Intranets and Extranets

Posted by | August 20 | E-Commerce Websites, Web Design

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Intranets and Extranets

If you have heard the terms intranet (not to be confused with internet) and extranet thrown around quite a bit, but are not sure what they are, then you have come to the right place.

Intranet

An intranet is a common term used to describe a private network or multiple networks of computers, typically within an organization like a business or a school. It is meant to be a secure communication tool between people or workgroups using a network infrastructure to share information between members of an organization. You may be familiar with intranets at your local college or office. Intranets usually allow for internet access but are typically firewalled to keep the network safe from outside threats and unsafe sites. Intranet applications can include websites, message boards, forums, email applications and much more. Though first used within larger corporations, the affordability of simple intranets now allows small companies, non-profits and academic organizations to provide access to a wide array of employees, students and key users. Examples include posting work schedules for employees or other internal news that is only accessible through a username and password. Once you start extending your intranet to outside parties through specific channels, then we are talking about extranets.

Extranet

An extranet is essentially an extension of an intranet for outside people or organizations to access information. Common terms for extranets are web portals, which provide controlled access to privileged web pages. Odds are you have accessed many extranets yourself by logging into an e-commerce storefront to place an order.

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