What is an Intranet?
An intranet is a private internet network used by businesses that allows for the internal communication and sharing of information and resources. Intranets need a web server to function and are useful for maintaining website security by allowing only those with permission to access the network. They are protected by systems that detect viruses, cyber attacks and other suspicious activity but can be used on both open source and closed source website builders. You can even create password protected websites within an intranet for specific users on your network using the Wix website builder.
Features of intranet networks typically include:
User-friendly communication systems, including user profiles, forums, and social features such as chat and the ability to “like” posts
Mobile app features
Third-party integrations allowing users to connect to all company applications with a single login
Cloud-based data storage
Employees who work remotely can access their company’s intranet via a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN allows users to connect to their company’s intranet from afar by connecting to its local area networks (LAN). Using a VPN, employees can utilize and access all the same functions and data that would be available if they were working from the office.
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What’s the difference between the Internet and Intranet?
The main difference is that the internet is on a public network. No login criteria is needed to gain access. An intranet, on the other hand, runs on a private network, and users need specific usernames and passwords to access. Because the internet is open to anyone, it is not as secure, making it more accessible to hackers or those looking to steal information.
On an intranet network, firewall servers may be used to access the internet. Businesses that allow this will maintain security on the network by monitoring employee activity, ensuring that it does not pose an internal threat. Sometimes, individuals outside the business, such as customers or vendors, may be granted access to a company’s intranet. This becomes part of an extranet, which allows businesses to send private information through the public network via encryption and decryption.
Benefits of using an Intranet
Increased security: Intranet networks have software in place to protect the computers of its users from malware and cyber attacks.
Centralized information: Company information is stored on a single digital platform, making it accessible to anyone on the intranet and helping to increase workplace productivity.
Improved internal communication: Intranet networks encourage collaboration and engagement amongst employees as well as transparency within organizations. Company updates can be sent to all employees at once and built-in chat features reduce the need for emails and meetings.
Better human resource management: Intranets help streamline the onboarding of new hires, as well as employee training.
Allows for companies to work globally: Intranets allow employees to work anywhere in the world, creating a virtual workplace.
Enhanced employee experience: This results in lower staff turnover and positive customer or client experiences, making the entire organization more productive.