Internet was once available only to the government, academics and researchers. But at present it is difficult to count the number of internet users. Whereas, Intranet and extranet are commonly creating a big impact on business organizations. The internet is an ocean of information; accessible to the people across the world, but the way it can be used on various platforms is different.
Intranet and extranet have a limited access as it is a private network used for transferring and sharing files within a particular and selective group of people. Here is a brief discussion below about the Internet, Extranet and Intranet.
THE WORLD OF INTERNET
Internet is the world’s largest computer network used as communication network which bridges all the small computer networks. A network which is easily available to everyone or anyone with an internet connected device is the Internet. The massive collection of networks which shares information in public in the form of interlinked Web pages is Internet. It has a protocol named as “Internet protocol” which is defined as the unique location of a particular site which maximum users see as a domain name or URL. Since the network is world-wide, it is usually known by World Wide Web or WWW.
Internet is a group of networks which are:
- Able to act together as a single network
- Interconnected physically
- Capable of communicating and sharing data with each other
Uses of Internet:
- Network: The internet helps to get people connected to each other where data can be shared and transferred. Social Networking sites are ruled with the dues of internet only.
- Market: Most E-commerce sites use this platform as a mode of advertisement. Mainly, pop-ups, newsletters and other promotional activities are performed with the help of internet only.
- Medium: This is the widest platform for the usage of internet. Infact, people can use this as a promotion for self, business and other public interests. The internet can basically act as a social platform that can be helpful utilizing as a medium.
- Transaction Platform: Now days with the advancement of internet, mostly banks prefer their own Server to operate while a transaction is under process. Even transactions in ATMs, E-banking or card swiping are performed by the mode of internet. Also, all e commerce transactions are fulfilled with internet.
- Source of Pleasure: There are search engines which act like an ocean of knowledge. But here also, search engines like Google, Yahoo etc are leaders. It is a source of knowledge, entertainment and many other things.
- Business Tool: Traditional businesses can have their websites, which can be used to promote products and services. This is a new medium of advertising for business, developed only because of internet.
Access to Internet:
There are a number of ways to connect to the internet. Mainly:
- Direct Internet Link
- Dial up through a provider ( like EarthLink)
- Indirect access through another service such as Wi-Fi modes as well as Router modes.
THE WORLD OF INTRANET
It is based upon internet technology and WWW building information systems within organization or enterprise to improve standardization and automation. It runs on TCP/IP and HTTP and filters out any illegal access through firewall. Basically, it is for the corporate here the network is joined in a workgroup.
It is intranet only that allows controlled access by authenticated parties. Brief lists of examples are:
- Allowing supplies access to relevant inventory levels
- Clients to review their account records through intranet
- Allowing students to update address information in real time
Characteristics of Intranet:
Intranet possesses all the merits of internet. It is a low cost network, easy to access and use, it is flexible, easy to scale up, easy to accommodate the all new technology. It uses open architecture based on internet with facility of WWW.
Some of the key characteristics of intranet are given below:
Openness: The reason why intranets are being clearly used as a mode of networking is visible due to its openness. Intranet gets connected to multiple devices with a single network.
Easy to use: It is easy to use and access from multiple ports at a single time.
Low cost: All computers connected under one server host. This would be certainly a cost savior for business.
Scalability: The intranet is based on the Internet protocol which gives out a maximum scalability to access internet over the globe.
Innovation: The intranet brings up much innovation in themes and then vitalizing a graphical usage. You can also work in a customized designed theme while in Intranet. Each individual corporate use a different theme to work on. This helps all the users to get connected to a single network.
Advantages of Intranet:
- Compared to client/server architectures, it costs much less to build initial systems.
- It is based on internet protocols, which provide worldwide accessibility.
- It is possible to link with enterprise home page to facilitate marketing and business operations
- Graphical user interface of web browser eliminates separate tutorial sessions.
- It handles multimedia data with less effort.
- HTML documents facilitate higher level of document exchanging scheme.
- It requires low administration and maintenance features.
- It possesses platform independent system configuration features.
- With the help of Intranet only a selected group of ports can be connected. This helps to get the data secured from all sources as only a few selected ports can act on it. Security of data is the key reason why businesses prefer intranet over internet.
Benefits of intranet to the employees:
Employees can access information whenever they need it
- It is possible to determine who can have access to what data, and to what extent.
