The Internet was originally developed in a very English-oriented way, and by design, domain names only supported regular letters and numbers, as well as the hyphen ‘-‘. As the Internet expanded and the non-English language userbase began to grow, demand for support of other languages and character-sets grew. This required special work to expand the functionality of the Internet domain name structure and such domain names were termed “Internationalized Domain Names”.
For a more complete explanation, please see the Wikipedia article here.
What domain types support IDN?
Not all domain types support IDN, and those that do may not support all the different languages. For an exhaustive list please see here.
Why would I want one?
Some language-specific sites and companies wish to help empower non-English speaking Internet citizens to access the web more fully. Those using computers or operating systems in other languages face difficulty in even entering non-English characters on occasion. IDN works to make the Net more universally accessible and more diverse.
What are the limitations of IDN?
Not all browsers support IDN, and there are some very major security issues that have been found due to the fact that IDN domains frequently display in a browser in Punycode rather than the language in question.
What is Punycode and how do I use it?
Punycode is the special formatting that allows non-English characters to be understood by applications on the Internet which are written and designed in English (which is essentially the entire underlying structure of the net). To translate an internationalized domain name into Punycode for adding it to easyDNS, you can use an online translator such as the one found here.
How do I add one to my easyDNS account?
First, convert the domain name you wish to add for service or register using a Punycode converter. Once you have that ready, follow the instructions in Adding A Domain For DNS Service or Registering A Domain, but inserting the converted Punycode for the domain name you wish to add.
Does easyDNS support IDN for .CA domains?
.CA has announced that they will be rolling out IDN support in early 2013. Their implementation, however, is different from the standardized structure for IDN, and furthermore, they have not yet released full deployment instructions or a testing environment (as of mid-December 2012). As such, we have not yet begun any development towards this. We intend to support it in the future, but cannot give a firm ETA.