Can you buy and own a domain name forever rather than rent it yearly?

I'm new at this and want to create a site of my own but can I keep it forever? Is there anyway I can keep that name without paying for it every year? Also, if it is not mine for ever, who is to prevent someone else from taking it over much like certain banks buy other ones out, although I don't pretend to... show more I'm new at this and want to create a site of my own but can I keep it forever? Is there anyway I can keep that name without paying for it every year? Also, if it is not mine for ever, who is to prevent someone else from taking it over much like certain banks buy other ones out, although I don't pretend to be anywhere near that level? Like if I've set up an e-commerce site with lots of pictures, etc of things I want to sell and I've invested a lot of time in it, can someone just come and take it away from me? If I have to rent an domain name, what's to prevent the domain lord from upping the price?
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