Many tools are used for distributing information; the first tool that comes to mind is the Internet. The advantage of the internet is not hidden from anyone, it is the base of today’s world, and there is nothing that can be searched or communicated with people using this tool.
But the major disadvantage of the internet is that it is a type of public tool, which means everyone has access to this, and then in case of some private information shared between professionals cannot be done using the Internet. To overcome this, there are other types of tools for sharing information.
Intranet and extranet are tools used for sharing information. The following are detailed, along with the differences between both of these tools that will help understand them.
- Intranets are private networks accessible only to an organization’s employees, while extranets allow limited access to external users.
- Extranets facilitate communication and collaboration with external parties, while intranets promote internal communication and information sharing.
- Intranets are generally more secure than extranets due to the limited access of external users in extranets.
Intranet vs Extranet
An intranet is a private computer network that is accessible only to authorized individuals within an organization, facilitating the sharing of information and resources. An extranet is a network that allows authorized individuals to access a company’s intranet from outside of the organization.
Intranet is a network owned by private organizations for sharing information among its members. It serves the purpose of sharing information and includes many other computing services. It is owned and managed by a single organization that has access to only internal members of the organization. It has a higher level of security and is derived from the internet. It is used to share information in a small area and maintain the secrecy and privacy of the content being shared.
An extranet is another network tool private organisations use for computing services and sharing information. Single or multiple organizations own it and has access to more members, including some of the external members, for example, debenture and shareholders of the organization. It is further derived from the Intranet, as it has more reach and covers a relatively larger area. It is also secure and maintains the privacy of the information shared.
|Parameters of Comparison||Intranet||Extranet|
|Information distributed organizations||Single organization||Single or multiple organizations|
|Network area||Small||Comparatively large|
|Accessibility||Internal members only||Internal and external members|
|Ownership||Single ownership||Multiple ownership|
What is Intranet?
It is mainly used to convey messages or information in the organization among its workers. Following are some of the advantages of Intranet:
- Cost: cost of this tool used for circulating information in the organization is low. Therefore, it also makes the membership fees are low. Further, there is not any important maintenance and printing cost included in this. Therefore it is an economically friendly option.
- Accessibility: by using the intranet, workers did not have to be 24 hours in front of their computers to get the data or any other information. Hence, it provides easy access to organizational data.
- Security: it is among one of the safest options for professional communication among the organisation’s employees. Access to the information is not given to any third party but only to the members who maintain the privacy and secrecy of data.
- Intra-personal communication: as mentioned above, it is clear how it contributes to professional communication, but along with this, it also promotes a social environment among people in the organization by promoting intrapersonal communication. Therefore, people working together can bond with each other.
Along with the above advantages, it also has other advantages such as time savings, coordinated effort, dynamic nature, profitability, etc.
What is Extranet?
This tool is used in several organizations for several purposes. It is being used more due to its following advantages:
- Communication: an extranet is a tool that allows communication on a large scale between multiple organizations and their external members. This communication is important to make a balance between internal and external members so that the organization can work efficiently.
- Flexibility: communication process is not limited to the working hours of the organizations. This process can take place anytime and anywhere. This makes the process of circulating or communicating information more flexible.
- Efficiency: No third party or tool is involved in communicating and other data-related activity, which makes the organization work more efficiently.
- Security: maintaining a professional relationship between different members of the organization is very important without violating the organisation’s privacy and secrecy. The extranet is exactly the tool that is the safest place that serves this purpose.
- Reduce Errors: this tool reduces errors such as any misunderstanding between suppliers and their customers, stakeholders, and working members in the organization. Therefore to work properly, it is important to keep a check on these errors.
Main Differences Between Intranet and Extranet
- Both of these are used for sharing information. For sharing information in the organization tool used is the Intranet, whereas when the information has to be shared between internal and external members tool is used in the extranet. It also means that the Intranet is only limited to spreading the information among the internal members, while the extranet is not limited to the internal member but is also used for external members.
- They are owned by organizations. The difference is in the number of organizations they are owned by. Intranet is owned by one organization, while one or more than one organizations can own the tool extranet. This also implies that one organization is responsible for managing the Intranet while many organizations are responsible for managing the extranet.
- In both of them, security is installed. In Intranet, it is installed through a firewall, whereas in the extranet, the main motive for installing the security is to separate the Intranet and extranet.
- In terms of connected devices, the Intranet has fewer or comparatively fewer numbers of devices connected with the tool, whereas the extranet has relatively more connected devices with the tool.
- Intranet is a type of private network in an organization, while an extranet is also a type of private network, but it is also used for distributing the public network among customers and suppliers.
- Intranet is inspired to derive from the internet, whereas the Intranet is further responsible for the introduction of the extranet.
- An example of the Intranet is WIPRO using the internal network, and an example of an extranet is DELL using the network for business-related information.
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Sandeep Bhandari holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computers from Thapar University (2006). He has 20 years of experience in the technology field. He has a keen interest in various technical fields, including database systems, computer networks, and programming. You can read more about him on his bio page.