Commonly understood as "a private internet over the Internet". A very common use of the term "extranet" is to designate the private part of a website, where registered users can navigate, enabled by authentication mechanisms on a login page. It is a private computer network used to share part of an organization's information or operations with suppliers, vendors, partners, customers or other businesses. You can use an intranet to interface to legacy corporate data, email, and FTP.


An extranet is a computer network that allows controlled access from outside of an organization's intranet. Extranets are used for specific use cases including business-to-business (B2B). In a business-to-business context, an extranet can be viewed as an extension of an organization's intranet that is extended to users outside the organization, usually partners, vendors and suppliers, in isolation from all other Internet users. It is in context of that isolation that an extranet is different from an intranet or internet. In contrast, business-to-consumer (B2C) models involve known servers of one or more companies, communicating with previously unknown consumer users. An extranet is similar to a DMZ in that it provides access to needed services for channel partners, without granting access to an organization's entire network.

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