What are the main differences between the Internet, Intranet and Extranet?

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Shane Conder
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In the corporate and personal world it is very common to use and know the differences between Internet, Intranet and Extranet and the main network services they offer.

In this article we will show you the differences between the internet, intranet, extranet and which are the main ones between these networks in so that you can give them appropriate use and enjoy them widely.

Internet uses

Without a doubt, it is a very familiar term to us. These are types of computer networks that thanks to the Internet we can navigate through these various networks and be in constant communication with the world.



It is a network of networks that allows the decentralized interconnection of computers through a set of protocols or formal rules of interaction called TCP / IP.

These TCP / IPs are the foundation of the Internet created for the purpose of connecting computers running different operating systems. It includes PCs, mini computers and mainframes that work with networks local and WAN.

The internet has a huge advantage because we can access it without having to have a username and password, as is the case with the intranet and extranet.

We simply need a device compatible with wireless or wired networking technology, with access to Internet. It is a practical tool with which you search for very varied content, from information of common interest, to downloading or using files or documents online from endless applications.

Intranet functions

The Intranet works as a network for companies and only ad exclusive use of the company or organization that accesses it. The Intranet is a tool that can help in communication, and what is better, at low cost. It is an internal network , which cannot be accessed by any user.



It allows the sharing of information, services or the use of operating systems within the same network and is usually manipulated by the organizers. For example, it can be very useful for companies that offer their workers access to certain information, documentation and particular services.

Is an management tool which becomes very useful for its users, where they are authorized to disseminate information and place it.

Users must use local servers and do not need external access to function. This helps simplify communication and also guarantees greater security and privacy. Of course, authentication will be required and the person has a password.

The semi-private extranet

Extranet it is a semi-private network which uses Internet protocols (TCP / IP, HTTP, among others) to make communications and is also limited in use. However, it does allow access by external users. It is a computer network that allows access to third parties, i.e. users external to the company.

It has a limit of users, but they can enter this network from anywhere in the world. In general, it is a way to expand the boundaries of the intranet.

It has been used by some companies that allow private access to their workers or authorized outside personnel who have a link to access it. Some main features of the extranet are:

  • Access: The extranet allows the access to customers and suppliers. The company grants permission to access certain areas of the site.


  • Protocol - uses the Internet protocol as well as the public communication system. In this way, you share relevant information to external users, such as suppliers or customers, in a secure way.
  • Security: Security on the extranet is a very important issue. The information between the site and users travels encrypted, thus being safe from possible attacks by cyber criminals.

In conclusion, the differences between the aforementioned networks are:


The Internet is for public use, does not require passwords or access codes and is completely free. The intranet is for private use to simplify information within the different departments of a company and its employees. And the extranet is for semi-private use where the company grants certain privileges to external users for the services it offers.

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