, using .ac for unofficial “academic” purposes might not be the most effective way to establish an academic connection.

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