An intranet is a private network or internet connection established within an organization or a building. The information shared among these systems is private and not available to the public networks. Basically, an intranet is built using TCP/ IP protocols and other internet protocols, which generally looks like a private connection—accessible only by members of an organization and other authorized users. The websites and software applications in intranet appear like any others, but the security and firewall surrounded by intranet keep away unauthorized users.
Now you have the basic idea of what is an intranet, let's explore it even further. Intranets are similar to the internet where information is exchanged from system to system. The major purpose of an intranet is to share information and resources among the employees within the company. An intranet connection is established with the same technologies and methodologies used in LANs and WANs. Eevn without any Internet connection, an intranet can be run.
Nowadays, Intranets are the fastest growing division of internet as they are very less expensive to build and manage than any other private networks.
Productivity: Adopting intranets in companies can help employees to view the information faster and access applications that are relevant to their roles and responsibilities. This helps the organizations to restrict access to certain resources and utilize the rest of the data from anywhere within their network or authorized workstations, simultaneously increasing employee performance.
Communication: It also serves as great communication tools within an organization, providing up-to-date strategic information related to the organization. Example: Nestle, a food processing company has benefited from investing in intranets, which reduced their everyday query calls.
Web publishing: Using web technologies the companies can maintain and easily access the information. For example, list of newly joined employees, manuals, company policies, recent news, training materials, and business documents can be accessed and replicated to their local servers easily on the intranet.
Business operations and management: Intranet facilitate the functionality of deploying and developing the business applications that support their internal business operations.
Cost effective: Data related to employees like procedure manuals, internal phone list, and requisition forms can be viewed via web-browser, without having to maintain any hard copy—saving money on printing and maintenance.
Collaboration: Information can be easily accessed by authorized users and promotes teamwork.
Personalization: As intranets provide the user-specific environment, it is easy to develop applications that only have to work on one browser, giving a great advantage to know the viewer. It’s also possible to personalize the access to the database and network authentication based on individual’s role, department and job title.
It even promotes common corporate culture giving every user the ability to view the same information on the network.
Intranets allow users to access and share information only within the company especially for group projects and teleconferencing, whereas Internet gives public access.
An Extranet is a process of giving authorization to a third person who is outside the company and allowing them to access any information that is part of a company’s intranet. With a valid username and password, an outsider is granted access to the extranet part of the company’s intranet.
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