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Difference between Internet and Intranet

Almost everyone is using the Internet in this technological era. But when it comes to distinguishing the Internet and the Intranet, most people get confused because both the terms seem almost similar in words. Although there is just a difference of one alphabet in their terms, they have many noticeable differences in general.

Internet vs Intranet

In this article, we are discussing the significant differences between the Internet and the Intranet, which will help understand the requirements of both. This will also help us decide which one of them we need for personal use and commercial use. Let's first understand both with the definitions:

What is the Internet?

The Internet is a global network that uses TCP / IP protocols to connect millions of computers worldwide. It can include different networks, such as private, public, organizational, academic, government, etc. It allows users to communicate with each other and share massive amounts of data in various formats. Internet is available in both modes, wired and wireless. In wired mode, the data travels through fiber optic cables, whereas in wireless mode, the data travels through radio waves.

Some of the essential applications of the Internet are listed below:

  • File sharing
  • Downloading media files and software
  • Sending and receiving emails
  • Browsing any information
  • Using social media platforms, forums, and communities
  • E-Commerce, bill payments, online purchasing of food and medicines
  • Voice Calls, Video Conferencing, and Chatting with friends, family members, and colleagues

How does the Internet work?

The internet is a network created by connecting a large number of computers or computer networks. It is a type of network that cannot be owned by an entity. It is formed using networks of networks configured using complex standards and rules (such as protocols). The Internet works through a packet routing network following the protocols, where the packet routing is the technique of routing data packets from source computer to a destination computer.

However, there are several protocols; the transmission and internet protocols are the primary impelling agents that help build the Internet network. The other common protocols used by the connected networks are HTTP, FTP, and SMTP. Besides, the protocols and applications like Telnet, Gopher, WWW, Usenet News, Internet Relay Chat, etc. are also used throughout the working of the Internet.

Advantages of Internet

Few advantages of the Internet are listed below:

  • The Internet establishes a network of devices from different locations all around the world.
  • It allows people to communicate easily from any location worldwide.
  • The Internet is helping people to get information easily on different topics.
  • It keeps the people updated on what's happening worldwide with the latest news and technologies.
  • It connects people through communities, forums, social networking sites and helps them work together digitally.
  • The Internet has made selling and purchasing of products and services easier.
  • The Internet is the best platform for people to show their talent, such as singing, dancing, drawing, etc.

What is Intranet?

An Intranet is a part of the Internet and is owned and used privately by an organization. It is mainly used to connect all the computers and establish a private network of an organization to provide employees the ability to collaborate on projects, manage or update information, share calendars, and to-do list, etc. Organizations prefer using Intranet to keep their data inaccessible from outsiders, making their suspicious data and project information secure. Intranet includes a firewall to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the network.

The websites created over Intranet look almost similar and act like any other website on the Internet. However, these websites are much more task-oriented than promotional design websites on the Internet. Like the Internet, the intranet's websites can also provide the interface to form communication in the shape of chatting, image sharing, audio-video conferencing, etc. All these activities can only be used by authorized users who have permission to access the Intranet network.

Some other essential applications of the Intranet are listed below:

  • Sharing the updates regarding the company's rules and regulations
  • Accessing employees details
  • Onboarding of employees and customer details
  • Sharing project details
  • Submission of projects and reports
  • Submitting feedback or complaints
  • Corporate telephone directories

How does Intranet work?

Intranet usually runs in a client/server environment where the computers are connected using local area networks. Each computer is identified by the MAC address or an IP address, which remains unique for every computer. As an Internet, the Intranet also uses the client-server model based on the TCP / IP protocol suite. Because web browsers do not depend on the platform, they are also used on Intranet to access and retrieve information from the server within the organization. Besides, there is no need to install any special kind of software on the systems on the Intranet. But most companies use customized software designed purposely for company-specific tasks.

In addition to the protocols, Intranet uses a firewall to filter unwanted elements to the network and protects it from external intruders. It also includes network connectivity and the public telecommunication system, which help access and share the company's data, projects, and operations securely with the staff.

Advantages of Intranet

Few advantages of the Intranet are listed below:

  • The intranet is helping organizations to access internal and external information securely.
  • The intranet is fast, easy-to-use, and low-cost to implement.
  • It enables employees to connect with other systems throughout the organization.
  • The intranet is based on open standards.
  • It has added improved communication and enhanced productivity to the operational business processes.
  • It encourages collaboration and reduces the error rate.
  • It helps cut down the administration and the processing time.

Key Differences between Internet and Intranet

Few key differences between the Internet and the Intranet are listed below:

  • The Internet is a global system of computer networks available for everyone, whereas Intranet is a network of computers owned by any organization for a certain group of people.
  • The Internet is a public network, while Intranet is a private network.
  • The total number of users using the Internet is very high, whereas total users on Intranet are limited.
  • Information on the Internet is broad that involves almost every topic, category and field. In contrast, Intranet includes limited information that refers to any group or organization, such as the company's databases.
  • The Internet can be accessed and used by anyone, whereas the Intranet is limited to organization employees or admin with login details.
  • The Internet is a public network that is not considered safe, while the Intranet is a safer network.
  • The intranet is usually owned by a firm, institution, or organization, but any single person or an organization does not own the internet.

Major Differences between Internet and Intranet

The other major differences between the Internet and the Intranet can be explained in a tabulated form, as below:

Attributes Internet Intranet
Definition The Internet is a network of several computers connected worldwide using the Internet protocol suite (TCP/ IP). An Intranet is a private network of computers designed for a certain group of people and owned by a particular firm or organization. It can include several local area networks and also uses leased lines in the wide-area network.
Users As stated above, the Internet is a globally connected network; users' number is comparatively much higher than Intranet. Because of a limited range, the total numbers of users on Intranet are limited. When compared to the Internet, Intranet has very few users.
Accessibility Anyone can access and use it. Only certain people are authorized to use Intranet because it is a company's internal network, so accessible by the employees or admin who have login credentials.
Type of Network The Internet is a type of public network. The intranet is a type of private network installed mainly for any organization operations.
Security Because the internet is a public network, it is a considerably less secure network. Cybercriminals usually target people using the Internet. Due to limited access, there is no such possibility or very less possibility of cyber threats in Intranet, making it more secure compared to that of the Internet.
Information and Data Due to a wider range, the availability of information and the data is unlimited. People are free to use the Internet and their knowledge. That is why more and more data is being added to different fields on the Internet regularly. The intranet is limited to group-specific information. That means the Intranet information and data are limited to any specific company's records, operations, inventory, etc. In this case, only certain people with admin privileges are allowed to add or modify the information.
Traffic Due to a higher number of users and a public network, the total visitor's traffic very high. It is almost uncountable. Intranet has limited users, and so visitor's traffic is limited and comparatively less than the Internet. In the case of Intranet, traffic is countable.
Characteristic The Internet includes several intranets. The intranet is like a subset of the Internet. Intranet can only be used using the Internet but with certain restrictions and security practices.

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