IDN domains (domains with special characters) are slightly different in their use than normal domains.
Modern browsers like FireFox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer 7+ have built-in support for IDN domains, and therefore require no special setup from your visitors. Generally, one should not worry about the lack of IDN support from ones website visitors anymore.
When it comes to email, the most important thing is that the sender's computer/software supports IDN domains. Microsoft Outlook 2007 and later understand the use of IDN domains in email addresses, but there may be issues with older and other mail programs, such as. webmails. Here it can be mentioned that Gmail and Hotmail do not support sending to domains with special characters, so here you need to use the longer xn-- string described below.
Due to the above circumstances we always recommend that you buy a domain without æøå/åäö and then attach a possible. æøå/åäö domain to the main domain via your control panel. Eg. aeble.dk and æble.dk/päron.se and paron.se. This way, you ensure that people can send mails to you at aeble.dk/paron.se and at the same time see your page if they choose to use æble.dk/päron.se.
Technically, an IDN domain can also be written as a xn--string, e.g. æble.dk is written as xn--ble-xla.dk/päron.se is written as xn--pron-loa.se. If you use the xn--string, an IDN domain will always work, on all accounts and programs. Thus, it is often the xn - string used in different places. Ex. If you share a link to the page on Facebook, then the xn string will be used for the domain.
Article from the support category: Domain & DNS