ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is proposing a change that could streamline the way you access your home’s internal network. That means, instead of using the 192.168.x.x address to configure your router, you’d just need to type .internal.
As pointed out by The Register, ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) first identified a need to reserve a top-level domain for private networks in 2020 — but not necessarily to make it easier to connect to your router.
The SSAC wants the new .internal string to prevent private domain-naming schemes from clashing with other networks. Currently, the SSAC says the “informal use of top-level domains,” such as the .dlink domain used by the networking company D-Link, has “the potential to conflict with the root zone, or other designated purposes.”
ICANN initially considered a total of 35 different strings but eventually settled on two choices: “.internal” or “.private.” The organization ultimately went with .internal, as it found .private “may carry the unintended imputation of privacy to a higher degree.” We don’t know how exactly you’d structure the .internal domain to configure your router or other devices on your home’s network just yet, but more details are bound to emerge in the coming weeks.
For now, though, you can still expect to access your router through the 192.168.x.x address. ICANN is taking comments from the public and will decide how to proceed from there.