Difference Between Internet, Intranet and Extranet


Main Difference

The World Wide Web is a platform where millions of people come every day in search of information. Most of the times they come across different terms which confuse them and one central point of discussion for an ordinary person is the difference between internet, intranet and extranet. These terms seem to be similar in many ways but are different. The Internet is a place where people from all over the world can send and share information. It consists of a communication network that extends globally and connected together for ease of sharing. An intranet is a communication system similar to the internet and works exactly the same with the help of the internet, but the only difference is that instead of being a global system it is restricted to a particular place and can be considered as a private network. Extranet, on the other hand, is an extension of intranet where the system is protected even more and is only accessible to particular people. Both intranet and extranet are dependent on the internet, but the internet is not reliant on either of them. Most organizations such as a company or universities have intranet for their purposes and can be viewed in the premises. Extranet is used by different businesses for sharing of private information with particular people while the Internet is used for general purposes. They have varying levels of ease. The Internet does not require any passwords. The intranet will not need any details when accessed from the place of use, but extranet always requires login and password information. An internet and intranet can be called different because intranet does not always depend on the internet, the mixture of these two is referred to as an extranet. An intranet can be called a private internet while an extranet can be called a private intranet.

Comparison Chart

A global network which is available to anyone who wants to access informationAn intranet is unique to an organization or group of people who work together at a placeExtranet is for individuals or group of personnel who want to send private information
PublicPrivate intermediatelyExtremely Private
IndependentIndependent yet dependent on internetDependent on internet and intranet
NoCan haveYes

What is Internet?

The Internet is a global network of computing systems which are connected to each other and help in providing information to everyone who has access. When a web address is entered, the internet makes use of internet protocol address which tells the exact location of the computer, where it is present. From there it gets the information from sets of devices known as the web server which can have a domain name and an address which is then displayed with the help of a browser. It has a basic level of security and does not have firewalls to protect it. There is no requirement of the password to use it and people anywhere, who have the availability of a computer can get all the information which they require.


What is Intranet?

An intranet is a platform which works on the same principals as the internet but is not accessible to the outer world. It is unique to an organization such as universities which have information provided and can be viewed within the premises of the Institute. All the computer are connected with each other and have no connection with the outer world. When the intranet is connected to the internet, it will be protected with another level of security in the form of the firewall so that only particular people can reach it. To simplify it is a network on the computer which works without depending on the internet. There are files of intranet present inside the computer which help in gaining all the information without depending on the internet.

What is Extranet?

An Extranet is best explained as a network which depends on the internet but is restricted to specific users. It is more accurate than intranet in a way that only a few people instead of a particular place can get access. It is protected by a firewall and if the intranet is accessed from the internet to send or receive information it becomes an extranet. It is mostly used by business and companies who have to share sensitive data with each other. The firewall is used to switch between internet and intranet and lets only the people who can log in with the help of passwords or by internet protocol addresses. It can be used by individuals or a group of folks depending on the level of requirement.

Key Differences

  1. The Internet is a global network which is available to anyone who wants to access information. An intranet is unique to an organization or group of people who work together at a place. Extranet is for individuals or group of personnel who want to send private information.
  2. The Internet is a private network, the intranet is independent in its own way, but an extranet is dependent on internet and intranet.
  3. The Internet does not have firewall protection, the intranet can have firewall protection while extranet always has firewall protection.
  4. The Internet is used to gain general information. An intranet is used to share and see accurate Extranet is used to send and receive private information.
  5. The Internet is called a public domain, Intranet is known as a particular area while extranet is called private domain.
  6. The Internet can be used without any personal account. Intranet sometimes can require a login while extranet always requires a login.

Comparison Video

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Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss