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An Intranet is a private, secure network allowing employees of a specific company or group to access shared information. The technology used to create an Intranet is the same that is used to create your website and all the corresponding content types that are available with it: HTML documents, audio, video, and so forth. However, unlike public websites, an Intranet is internal, thus allowing for the storage and retrieval of information, which would be unsuitable for public viewing. Such items could include competitor data, contract drawings, financial reports, client files, and other intellectual property. Intranets are also used for non-sensitive, though company-specific material such as employee handbooks, vacation schedules, project logs, and management forms.

An Extranet is simply an Intranet, which can be accessed from the outside world; this may be through the Internet via SSL or possibly using specific dial-up accounts. It is important to note however, that an Extranet is still a controlled access site. You decide who can or can not have access to the information within it and those who do may extend to Clients, Suppliers, Organization Members as well as Staff. Since an Extranet is a protected portion of a public Internet site, it is a great way for a company to control the distribution of materials, documents and other content that is reserved for a targeted group of users. For example, customers of a steel distributor may need to access their inventory lists with detailed specifications, but access by just anyone could compromise the company's position with its competitors. A protected area of the website, accessible to only registered users, is a very cost-effective way to solve this problem. Typically, Extranets are kept secure by passwords and encryption.

Contact Internet Chicago to discuss how an Intranet or Extranet may be utilized to improve your operations and provide value-added benefits to your clients.

For more information, please contact us.