(Xinhua) Despite the economic downturn, Internet domain name registrations posted a significant 16-percent growth last year, a new report has found.

The Internet added 24 million new domain names in 2008, bringing the total registrations across all top-level domains to 177 million, VeriSign, an Internet infrastructure services provider, said in a report released on Wednesday.

However, the report did see signs of slower growth in the last quarter of 2008, when the global economic crisis deepened.

More than 10.1 million new Internet domain names were registered in the last three months of 2008, representing a decline of 12 percent from the third quarter last year and 17 percent from the same quarter in the previous year, the report noted.

According to the report, in the last quarter of 2008, the five largest top-level domains in terms of base size were .com, .cn (China), .de (Germany), .net and .org.

A domain name is the address of a website that is intended to be easily identifiable and easy to remember and can help connect computers on the Internet.

Top-level domain such as .com is the last part of an Internet domain name or the group of letters that follow the final dot of any domain name.