What is an Intranet? 

An intranet is a secure network system which organisations use to share data between its employees. An intranet network is becoming an increasingly popular tool used by businesses throughout the world. Despite its benefits, many people are not actually sure of what an intranet actually is and what it means for a company. This guide should help to answer the most commonly asked questions about intranet systems. 

What Does the Term “Intranet” Mean? 

The prefix ‘intra’ translates to ‘within’ whereas the prefix ‘inter’ (as seen in the Internet) translates to ‘between’ or ‘among’. As the term ‘intra’ suggests, the intranet is a private network that can be accessed by authorized persons within an organization. The intranet network itself can consist of many systems, as long as they are connected to either a local area network (LAN) or even a wider area network, called a WAN. Intranet users pass through a gateway and can then access their intranet system or the wider Internet, though the intranet system can impose restrictions on browsing sites. 

How is an Intranet Used? 

An intranet system is typically used by medium or large companies to give all employees access to the information that they need to do their daily business. It does not have to be limited to one building – users from around the world can log in to their company intranet. There are many different ways to use an intranet system – it can be used to spread company information or make important data assets easily accessible for all to see. It can also be used to collaborate on different documents and communicate in different ways – from text chat to video conferencing. 

What Are the Business Benefits of Using Intranet? 

There are many business benefits of using an intranet, such as: 

  • Increased productivity 
  • Increased employee engagement 
  • Brand consistency 
  • Collaboration 
  • Increased Innovation

To learn more about the benefits of intranet for businesses click here 

Internet vs Intranet, What is the Difference? 

The Internet is a global network of computers that is completely public – anybody can access them, or at least can access a computer’s access point (but no further unless they successfully hack the device). An intranet is different as it is a local network that only particular authorized devices or people can access. 

An intranet is also a software as a service (SaaS) that can be owned or rented by a company – a private network platform, something completely different to the Internet, which is marked by its lack of ownership and decentralized structure. 

Does the Intranet Need the Internet to Function? 

The Internet is the technology that any intranet system is based on – remember, an intranet system is still just a network of different devices – however, the intranet is typically separated from the wider Internet to make the system as secure as possible. As a result, it is a great way for a company to increase its security, as an employee’s computer needs to be connected to the organization’s LAN or WAN, with firewalls as gatekeepers to make sure that the whole system is kept safe from intruders. 

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