We’ve added support for monitoring Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) using DNS Check.

The DNS protocol uses ASCII characters to represent domain names. That works fine for domains which only contain English alphabet characters, but leaves many other languages short-changed.

Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) address this shortcoming by encoding non-ASCII characters. Punycode is used to encode Unicode characters into ASCII representations. For example, domaiñ.com contains a non-ASCII ñ character, so Punycode translates it to xn--domai-sta.com.

Modern web browsers usually perform the Punycode translation for you behind the scenes. Similarly, DNS Check will automatically apply Punycode encoding for you as you add domains using non-ASCII characters. Of if you’ve also encoded your domains, you can enter them in that format.

After each international domain is entered into DNS Check, it’s displayed using Punycode encoding. We’re doing this to reduce ambiguity, since different Unicode characters can look very similar to one another, or even to plain ASCII characters.