Domain names (e.g. u2-web.com) are easier to remember then 127.0.0.1 or 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 which is what computers only know for internet addresses. Domain names make it easy and quickier for your visitors to find your site, your blog, your store, or forum then an IP address or a sub-domain (yourblog.bloggingprovider.com). They allow search engines to index your site so you can be found in search results. Without a domain, you are just a number or sub-domain in a sea of names! Get a domain today. Be found, be named.
Domain transfers happen when you transfer a domain from one registrar to another. This usually renews the domain for an additional year after the transfer is successful. A transfer requires the domain to be unlocked and to have the EPP code retrieved from the current registrar. The EPP code is a password to the domain -- not all domains support/require this.
Domains work with a system called DNS (Domain Name Server), which translates domains in to internet addresses (IPs such as 127.0.0.1 or 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1). This happens by your computer connecting to servers called nameservers and querying them for the domain. The nameserver will return the IP address for your computer then to connect to and ask for the web page or email message.
Domains are registered with a registrar system that is maintained by ICANN and various other agencies around the world. Registrations are yearly and domains can be registered for up to 10 years generally.*
When you register a domain, that registration information is inputted in to a whois server. This whois server allows anyone on the internet to look up who registered the domain. This is mainly used to contact domain owners about abuse, copyright notices, etc.
If privacy is a concern for you, you can add on whois protection when you order the domain. Whois protection works by replacing your information with generic information. Whois is a information query of the domain that is usually required by ICANN to have valid information to return basic registration information such address of the registrant. Whois protection is allowed as long as the registrar has the true information.