Sergio Zuniga Aug 21, 2020 6 min read

Intranet vs. Extranet - What's The Difference?

Do you know that 15 percent of the leading US companies have either created an extranet or are in the process of doing so? There is one very compelling reason for that – organizations with private internal portals gain 20 to 25 percent more efficiency in employee engagements.

But do you know what exactly intranet and extranet are, and what differentiates them?
For many people, these terms can be very confusing.
Intranet and extranet have separate areas of interest but a singular objective: to enhance the communication and collaboration between employees and clients.
If you integrate them into your business model, these unique private portals can make daily tasks better, streamline business processes, connect employees, and make your organization more effective on the whole.

Let's read on to analyze the core differences between the two:

What's An Intranet?

An intranet is a private, safe, and secure network in the company's digital workplace made to facilitate collaboration and centralize tools, documents, projects, and conversations within your company.

What's An Extranet?

An extranet is a private external network specially made to facilitate outsiders and stakeholders such as vendors, partners, customers, and suppliers. Here, they can communicate easily with your company and employees.

Now you know what they are, it's time to look at their differences.

Intranet Vs. Extranet: What's The Difference?

uxIf you're planning to employ an intranet or extranet or both in your company and you have some confusion about their functions, the following pointers should help you.

Web Accessibility

An intranet is accessible only through your company's internal servers because it is only for employee use. An extranet, on the other hand, is a secure, private web-based portal for use by external shareholders so that they can access it online.

Technical Structure

Within an intranet, a system administrator has the power to assign and controls user access using the company's internal server controls.
However, access to an extranet is limited to external users and allowed only through a VPN. If you have a user ID and password or some other secure way to enter, you can access the extranet.

Different Scope

An intranet is a private, secure network for a company or an organization that is used mainly to get employee info, company policies, and important work documentation, etc. However, an extranet is also a safe network but for suppliers, customers, and employees. It is mainly used to check status, send emails, place orders, access data, etc.

Target Audience

The major difference between the intranet and extranet is of users. The intranet is designed for company employees and internal departments. It's a secure portal where you and the team can easily collaborate and exchange relevant info.

Whereas, the main purpose of an extranet is to build a safe, enclosed communication and collaboration space for you, employees, and outside parties such as suppliers, clients, and partners.

Which System Is Right For You?

Deciding which portal best fits your company needs, depends entirely upon how you intend to use it. If you're looking for better collaboration between you and employees, go for an intranet.

But if your main focus is on enhancing the collaboration and communication between employees and business partners, an extranet will do just fine.
Here at Definity First, we help organizations guarantee a cohesive and coordinated relationship amongst all prime portal users to ensure a better future for everyone.
Get in touch with us today to learn more.


Sergio Zuniga

Consulting Services VP at Definity First. Over the years I went through the different roles on the technical side until I was seduced by the dark side of business development and sales. I like to help clients from a technical and a business perspective, finding the best solution for their needs.