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Internet vs. Extranet: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 26, 2023
The internet is a global network accessible to anyone, while an extranet is a restricted network that allows specific outside users access.

Key Differences

The internet is a vast, public network, while an extranet is a private network, often used by businesses.
Anyone can access the internet, but access to an extranet is usually restricted to certain groups.
The internet contains a vast range of information and services, whereas an extranet is typically limited to specific functions or data.
Security on the internet varies widely, but extranets generally have strict security measures.
The internet is decentralized and not owned by anyone, while an extranet is controlled by an organization.

Comparison Chart


Public and accessible to everyone
Private and accessible to specific users


General information and services
Specific functions or data for certain groups


Varies, generally less controlled
Strict, controlled access


Decentralized, no single ownership
Owned and managed by an organization


Limited to specific users or organizations

Internet and Extranet Definitions


A global system of interconnected computer networks.
She used the internet to research for her project.


Has restricted access, unlike the public internet.
Access to the extranet requires secure authentication.


Accessible to the general public worldwide.
Millions access the internet daily for various needs.


A controlled private network allowing access to specific external users.
The company's extranet allows suppliers to check inventory.


A network that uses the TCP/IP protocol suite.
The internet has revolutionized communication worldwide.


Often used for collaboration among business partners.
They used an extranet for secure document sharing.


A decentralized network without a governing body.
The internet's decentralized nature fosters innovation.


Typically features higher security than the internet.
Sensitive data is shared over the extranet with enhanced security.


Provides a wide range of information and services.
The internet offers endless educational resources.


Can be part of a company's intranet extending to external users.
The extranet connects clients to specific company resources.


A publicly accessible system of networks that connects computers around the world via the TCP/IP protocol.


An extension of an institution's intranet, especially over the World Wide Web, enabling communication between the institution and people it deals with, often by providing limited access to its intranet.


(computing) A private computer network that uses Internet protocols and can be accessed by authorized individuals via the Internet.


What is an extranet?

A private network allowing access to specific external users.

Who can access the internet?

It is accessible to the general public.

What is the internet?

A global system of interconnected computer networks.

Who can access an extranet?

Access is restricted to specific groups or individuals.

What are common uses of the internet?

For information, communication, entertainment, and services.

What protocol does the internet use?

It primarily uses the TCP/IP protocol suite.

How has the internet impacted society?

It has revolutionized communication, business, and access to information.

Who manages an extranet?

It's managed by the organization that owns it.

How is access controlled on an extranet?

Through secure logins, VPNs, and other security measures.

Is an extranet secure?

Yes, it generally has strict security measures.

Can an extranet be part of an intranet?

Yes, it can extend an intranet to external users.

Are there regulations governing the internet?

Regulations vary by country, but the internet itself has no centralized governance.

Is the internet owned by any country or company?

No, it's a global, decentralized network.

Is the internet decentralized?

Yes, it has no central governing body.

Can you find an extranet through a search engine?

No, access is restricted and not publicly indexed.

What is an example of an extranet use?

A supplier portal for order management.

What are common uses of an extranet?

For business collaboration and sharing specific data.

Is the internet secure?

Security varies and can be vulnerable.

Can anyone create an extranet?

Typically, businesses or organizations create extranets.

Can extranets be accessed from anywhere?

Yes, if the user has the necessary credentials and permissions.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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