Posted on 2007-10-17
Last Modified: 2013-11-29

I have some questions regarding LAN & INTRANET.

1. what is the main difference between LAN & INTRANET
2. What  are the communication protocols used in a LAN & in INTRANET
3. Is INTRANET limited like LAN is to a local network or does it encompass external networks like INTERNET
4. How can I change LAN to INTRANET


Question by:fluidyn
    LVL 25

    Accepted Solution

    "intranet" isn't an oft-used term.  See Wikipedia.

    Since you ask about LAN vs. intranet?, here is a reasonable perspective:

    The "LAN" is the mechanism that interconnects your local computers and, usually, provides internet access to them.

    An "intranet" is a thing that's implemented *using* the LAN.

    Consider this:
    On the most familiar form of the internet you browse to pages that reside on servers.  What services are provided thereafter depend on the page, the server, etc.
    There is really nothing different about having a server on your LAN that does the same things.  That's about it.

    For example:
    If you put a web site set of files on a local computer and share that location.
    Then you can browse to that *file* and interact with the pages there just as if you were  out on the public internet.  In this manner you might provide documents, etc. for internal use.

    Instead of:
    You would browse tosomething like:

    Or, if you map the folder c\shared\web as Z:, you might  browse to something like Z:\

    All depending on the browser and how things are set up in detail.  But, I hope you get the idea.
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    1. LANs interconnect devices with network cards (computers, printers, scanners, switches and so on) within a shorter distance, for example within a building or a few, typically not for a longer distance then a couple of hundred meters.

    Intranets are web based access to the resources on the LAN from an internal website. Access to the intranet is normally given only to the users of the LAN. If access is given to non-LAN users then it is called an extranet.

    2. IP (in conjunction with TCP or UDP) is the most common protocol for LAN communication. Some LANs use IPX (in conjunction with SPX), but there are more.

    HTTP and FTP are the most common protocols for communication with the intranet servers. Those are both a part of the TCP/IP-family.

    3. Since intranet servers use TCP/IP you can access them over the Internet if the administrator have allowed it.

    4. If you have a LAN you can add intranet servers to it and then you will have both. Since intranet servers reside on the LAN you cant have only the intranet. That would be like having a car without having a road to use it on.

    Intranets can have many different forms and shapes. The thing you have to ask yourself is what your need is. Then you can decide what kind of intranet you should have.
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