Most of us get confused between the terms Internet and Intranet. Although there exist a lot of disparity between them, one of the differences is that the Internet is open to all and can be accessed by everyone whereas, Intranet requires authenticated login as an organization privately owns it.
As the internet is open for all, there was a need to develop a network which would specifically work for a certain range like within an organization or private community, school, college, university, etcetera. This is the reason the terms intranet and extranet were coined. Intranet provides security and privacy within a network of a specific group of people.
Content: Internet Vs Intranet
|Basis for Comparison||Internet||Intranet|
|Meaning||Connects different network of computers together||It is a part of Internet which is privately owned by a particular firm|
|Accessibility||Anyone can access the Internet||Accessible only by the organization members, having login details.|
|Safety||Is not as safe as compared to Intranet||Safe|
|No of Users||Unlimited||Limited|
|Information Provided||Unlimited, and can be viewed by everyone||Limited, and circulates among the members of an organization|
Definition Of Internet
The Internet is a global network that establishes a connection and provides transmission between various computers. It uses both wired and wireless mode of communication to send and receive any information such as data, audio, video, etcetera. Here, data travels through “fiber optic cables”, which are owned by telephone companies.
The initial idea of the internet was introduced by the US Defence Organization ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) in the late 1960s. Internet is not only a magnificent network, applications or programs that the internet users can use or some document or resources which are available over the internet instead it is comprised of the several different elements shown below.
- A community of people capable of using and developing the network.
- Collection of resources that can be accessed from these networks.
- Setup assisting collaboration among the several members of the research and educational communities around the globe.
- Standards and protocols for the proper functioning of the network.
Nowadays, everyone uses the Internet for acquiring information, communication, and transferring data over the network. It is a public network using which computers can connect and relay to each other. It provides an excellent source of information to the user.
Working of the Internet
The Internet is a network created by the interconnection of a large number of computer networks which is not owned by an entity. There is no central administration to the internet, any person in the world can join it. This entire network of networks works through following some standards and rules (i.e., protocols).
TCP/IP protocol is the main impelling agent for the internet used by the connected networks along with the other protocols like HTTP, FTP and SMTP. There are several other protocols and application which we have been using since the evolution of the internet such as Telnet, FTP (File Transfer Protocol), Internet Relay Chat, Gopher, Usenet News, WWW(World Wide Web).
Now, as it is mentioned above that the Internet is a public or generic network then who is responsible for enforcing the standards for the internet. Let’s find out how these standards are defined and enforced.
There are some non-profitable organization created in order to bind the various activities happening on the internet such as IAB (Internet Architecture Board), IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), and IESG (Internet Engineering Steering Group). Each of these organization has a well-defined goal. However, RFC (Request For Comments) is responsible for the actual development of new standards which is conducted by working groups authorized by IETF.
Definition Of Intranet
An intranet is a part of the Internet that is privately owned by an organization. It connects all the computers together and provides access to files and folders within that specific network. It has a firewall surrounding the system to avoid the unauthorized user from accessing the network. Only authorized users have permission to access the network.
Moreover, Intranet is used for connecting computers and transmitting data, files or documents within the firm. It is a secure way to share the details, materials, and folders as the network are highly secured and restricted within the organization. It renders various services such as email, search, data storage, etc.
Working of an Intranet
However, an intranet is a private computer network but it uses internet protocols, network connectivity and possibly the public telecommunication system to access and share the organization’s information and operations securely with its staff.
It utilizes the same client-server model running on the TCP/IP protocol suite, similar to the internet. Information within an organization can be retrieved through browsers which do not depend on the platform. It could also work without installing special softwares on the client machines.
A Firewall plays an important role in the functioning of a network. Intranet requires the firewall to filter out the unwanted elements to the servers and networks. It is useful in protecting our network from external intruders.
Features of a firewall
- Protect local systems.
- Network-based security threats can also be eliminated.
- Provision of secured and controlled access to the internet.
- Provide restricted and controlled access from the internet to local servers.
Key Differences Between Internet and Intranet
- The Internet provides unlimited information which can be viewed by everyone whereas, in Intranet, data circulates within the organization.
- The Internet provides access to everyone. As against, intranet permits authenticate users only to access it.
- An intranet is a private network that belongs to a firm or an institution. On the contrary, the Internet is not owned by any single or multiple organization.
- The Internet is available to all while, Intranet is restricted.
- An intranet is safer as compared to the Internet.
The below-given diagram shows the relationship between the internet, intranet and extranet. Intranet comes at the lowest level, and which is covered by the extranet while these both come under the internet.
Let’s take the example of an organization to understand it in a better way. An intranet is created by a private organization which provide access to the organization resources to the staff of that organization only. While the extranet is a combination of a public and private network where not only employees of the company have access to the data but trusted third party is also allowed to access the company’s data. At last, the internet permits every user of the world wide web to access and share the public data from anywhere and anytime.
Similarities Between Internet and Intranet
- Both Internet and Intranet can be accessed using a browser.
- They use Internet Protocols for transferring data.
- Both of them are used to share information with the users over the network.
Hence, we conclude that both the Internet and Intranet have some similar aspects and dissimilarities as well. The Internet is a collection of various LAN, MAN, and WAN whereas, Intranet mostly is a LAN, MAN or WAN. Furthermore, an intranet is safer as compared to the Internet since the user login keeps updating at regular intervals and it confines to an organization.