The oldest registered .io domains

Inspired by an article I saw on Hacker News, I decided to look into the history of .io domain registrations.

The reason for this inspiration is because the first IO domain ever registered was actually only the 45th domain name ever registered - was registered on November 17, 1986. You can verify the creation date on the domain by looking at the WHOIS info.

So IO domains were cool even before .io existed. “IO” is used in IT as an abbreviation for input/output, which makes the .io domain useful for domain hacks, and which is part of the reason .io domains are popular with startups and open source projects.

But what is the actual oldest .io domain ever registered?

Despite .io domains becoming available in 1997, the oldest known registered .io domain is, first registered on 1998-05-14: WHOIS info

Yahoo was next and registered a couple of months later on 1998-07-15. These two are the only known .io domains registered in 1998.

Disney followed up about 7 months later and got in February 1999 (interestingly Disney didn’t get, which was registered almost 10 years later, in 2008, by someone else).

In 1999 the following domains were registered:

In 2000 there were a handful more:

In 2001 there were about the same amount of new registrations:

And in 2002 only:

From 2003 onward, registrations started to pick up.

Amazing as it is, 17 years after .io domains first became available, you can still get some great ones. Check out the current auctions on and also, there are some great .io domains dropping out of expiration soon.