Also known as: Intranet software, Intranet portal, Employee portal, Company hub

Definition of Intranet

An intranet is a network of computers that are usually in the same building of the same company or organization. It's effectively a smaller version of the internet, the world wide network of computers.

The intranet is used so that everybody in an organization can have shared access to web application, collaboration software, file shares, etc.

While most intranet networks span across the entire office, there are larger networks that can cover multiple close buildings or buildings that are far away through a secure tunnel that can transmit intranet data through the public internet.

Ambiguity around intranet and Intranet software

While technically an intranet is a small internal network; many people actually refer to the homepage on their browser at their desk as the Intranet.

This Intranet that most people will think of is actually a dedicated Intranet software that will unite functions such as employee directory, corporate news, blogs, corporate social network, search engine, etc.

This Intranet software is usually also hosted on the internal network and can contain links or downloads to other resources within this internal network. However, there is also Intranet software in the cloud, which means people's Intranet is reached over the internet.

Should you capitalize Intranet?

Just like the internet is not generally capitalized anymore, you don't need to capitalize intranet. However, to avoid ambiguity we recommend the following style:

  • When talking about the intranet, the internal network, don't capitalize
  • But when you refer to Intranet software, then capitalize Intranet

The rationale for this is this:
Just like there is the Sun we orbit around in our solar system, there are suns in other galaxies as well. Following this logic you can say there are many intranets in use everywhere, but the particular software that's at the center of your companies' intranet, is the Intranet.