Internet and Intranet – Introduction, Similarities, Differences

Internet and Intranet

What is Internet

  • A network which connects and creates a connection to allow exchange of data between various computers irrespective of their physical locations is called internet.
  • Both wired and wireless modes of communication are implemented to send or/and receive information like data, documents, audio, video, etc.  
  • Internet uses fiber optic cables to share information. These fiber optic cables are laid and owned by telephone companies.
  • Each and every computer connected to internet has a unique IP address. An IP address is a unique address which locates the physical location of the computer.

In the present time almost everyone uses the Internet to get or access information, for communication, and exchange of data through the network. Internet is a public network and we can use the same to connect our computer with other computers in the world. Putting the things simply we can define internet as a network of networks which provides a great source of information for the user.

What is Intranet

  • Intranet is a part of Internet. A privately owned network by any organization is called intranet, where many computers are connected to each other.
  • Intranet connects all the computers and other resources within an organization to provide access to files and folders within that network.
  • Only authorized users can access a system within intranet.
  • Every computer on an intranet has a unique IP address within the intranet. Each intranet has a unique IP address on the internet.

Computers on intranet are not visible to the rest of the world.  So we can say that intranet is a network that creates a firewall around the systems to avoid the intruders or unauthorized users from getting access to the network. It implies that only authorized users can access the network. Intranet is usually used to connect computers and transmit data, documents, files or folders within the organization. It is a safe and secure method to share and communicate since the network is very secure and restricted within the organization. We can use various services within the intranet such as sending/ receiving emails, searching, using common data storage, etc.

Also read – What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Comparison between Internet and Intranet

It is evident that internet and internet are not same but sometimes people use these terms interchangeably, as if the two terms are same. Now let us first look into the similarities between internet and intranet.

Internet and Intranet have following similarities:

  1. Both the Internet and the Intranet are networks.
  2. Both are used to exchange and share information, documents, files or folders over the network.
  3. We can access both the networks using browsers.
  4. To transfer data or files etc. both use standard internet protocol TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol)

Now let is look into the differences between the internet and intranet.

Also read – What is LAN?

Internet Intranet
It connects computers on different networks across the globe by wide area network (WAN). It is not owned by anyone or two organizations.Intranet is a part of internet which is privately owned by an organization.
Internet is free to use, that means anyone can access it. Being privately owned, only authorized users with proper login details can have access to it.
Internet is not safe, since anyone can access the internet. It is safe and secure as compared to internet.
It can be accessed by unlimited number of users. Intranet has a limit to the number of users.
It is a public network and open to all.   It is a private network. Intranet can be accessed by internet by authorized users only using login credentials.
Unlimited information is available on internet. This information can be used by anyone on internet. Only limited information is available on intranet and this information is particularly for the specific authorized users only
Huge traffic on internet. Number of visitors to the intranet is limited.
Each computer when connects to internet is assigned a unique IP address. Each computer on the intranet has a unique IP address. And each intranet has a unique IP address on the internet.


Both internet and intranet are networks but designed such that internet is less secure but open to all and intranet is very secure but has limited user access. Thus, we can conclude that both have some similar characteristics as well as many different characteristics. While Internet is collection of many LANs, MANs, and WANs and Intranet is mostly is a LAN, MAN or WAN and provide greater security than internet.

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