A private network is designed for use inside an organization. It allows access to shared resources and, at the same time, provides privacy.
An intranet is a private network (LAN) that uses the Internet model. However, access to the network is limited to the users inside the organization. The network uses application programs defined for the global Internet, such as HTTP, and may have Web servers, print servers, file servers, firewalls and so on. Each computer in internet has its own IP address. It is easy and cheap mode of communication in an organization.
An extranet is the same as an intranet with one major difference: Some resources may be accessed by specific groups of users outside the organization under the control of the network administrator. Extranet is implemented as virtual private network (VPN). For example, a university may allow distance learning students the access to the computer lab after passwords have been checked.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that allows remote users to connect to private network of an organization to access resources in a secure way. It is gaining popularity among large organizations that use the global Internet for both intra- and inter organization communication, but require privacy in their internal communications.
VPN creates a network that is private but virtual. It is private because it guarantees privacy inside the organization. It is virtual because it does not use real private WANs; the network is physically public but virtually private.
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