Intranet Vs Extranet – Differences and Comparison
20 Aug 2021
Nearly half of the world is on the internet today for daily essentials, People from companies to institutions stay connected via the internet, and to provide secured connectivity to these online communities we have intranet and extranet.
The Internet, Intranet, and Extranet are all forms of computer networks, but they have distinct differences in terms of accessibility and purpose.
The Internet is a global network that connects millions of computers and devices around the world. It is publicly accessible to anyone with an Internet connection, and it is used for a wide range of purposes, such as email, web browsing, online shopping, and social media.
An Intranet is a private network that is accessible only to a specific group of people, such as employees of a company. It is used for internal communication and sharing of information within an organization. An Intranet can be accessed via a web browser and is often used for tasks such as document management, employee directories, and company news.
An Extranet is a hybrid of an Intranet and the Internet. It is a private network that is accessible to a specific group of people, such as customers, partners, or vendors, who have been granted permission to access it. It allows external parties to access an organization’s internal resources, such as product catalogs, order tracking systems, and customer support portals.
Intranet vs Extranet vs Internet – Even though both have the same purpose to enhance communication and collaboration in organizations, they have some differences where an Intranet as the prefix says “intra” inside the organization helps employees to stay secure and connected within the organization network, extranet is for sharing access to external stakeholders from outside the organization network and the internet is a global network of interconnected computers and servers that enables communication and sharing of information across the world.
What are the Internet, Intranet, and Extranet?
In simple terms, data available on the internet is public and can be accessed by anyone, and similarly, data available on the intranet or extranet is private which requires permissions from organizations to access information, documents, files, etc.
Though the intranet works on the same principles as the internet, it imposes restrictions on the type of user and the way the user uses it. The intranet provides the organization a centralized control over the tasks, documents, and collaboration helping them to streamline the business process.
Both intranet and extranet come with a set of versions to support types of use and avoid additional costs. Intranet benefits organizations over the internet by providing:
- Secured collaboration platform
- Digital content management systems
- Knowledge and learning management
- Easy search functions to reduce the average time spent
- Improved HR functions
- Centralized control over the business flow
Where the extranet benefits organizations by enabling them to control external stakeholder actions over the documents, information, and files they share.
- Bridges the privacy and security gaps between organizations and customers
- Helps to automate approvals
- Real-time project or process updates
- Customer self-service
Combination of Intranet and extranet:
When comparing and finding the difference between intranet and extranet for your organization consider the combination of them for an overall secured environment where the intranet will be handling the internal security and external extranet.
Intranet has been transformed completely to adjust to this new era of digital transformation where business leaders are all set to achieve new digital footprints, and next-gen intranet solutions with more capabilities, flexibility, and user-friendliness to drive all your business flows.
Cloud-based intranet solutions are the next-gen intranet for companies to uphold mobility in the workplace, modern intranet solutions provide a secure cloud platform by allowing team members to work together with 3rd party tool integrations to make everything accessible from a single location under a secured network. Using an extranet in addition to an intranet boosts enterprise security by allowing both internal and external users to access documents and information within enterprise-controlled boundaries.
Advantages of Intranet:
Intranets allow businesses to quickly share information and resources within the organization. They are typically accessed by personnel within a firm rather than customers or external partners. This makes them a fantastic way for businesses to keep their staff informed and offer them the most up-to-date information without having to share sensitive information with the public or other businesses.
Intranets also allow companies to increase employee productivity by making it easy for employees to get access to company information and resources, without having to travel all the way to a server room or other remote location.
Disadvantages of Intranet:
Some disadvantages of Intranet that make them less desirable than Extranets are,
- They are restricted to employees of the company, which limits the use of intranets to small businesses.
- Intranets are often slower than Extranets and are not as secure. This makes it harder for small businesses to get the information they need from large corporations, which can be a major disadvantage.
Advantages of Extranet:
The extranet is a desirable feature for many organizations due to the fact that extranets provide a number of advantages: They can reduce the administration overhead associated with managing a stateful application, or they can provide a single, consolidated system for managing access to enterprise resources. They also can help keep sensitive data out of the public realm. Extranets can be used to separate the content that is available to and seen by internal and external audiences.
Disadvantages of Extranet:
The most obvious disadvantage of an extranet is that it is only accessible by the company that has installed it. This means that if your company is not using an extranet, your employees cannot access the information stored on it. This could result in a decrease in productivity and an increase in errors. It can also be difficult to manage multiple extranets, which can be a security risk if not done correctly.
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What is the difference between Intranet and Extranet?
Basically, an intranet is used for the secured internal communication in an organization without any presence of third-party vendors or external stakeholders, and for the external users to access the same as internal users we have an extranet.
Similarities between the intranet and extranet
Similarities are they both have the content to serve their users but with limited access for externals or extranet users.
Are intranet and extranet really a good combination for organizations?
Yes, the combination of intranet & extranet is really useful for organizations to build a secured platform for both internal and external users.
Type of organizations use intranet and extranet
The companies that handle its day-to-day processes online, who store documents, files, etc., use intranet and who also share this with others use extranet.
Comparison between the intranet vs extranet
As these two services may differ in their way of serving content to end-user their purpose is to protect data from any mischievous attacks.