General

What is Intranet? Advantages and How to Use It

Which is better, using an intranet or the internet? To answer that question, you can adjust based on the needs of your business, institution, or organization.

To avoid misunderstanding intranet and internet, it’s best to find out more about what intranet is and what makes it different from the internet.

What is Intranet?

Intranet is an internal computer network that uses internet technologies and protocols like TCP/IP, but it’s restricted in its scope for use only within specific organizations, such as companies or educational institutions.

Intranet utilizes standard protocols and technologies like TCP/IP, HTTP, and web browsers to access and share data. Its goal is to facilitate communication, share information, and collaboration.

Moreover, intranet also provides access to internal resources such as databases, documents, applications, or information tailored to the organization’s needs or business.

As a company or organizational information hub, intranet is equipped with high security. Because it’s only used within specific environments, like a company or organization’s setting, only authorized users can access the network.

If users want to access information through the intranet network remotely, they have to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN

Components of an Intranet

Do you already understand what an intranet is and why many parties use it? As a private network commonly used by organizations or companies, an intranet requires several components to work properly.

Here are some important components that play a role in building an intranet network:

  1. Network Interface Card (NIC): This device connects one computer to another.
  2. Computers act as servers to connect multiple computers.
  3. Connector cables link cables to computer ports.
  4. Network cables transmit data between computers.
  5. Bridges and switches connect different networks.
  6. Hubs are hardware that connects computers to each other.
  7. Repeaters strengthen signals transmitted between computers.
  8. Routers connect multiple networks and forward data from one network to another.

How Intranet Works

How does an intranet work? Basically, an intranet operates in a similar way to the internet. Both need servers to do their job.

The server’s job is to respond to user requests by sending the requested data. It helps manage different needs of a company, making it easier for users to find stored files.

But there’s a small difference between intranet and the internet. Internet servers can be accessed by anyone, but intranet servers can only be reached through a local network like LAN.

Access to the intranet is limited to those with specific usernames and passwords. Remote users need a VPN or similar tool.

So, only certain people can use the intranet, like those with verified identities. To keep data safe, intranets also have a firewall. This means only authorized folks can get to company data, keeping it secure.

Benefits of Intranet for Business

Although you might have a basic understanding of what an intranet is, are you sure it benefits the business you’re running? For businesses, intranets offer several advantages that can help with operational activities.

Here are the benefits businesses can gain from using an intranet:

  1. Facilitates communication among team members, departments, or branches, making it faster and more efficient.
  2. Simplifies sharing important information, data, and documents, aiding team collaboration.
  3. Provides a centralized location for data storage and access, minimizing information duplication among team members.
  4. Facilitates team collaboration through supportive applications.
  5. Helps employees find needed information.
  6. Reduces printing and document distribution costs.
  7. Offers ease in disseminating announcements, updates, or news to members or employees, especially those involved in business development.
  8. Provides easy access to information and various collaboration tools.
  9. Boosts employee and team productivity.
  10. Ensures high-level control and security over internal information access, protecting sensitive data.
  11. Can be used for performance monitoring analysis.
  12. Aids in identifying trends that businesses can adopt for future business development needs.
  13. Serves as a platform to reinforce business culture and values by sharing awards, stories, and development resources for employees or team members.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Intranet

Will you utilize intranet for your business operational needs? To make a wise decision, it’s best to consider the advantages and disadvantages of what intranet is.

The advantages and disadvantages of intranet are:

Advantages of Intranet

By considering the advantages of intranet, you can ensure that it’s the right choice for your business, especially with the numerous benefits it offers.

The advantages of intranet are as follows:

  1. Provides a secure network with firewall, passwords, and data encryption.
  2. Easy access for anyone registered in the system and database.
  3. Enables employees to receive the same information.
  4. Assists in gathering and responding to customer complaints.
  5. Facilitates communication.

Disadvantages of Intranet

Despite offering several advantages, intranet also has its drawbacks. Therefore, businesses or companies considering using this network must make careful decisions.

Here are the disadvantages of using an intranet:

  1. Risk of overload occurring.
  2. Developing an intranet can be quite challenging.
  3. Requires specialized handling from experts.
  4. Users need training to ensure the intranet is used effectively and runs smoothly.
  5. Costs can be high for various needs, including development and user training.

Difference Between Intranet and Internet

Intranet and internet are networks that allow users to perform various activities online. However, they have several differences. The most fundamental difference lies in their usage, where intranet cannot be used widely like the internet.

Here are some points that can help you understand the differences between intranet and internet:

Users:

  • Intranet is a network with limited area coverage. Therefore, it can only be accessed by specific individuals within its coverage area. This is why the number of intranet users is significantly lower than internet users.
  • Internet is a network with broad coverage. Therefore, anyone can use it from anywhere they are.

Accessibility:

  • Related to the first point about users, intranet has limited accessibility. Only specific individuals can use it due to access restrictions.
  • As mentioned, intranet is an internal network of an organization or company. Hence, not everyone can use it. Only those involved in the company’s operations can access the intranet.
  • On the other hand, the internet allows everyone to access it as it is open to all users. There are no accessibility restrictions in this regard.

Network Type:

  • Intranet is a private network intended only for its organization or company users. This is a clear difference between intranet and internet, right?
  • Internet is a public network. Therefore, anyone has access to use it.

Security:

  • Another difference between intranet and internet lies in their security. The limited coverage area of intranet may pose potential cybersecurity risks. This is why many consider intranet to be safer than the internet.
  • The reason behind the perceived lack of security in the internet is its public nature. Anyone can use the internet on devices connected to the network, which increases the risk of cybersecurity threats.
  • Users who want to enhance security can use proxies or other security services. For instance, website owners can provide high-level security for visitors or customers by installing an SSL certificate on the website.

Conclusion

After learning about what intranet is, you can see how crucial it is as a network for certain groups. Intranet is commonly used by businesses and organizations to set up internal networks.

Because it’s private, intranet has fewer risks of cybercrime. This sets it apart from the internet. However, it’s common for companies or organizations using intranet to also need internet networks for specific purposes.

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