I can’t remember how many people told me that a certain domain is available for registration, and when I asked them to tell me how they checked, they reply: Google. That is not the proper way to check if domain name is available for registration. If the domain is not showing up on Google, it simply means it wasn’t yet indexed by Google! Also, if you type a domain name in your address bar (in your browser), and nothing opens up, maybe hosting wasn’t set up, but the domain name may still be registered.
How do you check if a domain name is available or not?
First of all, it depends on the TLD (top level domain). If it’s a .com it’s more simple because every domain registrar supports that TLD and it’s easy. If it’s a TLD with several policies and laws (like Croatian .hr) then it’s a different ball game. Even if it is available for registration, you have to be Croatian to buy one.
The best place to check is the corresponding registrar.
How to check if a .IO domain name is available or not?
For example, if you want to register a .io check http://www.nic.io/. If you want to check a .hr domain, go to http://www.dns.hr/. If you want to check .me, open http://domen.me/ This is the best place to check because there’s a lesser chance these guys are front running (like some unknown domain checker, whois info service).
You can’t really buy domain names at these places, so you have to find a registrar where you can register that domain.