Differences between the Internet and Intranet.

The rise of the World Wide Web has led to the birth numerous terminologies, however, those that have grown popularity are these two – The Internet and Intranet. What people mostly do not know is that these terms are very different in most ways even though they sound similar.


Today, we are going to explain what the internet and intranet mean, their similarities and lastly their differences.

What is the Internet?

The internet is a global interconnection of communication devices. This connection is governed by a standard protocol – IP or TCP-IP. Basically, IP means internet protocol and acts as an identifier of the computer. Each computer has a unique IP address and its location on the internet can be identified using this address.

On top of that, there is a DNS – Domain Name Server is used to give a name to an IP address mostly when it comes to websites etc. This enables devices or websites within the internet to be identified by a unique name.


What is the Intranet?

The intranet is a private system where the very few computers are connected together using a selected number of IP addresses. In short, the intranet is the private section of the internet. This is mostly used by organizations and does not face any interference from any computer out of the intranet.

Every employee or worker requires a username and password in order to access the organization’s intranet.

What is the need for the Intranet?

  • Allow for easy access, maintenance, and management of data.
  • Reduce the cost of data storage.
  • Improved security hence preventing data loss and common cases like hacking. This is because the intranet is hidden from the public and only as selected number of the organization’s employer can access the network

Similarities between the Internet and Intranet.

Even though the intranet is a private network, it is still part of the internet. For this reason, the two networks are very similar in terms of features. Here are some of the similarities between the internet and intranet:

  • Both the internet and intranet require Internet Protocols for communication these protocols include FTP – File Transfer Protocol and TCP/IP.
  • Both can all be accessed via a web browser. What does this mean? Ok, both of them have websites and these websites can be accessed using a web browser. The only difference is that only specific users of the intranet are able to access to websites hosted within the intranet.
  • Intranet network services may have instant messaging platforms that can be used over the internet similar to the yahoo messenger.

On top of these, these two networks use similar security features. They both use similar data encryption-decryption and firewall protocols. Even though, some organizations use unique encryption techniques to meet the organization’s need.
Now let us get to the topic for today:

Differences between the Internet and Intranet in tabular form.

The Internet The Intranet
Open and public network – anyone can access it at any time. Private network – requires a username and password to access it.
Receives unlimited traffic. Receives limited traffic.
Not safe – prone to security problems such as hacking, virus attacks, identity theft etc. Much safer – this because when anything is connected to the internet it is never safe. However, its privatization and security levels make it the most secure and safest part of the internet.
Home to numerous data and information sources that can be accessed by anyone. Home to information that is only relevant to a particular organization.
Houses several intranets. Forms part of the internet.
Has a higher commercial potential as it is open and public. Has a lower commercial potential as compared to the internet. Although it is mainly designed to improve an organization’s economic potential.
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