An intranet is defined by the use of Internet technologies (HTTP, TCP/IP, FTP, SMTP) within an organization.
By contrast, the Internet is a global network of machines connecting different organizations.
The line becomes blurred when the internal system is opened to remote access and parts of the system are made available to customers
and suppliers. This extension of an intranet to selected outsiders is often called an extranet.
As networks continue to develop, distinctions among types of systems will become increasingly artificial , just as the once clear distinctions among hardware such as personal computers, servers, and minicomputers have lost meaning.
When studying network architectures, concentrate on how the issues described may affect internet technology-based systems within your organizations,
rather than on the specific definition of any one system.
Because they are based on open Internet standards, intranets are easy to implement technologically.
Although they can offer robust functionality with little investment, they are often rolled out with little forethought and therefore fail to make a significant contribution to the organization.
Much of the research and background information applicable to intranets is now being published in other areas.
The technological issues overlap with the broader Internet, and many of the internal applications offered on intranets are now encompassed by enterprise applications and knowledge management. Some authors even refer to (B2E) business-to-employee applications emphasizing the importance of focusing on the access to systems by those within the organization.