What Does Extranet Mean?

An extranet is a controlled private network allowing customers, partners, vendors, suppliers and other businesses to gain information, typically about a specific company or educational institution, and do so without granting access to the organization’s entire network. An extranet is often a private part of a website. It is restricted to select users through user IDs, passwords and other authentication mechanisms on a login page.


Techopedia Explains Extranet

An extranet may be viewed as an intranet mapped onto the public Internet or onto some other private network.

Advantages of extranets include:

  • The ability to exchange large volumes of data using electronic data interchange
  • Sharing product data or catalogs with business partners
  • Joint company collaboration and training
  • Sharing services such as online banking applications among affiliated banks

Disadvantages are expensive implementation and maintenance if hosted internally and the potential for compromised sensitive or proprietary information. Alternately, it may be hosted by an application service provider.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…