What do you mean by internet and intranet

Generally, most people are confused between the internet and the intranet. While there are exist lots of differences to differentiate them. 
Internet is used to connect the different networks of computers simultaneously. It is a public network therefore anyone can access the internet. On the internet, there are multiple users and it provides an unlimited of information to the users. 

Intranet is the type of internet that is used privately. It is a private network therefore anyone can’t access the intranet. On the intranet, there is a limited number of users and it provides a piece of limited information to its users. 

Now, we shall see the difference between the internet and intranet: 

S.NOInternetIntranet1.Internet is used to connect different networks of computers simultaneously.Intranet is owned by private firms.2.On the internet, there are multiple users.On an intranet, there are limited users.3.Internet is unsafe.Intranet is safe.4.On the internet, there is more number of visitors.In the intranet, there is less number of visitors.5.Internet is a public network.Intranet is a private network.6.Anyone can access the Internet.In this, anyone can’t access the Intranet.7.The Internet provides unlimited information.Intranet provides limited information.8.Using Social media on your phone or researching resources via Google.A company used to communicate internally with its employees and share information

My Personal Notes


Last updated: September 2022

The last two years have caused many organizations to rethink how they do business. Suddenly, digital transformation was a top priority — as remote work and rapid innovation became the new norm. Organizations had to maintain business-as-usual in a very unusual climate. Part of that meant evaluating their tools and technologies to ensure they were built to support a virtual work environment. One where security, productivity, communication, and collaboration would not be compromised.

The company intranet was one tool that quickly went from a nice-to-have to a necessity. For many organizations, it became THE mission-critical tool for business continuity, crisis communications, remote work, and more. For some organizations, however, the pandemic has shone a light on what their intranet can’t do, and left them wanting more.

The company intranet isn’t the only software that’s used for digital workplaces and business processes, though. When assessing your digital workplace as a whole, as many companies have done over the last couple of years, it can be confusing trying to differentiate the similarly-sounding networks used. These networks are intranets, internet, and extranets, and we’ll be discussing each of them in more detail below.


Table of Contents:


What is internet, extranet, & intranet?

Let’s take a step back and define the term “intranet” in relation to some other technologies that it’s often confused with. At their most basic, internet, intranet, and extranet are defined as:

  • The internet is a globally-connected network of computers that enables people to share information and communicate with each other.
  • An intranet, on the other hand, is a private and internal network that enables people to store, organize, and share information within an organization.
  • An extranet is a web portal that is accessible by an organization and its external vendors, partners, customers, or any other users that require access to restricted information.

Now that we understand the fundamentals of each, let’s discuss the differences between these three crucial types of networks.

Intranet vs. internet

Besides the spelling and pronunciation (which might sound forced and awkward at times), there are key differences between the first two. one of the most important being that an intranet is a platform that can be bought and sold (or built, in some cases), while the internet is the underlying technology that enables its connectivity. In terms of access, there are also differences between the two. Internet is a public network for all to use, while an intranet is private and internal to a given organization, for only its employees to connect and communicate.

Intranet vs. extranet

The other type of “net” we’re comparing, extranets, provides controlled access to both internal and external members. Some example use cases for an extranet include a partner or vendor portal, a customer community, or a franchise network. While both private networks, the people who have access, as well as the purpose of the each, is the difference again. Intranets are only used by internal personnel, while extranets are used as an interface between the organization and external parties who need access to certain information directly from your company.

What’s the difference when it comes to intranet vs. internet? These quasi-homophones shouldn’t cause much confusion, but many people are still unsure about whether these words are related in some way. And, if you’re in business, it’s vital that you know the difference between them.

Almost everyone knows what the internet is – the global computer network that provides information and communication facilities – not everyone is as familiar with an intranet definition, however, leaving them asking the question “what is an intranet?“

This has led to some confusion, and often the assumption that both terms mean the same thing. But in fact, they stand for two different things. Not completely different though, many traits of an intranet borrow from the internet – something we’ll go in to later. But before we list the similarities, let’s break down what the difference is between an intranet and the internet.


FREE DOWNLOAD – Comprehensive guide to intranets

Discover everything you need to know about planning and implementing a new intranet.

Download the free guide

4.3 billion people across the globe are connected to the internet, using it to help them with all aspects of their lives, from connecting with friends to keeping up to date with news, and from tracking their health to working more effectively.

And while intranet software similarly helps you to connect, learn and communicate, it’s done so on a much smaller level. Intranet/blog/intranet-vs-internet-difference/s are like mini internets for business, where they can store relevant information, news and data online, but make it accessible only to those employed by the organization.

