What is an Extranet?

An extranet is a selection of applications from a companies' intranet that are exposed to the internet via either a login screen or a secure VPN tunnel.

Extranets are often used for company stakeholders to access information that is essential to their relationship to the organization, i.e. a supplier can check on stock levels, new orders or update prize lists; or a authority can access certain metrics or reports as required.

Difference between Intranet and Extranet

The difference between Intranets and Extranets lies purely in the audience being company stakeholders rather than employees. Usually Extranets are setup the same Intranet software the organization already uses, but as a seperate instance on, usually, a seperate server that hosts just the essential information without further access to the companies' entire network.

Then, select stakeholders are invited to the Extranet, which they can usually access with login credentials (where Intranets typically rely on Single Sign On).