- Transactions can be followed automatically. The presence of gateways and other merchants can be linked which will follow the process of transaction automatically.
- Databases can be updated dynamically
- Communication can take place at that instant anywhere in the world.
- Employees can work remotely and remote employees can be hired for their expertise.
- One can access other business for placing order to get sources, making contracts and so on.
Drawbacks of Intranet:
- Some industrial applications are well optimized. When these applications are transferred to intranet platforms, heavy system workload is created on the Intranet.
- Some of the users want to design web pages like printed materials. Some want to use the complicated graphics to make the web pages look even more attractive. They forget the purpose of intranet. Intranet has a wide diversity. It is not meant for designing a website but bringing multiple ports connected to a website.
- Internet world introduces day to day innovation. Or even an innovation in every hour. They are not specifically worried about these changes would harm the users or not. It may often happen that while using an intranet network, one sneak for the advanced technology and ends up in a mess. The viral then spreads to the whole network in a flash and can also harm all other ports at the same time. This action can make the world of intranet to be harmful.
THE WORLD OF EXTRANET
An extranet is a business-to-business intranet that allows limited, controlled, secured access between a company’s intranet and designated, authenticated users from remote locations. The extranet is more or less similar to the intranet but it is accessible via web portal only and also from anywhere if an external user has the valid password and username.
Since the main motive of this kind of network is to share network with a selective group of outside users, thus it is mostly used in business purposes.
Basically, an extranet is a developed website that is used as a mode of operations for vendors, partners and even suppliers at the same time. It is a group network that connects all the outsourcing people of the business to be connected at once. The extranet shares a large volume of Electronic data Interchange. In fact an example is of a business where users are registered with an I.P. address and they are connected to a group of such Extranet.
Does data affect the speed in internet, intranet and extranet usage?
The amount of data received and sent which may be uploaded or downloaded through the internet connection or extranet or intranet connection is the report of the internet usage or intranet or extranet usage. But most interestingly the speed of the connections doesn’t really get affected by the usage you incur.
Relationship among, Extranets and Intranets:
For a fixed group of users the policy is prescribed by the administrators on the intranet. For example, a company could specify, Netscape Communicator and Linux as its standard desktop operating system as its normal browser and mail client. These give the facility uniform computing environment, over which it exercise strong control.
On the trade-to-industry extranet, process architects at each of the collaborating firms have to collaborate to be certain a long-established interface and steady information meanings. Considering one corporation can’t moderately put into effect necessities on its trading companions, extranet application builders have to bear in mind a wider variety of applied sciences than in case for intranets. For example, one organization participating in an extranet maybe the Microsoft internet Explorer, yet another Netscape Navigator 4.5, and Navigator gold 3.X. With a purpose to collaborate through Extranet; the functions ought to participate in thoroughly on all represented structures.
Here is the comparison between Internet, Extranet and Intranet:
- Availability: Availability is one of the most important in pointing out the differences between these three. In terms of this, Internet being the globally used network is available to all and easily whereas Intranet and Extranet are available in a limited range supposedly between inside and outside users of a particular organization.
- Usage: most of the common people use internet rather than Intranet or Extranet. So Internet can be easily called as the Public Network whereas the others are used for the business purpose and thus can be named as private networks.
- Security: Coming to the point of security, Intranet and Extranet are more secure than Internet as the internet is easily accessible and anyone can get any data easily but the others are bind within a fixed group or organization creating a firewall against the outsiders.
- Backlogs: Accessing Internet without any hassle like username and password is one more backlog while username and password are the most important in case of Intranet and Extranet.
- Policy: No hard and fast policies are there in Internet whereas there is a complete policy behind the setup of every Intranet and Extranet.
- Speed: The speed of internet is higher than intranet and extranet, but speed can always be increased through higher bandwidth lease lines.
- Updating: Easily updatable is the internet whereas the extranet and intranet deletes or moves some files when updated.
Role of Extranet ,Intranet and Internet in the usage of E-Commerce
Both the extranets and e-commerce use internet protocols to connect with their business users whereas intranets are compatible and thus move data faster than any other distributed extranets. Bandwidth with the extra limitations exists in e-commerce. The amount of control by network users is completely different in each of the 3 types of technologies used. Apart from all, the usage of Internet allows to make a flow of the transactions as well as the customers to view the dedicated products. This makes all the three “NET” connected with each other.