So, what IS the difference between the internet and an intranet?

intranet vs. internetPhoto by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

The main difference between the internet and an intranet is that an intranet is a closed network while the internet is a public network. In short, the internet is for all; an intranet is for a select group of people.

The internet: This worldwide system of computer networks. This allows the access and exchange of other computers’ information, enabling an array of services that cover communication, entertainment, and news. Information from July 2019 saw that 56% of the world’s population – nearly five billion people – were active internet users. From entertainment to finance, to learning and innovating, the internet underpins every area of our lives. With the Internet of Things, the applications are endless (and in some cases, risible). You can heat your home, power a driverless car, even help you eliminate noisy slurps while eating ramen – all with the help of a Wi-Fi connection.

An intranet: An intranet, on the other hand, has a reduced set of functions which are primarily aligned with helping employees within a business. While similar to the internet in that it is a computer network that shares information – the advantage of an intranet over the internet is that it operates strictly within a closed network. This is beneficial for organizations who want to submit and exchange company information privately.

So, an intranet is a restricted version of the internet, and one that doesn’t allow access to anyone outside its network. Its network comprises of all of its employees and senior level, and in some cases, partners, investors, and shareholders. Intranets typically use a local-only network, which restricts access. Only users directly wired to the system can log on. Despite this, remote workers can gain access from home, and employees on the road can access it via mobile.

Why do companies use an intranet?

intranet vs. internetPhoto by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

Their introduction into the working environment in the mid-nineties saw intranets act as simple storage for files, information, and top-down communication.

Now, intranets have developed to becoming the hub of a business, allowing communication, knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and more. It’s here where you can file your expenses, book your holidays, and view details of your pension plan. You can contact colleagues in another office, write a blog updating the organization of your latest news, and create a community within your workforce.

For most businesses, an intranet is, without a doubt, a significant investment. But there are numerous advantages of an intranet over the internet for those who do invest in a system designed to support their company.

In order to function as a business, there needs to be a way of dissipating news and knowledge and creating one source of truth. Organizations, particularly larger ones, need a platform to connect and unite all their personnel, and intranet software can be shaped and modified to allow this, whether it’s one office block in a city, or a global brand with hundreds of locations across the world.


FREE DOWNLOAD – Comprehensive guide to intranets

Discover everything you need to know about planning and implementing a new intranet.

Download the free guide

There is a whole raft of information that companies need to share with their workforce. From a directory of colleagues and departments to booking time off forms to connecting with colleagues – an intranet is the go-to resource.

In fact, no matter what area of the business you’re in, the advantages of an intranet are manifold. You can read our Advantages of an Intranet blog for a more in-depth view. But the main gist of it is that an intranet:

  • Increases productivity
  • Cuts down on admin
  • Creates operational cost savings
  • Reduces error
  • Improves access to information
  • Encourages collaboration
  • Enables crisis communication

The Manchester Metropolitan University story

That’s not to say that the boundaries between the internet and an intranet aren’t sometimes blurred. For Manchester Metropolitan University, for instance, had much of their intranet content on their external site.

This unusual situation saw internal documents and information belonging to the university on their live site, mixing up employee information with student material. This obviously posed some data breaching issues, as well as everyday challenges and frustrations experienced by staff trying to find what they needed.

The Manchester Met team quickly realized that an intranet was fundamental in going forwards and keeping two audiences – their students and their staff – separate in terms of the information most relevant to them.

Intranet vs. internet… vs. extranet

intranet vs. internetPhoto by William Iven on Unsplash

Of course, neither of these should be confused with an extranet, which is somewhat a halfway house between an intranet and the internet. An extranet permits controlled access to authorized external users to a company intranet.

So, an extranet carries the concept of an intranet but takes it outside of its normal parameters. This platform is more open, and allows third parties in, like vendors and partners. They can either have full access to the intranet, or a selected part of it.

Extranets can sit on existing intranet software or be completely independent. Its primary purposes are to aid collaboration, communication, and insight for the most important people outside of your business.


In conclusion, though they have a related theme, it’s important to remember that there are critical characteristics of intranet software that set it apart from the internet and extranets:

Intranets are a closed network: Within the internet, intranets are like islands where businesses can congregate.

Intranets are designed to solve a specific set of problems: The whole purpose of an intranet is to remedy existing issues in a business, namely data storage, knowledge sharing, and the distribution of information.

Intranets are smaller and more secure: Like a mini internet, intranets are solely for the use of a business and act as a secure way to help organizations function.

However, despite the differences between an intranet and the internet , they do have one thing in common: a business operates far better with both.


FREE DOWNLOAD – Comprehensive guide to intranets

Discover everything you need to know about planning and implementing a new intranet.

Download the free guide

Written by Jane