ITGS Syllabus

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Topic 135

Comparison of Internet and Intranet by Alex with additions by Nitish

Although intranet looks as if it is a spelling mistake of internet or just another way of spelling internet, in fact they are two different concepts. Many people tend to mix up their meanings and confuse them. In the virtual world, they are two totally different concepts.

Internet in simple terms is a global network connecting millions of computers throughout the world.
The Internet is the worldwide, publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP). It is a "network of networks" that consists of millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and government networks, which together carry various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked Web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web. (

The internet uses the TCP/IP network protocols for data transmission and exchange. The TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, respectively.

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is one of the core protocols of the Internet protocol suite, often simply referred to as TCP/IP. Using TCP, applications on networked hosts can create connections to one another, over which they can exchange streams of data using Stream Sockets. The protocol guarantees reliable and in-order delivery of data from sender to receiver. TCP also distinguishes data for multiple connections by concurrent applications (e.g., Web server and e-mail server) running on the same host. (

The Internet Protocol (IP) is a data-oriented protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched internetwork. IP is a network layer protocol in the internet protocol suite and is encapsulated in a data link layer protocol (e.g., Ethernet). As a lower layer protocol, IP provides the service of communicable unique global addressing amongst computers.

This is a basic standard to transmit data over networks and is also the basis for internet protocols. Internet Protocol is a standardized method of transporting information across the internet through packets of data. The Transmission Control Protocol makes sure the packets of data being shipped and also being received is in the right and intended order. The TCP/IP is used because this allows all the networks to work as one flawless network for all users. Therefore as we can conclude from these definitions, when people talk about the internet and they talking generally about the world-wide web as many things are involved in sending and receiving information from the use of the internet. The internet is a place where most people do things like -

- Email
- Collaboration
- File Sharing
- Streaming Media
- Remote Access

Intranet meanwhile is a more specific concept and one area of knowledge about the internet. Intranet is a private network within the company or an organization that uses the same protocols as the internet.

An intranet is a private computer network that uses Internet protocols, network connectivity, and possibly the public telecommunication system to securely share part of an organization's information or operations with its employees. Sometimes the term refers only to the most visible service, the internal website. The same concepts and technologies of the Internet such as clients and servers running on the Internet protocol suite are used to build an intranet. HTTP and other Internet protocols are commonly used as well, especially FTP and e-mail. There is often an attempt to use Internet technologies to provide new interfaces with corporate 'legacy' data and information systems.

Briefly, an intranet can be understood as "a private version of the Internet," or as a version of the internet confined to an organization.
The meaning of internet can also be more specifically described because the internet can communicate with machines on other networks and send files and data as well as other information back and forth. The internet offers many services such as e-mail, social networking, online games and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) such as Skype, messengers, etc.. The internet is also used to advertise or start small businesses by buying a domain name and starting from there (such as Yahoo! Small Business which costs about $10 to begin) or to shop for goods such as Amazon or to sell goods through auction sites such as eBay. The internet is a place for leisure, communication, information gathering, sharing, etc.

Over time, the internet has evolved tremendously in terms of the speed and the reliability of the internet. For example in the late 90’s people were using dial-up to use the internet and was very slow to receive and transmit information while also having to connect to the internet service provider each time when people wanted to use the internet. Then a couple years later, broadband was introduced and the internet was faster than before and instead of paying huge sums of money in dial-up(as the amount of time being used for the internet factored in the internet bill) people can now buy a package with the specific speed without having to pay extra money as was the case in dial-up. Also now it has evolved even further with wireless networks. This is very convenient because people can bring their laptops in the train or at the airport and surf the web.

People can also use the internet in other ways besides the computer. For example, cell-phones and BlackBerry have built-in internet capabilities. So communication has evolved tremendously through the development of the internet.

Although the internet is a lot more useful and affects our everyday lifes, there have been drawbacks of the internet as well. Viruses, annoying pop-ups, phishers, spammers and hackers are some of the negative impacts of the internet that has evolved in significant ways and at times scary ways with all the ever-increasing identity-theft news among major companies and corporations.

The intranet is different from the Internet. It is like a private internet, confined to an organization, etc. For example, our school has a Intranet as well as a Internet.

Many advantages include:
1. Workforce productivity: Intranets can help employees to quickly find and view information and applications relevant to their roles and responsibilities. Via a simple-to-use web browser interface, users can access data held in any database the organization wants to make available, anytime and - subject to security provisions - from anywhere, increasing employees' ability to perform their jobs faster, more accurately, and with confidence that they have the right information.

2. Time: With intranets, organizations can make more information available to employees on a "pull" basis (ie: employees can link to relevant information at a time which suits them) rather than being deluged indiscriminately by emails.

3. Communication: Intranets can serve as powerful tools for communication within an organization, vertically and horizontally.

4. Web publishing allows 'cumbersome' corporate knowledge to be maintained and easily accessed throughout the company using hypermedia and Web technologies. Examples include: employee manuals, benefits documents, company policies, business standards, newsfeeds, and even training, can be accessed using common Internet standards (Acrobat files, Flash files, CGI applications). Because each business unit can update the online copy of a document, the most recent version is always available to employees using the intranet.

5. Business operations and management: Intranets are also being used as a platform for developing and deploying applications to support business operations and decisions across the internetworked enterprise.


This concludes my topic.
Also, another good resource from follows:

The Difference Between Intranet and Internet Design

Your intranet and your public website on the open Internet are two different information spaces and should have two different user interface designs. It is tempting to try to save design resources by reusing a single design, but it is a bad idea to do so because the two types of site differ along several dimensions:

• Users differ. Intranet users are your own employees who know a lot about the company, its organizational structure, and special terminology and circumstances. Your Internet site is used by customers who will know much less about your company and also care less about it.

• The tasks differ. The intranet is used for everyday work inside the company, including some quite complex applications; the Internet site is mainly used to find out information about your products.

• The type of information differs. The intranet will have many draft reports, project progress reports, human resource information, and other detailed information, whereas the Internet site will have marketing information and customer support information.

• The amount of information differs. Typically, an intranet has between ten and a hundred times as many pages as the same company's public website. The difference is due to the extensive amount of work-in-progress that is documented on the intranet and the fact that many projects and departments never publish anything publicly even though they have many internal documents.

• Bandwidth and cross-platform needs differ. Intranets often run between a hundred and a thousand times faster than most Internet users' Web access which is stuck at low-band or mid-band, so it is feasible to use rich graphics and even multimedia and other advanced content on intranet pages. Also, it is sometimes possible to control what computers and software versions are supported on an intranet, meaning that designs need to be less cross-platform compatible (again allowing for more advanced page content).


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