Business Management The Internet, Intranet, and Extranet Anyone using computers for school, business, or personal use knows the difficulty of keeping up with changing technology. Computer users are demanding that microprocessors become faster and faster and easier to use in order to keep up with the many software applications used today. Users also want Internet and intranet connections that upload and download information quickly. The Internet The internet is “a public, world-wide computer network made up of smaller, interconnected networks that span the globe” .

Internet users can generally make better decisions because they have instant and convenient access to information that is stored anywhere in the world. However, the internet user must decide the quality of the information. Accessing the Internet If you are using the internet at school, work, or home, someone is paying a fee so you can access the internet. School districts businesses, and individuals pay a fee to an internet service provider (ISP) to access the internet.

An ISP is a business that sells access to its permanent Internet connection for a fee. Fees are usually based on a standard monthly charge, but may vary by hours of actual connection. Individuals should be aware of their Internet use and pick an ISP accordingly. The Intranet An internet is a private network within an organization. It belongs to the organization’s employees. Employees are typically required to enter a password to access information that is to be restricted to the employees and not made available to the public.

Information that is commonly available on an intranet include such things as telephone directories, employee handbooks, policy and procedure manuals, employee benefit information, frequently used forms, calendars of events, and job postings. The Extranet An extranet operates much like an intranet in that it is a private network within an organization. The primary difference between an intranet and extranet is that an extranet makes selected parts of the information stored on the network available to people outside the organization .

These people may include current customers, students, businesses, etc. Access to the selected information is gained by using a user name and password. Examples of extranets include banks, credit card companies, and investment organizations that provide their customers with access to their account information and to conduct business over the extranet. Colleges and universities often provide students access to their schedule of courses, grades, and financial accounts.


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