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Difference Between Intranet and Extranet

Intranet vs Extranet

There are many network systems that are utilized in business in order to increase productivity; Intranets and Extranets are one of them. An Intranet is basically a small personalized version of the Internet. It’s typically just a Local Area Network where Internet protocols like HTTP, FTP, and SMTP are implemented to provide a more uniform and easier environment to pass around information at work. An Extranet is an extension to an Intranet where other users who are not necessarily a part of the company are given limited access.

It may not seem directly obvious why other companies or organizations should be allowed access to an Intranet. But letting customers or business partners have access to information does present major benefits since it automates inquiries and cuts down on human resources. Extranets are often secured since only a select few are allowed access to it and the general public is kept out. This achieved by the numerous ways of user authentication.

Comparatively, users that are on the Intranet can utilize more resources than the users on the Extranet. The information that is made available on the Extranet is limited to what that specific network needs. Intranet users are mostly employees who need to communicate and access certain resources like records and databases.

Although Intranets and Extranets can exist outside of computers and the World Wide Web, it is here where we can see most modern applications of both. Intranets are often implemented within company computers and servers; although some companies allow access to the Internet or remote access via VPN. With Extranets, there is no way of escaping the Internet as it is the most economical means of connecting to separate networks.

Security-wise, Intranets are a lot more secure due to the limited interface with the Internet. Extranets are made less secure not only by the use of the Internet as a medium but also by the fact that the administrators of the Intranet have no control over the networks that connect to the Extranet. When sensitive information is being transmitted on the Intranet, all parties need to take all security precautions to prevent spying and other similar activities.

1. An Intranet is owned by a single group while an Extranet extends to users outside the group
2. Intranet users have more access to resources than Extranet users
3. Intranets do not usually go through the Internet while typical Extranets do
4. Intranets are easier to secure than Extranets

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