Difference between Internet and Intranet

The Internet is a global network of networks where computers communicate with each other via Internet Protocol. Intranets, on the other hand, are private networks. Go through this article to find out the other major differences between the Internet and an Intranet.

What is Internet?

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide.

As the Internet is a globally connected network, so it can have multiple more users as compare to the number of users on Intranet.

Although the phrases "Internet" and "World Wide Web" are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not synonymous; the Internet refers to the worldwide communication system comprising hardware and infrastructure. The web, on the other hand, is one of the Internet's services.

The concept of Internet was originated in 1969 and has undergone several technological & Infrastructural changes as discussed below −

  • The origin of Internet devised from the concept of Advanced Research Project Agency Network (ARPANET) which was developed by United States Department of Defense. The basic purpose of ARPANET was to provide communication among the various bodies of government.

  • Initially, there were only four nodes, formally called Hosts.

  • In 1972, the ARPANET spread over the globe with 23 nodes located at different countries and thus became known as Internet.

  • By the time, with invention of new technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, DNS, WWW, browsers, scripting languages, etc., the Internet provided a medium to publish and access information over the web.

Advantages of Internet

  • Internet allows us to communicate with the people sitting at remote locations. There are various apps available on the wed that uses Internet as a medium for communication. One can find various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google+, Flickr, etc.

  • One can surf for any kind of information over the internet. Information regarding various topics such as Technology, Health & Science, Social Studies, Geographical Information, Information Technology, Products, etc. can be surfed with help of a search engine.

  • Internet allows us to use many services like Internet Banking, Online Shopping, Online Ticket Booking, Online Bill Payment, Data Sharing, and E-mail among others.

  • Internet provides the concept of electronic commerce that allows the business deals to be conducted on electronic systems.

Disadvantages of Internet

  • There are always chances to loose personal information such as name, address, credit card number. Therefore, one should be very careful while sharing such information. One should use credit cards only through authenticated sites.

  • Another disadvantage is Spamming which corresponds to the unwanted e-mails in bulk.

  • Various types of dangerous computer virus can easily be spread through the systems that are connected to the Internet. Such virus attacks may cause your system to crash or your important data may get deleted.

  • There are various websites that do not provide the authenticated information. This leads to misconception among many people.

What is Intranet?

An intranet is a secure private company network that uses the Internet Protocol to share data and application resources (IP). Intranets, which refer to an organization’s internal website or portion of its IT infrastructure, can house several private websites and are an essential tool for internal communication and cooperation.

A firm's Intranet is built on Internet concepts and technology, but it is only for internal use. The term "Intranet" can refer to anything that is web-based but intended for personal use, but it most commonly refers to a company's shared online apps. Companies frequently keep internal contact information, calendars, and other documents on their intranets, for example.

Difference between Internet and Intranet

The following table compares and contrasts the major differences between Internet and Intranet.

DefinitionThe Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite to link devices worldwide.An Intranet is a private network that is contained within an enterprise. It may consist of many interlinked local area networks and also use leased lines in the wide area network.
UsersInternet is the globally connected network, so it can have a huge number of users as compared to the number of users on an Intranet.Intranet has limited network range, so users on Intranet are also limited and less as compared than that on Internet.
TrafficThe total visitor traffic is exceptionally high due to a large number of users and a public network. It's practically impossible to count.Because intranets have a small number of users, visitor traffic is limited compared to the Internet. The traffic on an intranet can be counted.
SecurityAs Internet is exposed to global network and has wider range as compare to that of Intranet, so the possibility of cyber-attacks and other security threats is more in case of Internet.Intranets, in contrast, are much more secure due to their limited network size.
Type of networkInternet is a type of public network.Intranet is a type of private network.
Data accessibilityUsers can access a huge variety of data on the Internet. Anyone with a network connection can have access to the Internet.On an Intranet, users can have access to only limited data. Only members of the organization with login credentials can have access to an Intranet.
ScopeThe scope of information available on the Internet is vast, encompassing practically every topic, category, and field.On the other hand, an Intranet contains restricted information about any group or organization, such as the company's databases.


Internet is a public network, whereas Intranet is a private network. The Internet is a worldwide network system that connects a broad collection of private, public, business, academic, and government networks to enable global communication and access to data resources. In contrast, Intranets can be a collection of an organization’s internal websites or a portion of its IT infrastructure that can house several private websites. Intranets are an essential tool for companies to facilitate internal communication among its employees.