Contrary to popular belief, domains do not expire when they say they do. If the owner of a domain does not renew by the expiration date of the domain, the domain goes into “expired” status. For 40 days, the domain is in a grace period where all services are shut off, but the domain owner may still renew the domain for a standard renewal fee. After 40 days are up, the domain’s status changes to “redemption period”. Finally, after the redemption period, the domain’s status will change to “locked” as it enters the deletion phase. The deletion phase is 5 days long, and on the last day between 11am and 2pm Pacific time, the name will officially drop from the ICANN database and will be available for registration by anybody. The entire process ends exactly 75 days after the listed expiration date. “The Drop” is the unpredictable three hour period of time in which the domain is deleted from VeriSign’s database and released back into the ecosystem.
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