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An extranet is

[a]n extension of an organization's intranet used to facilitate communication with the organization's trusted partners. An extranet allows such trusted partners to gain limited access to the organization's internal data.[1]
[a] private network that uses Internet protocols and the public telecommunications system to securely share information among selected external users. An Extranet requires the use of firewalls, authentication, encryption, and VPNs that tunnel through the public network.[2]

An extranet

refers to extending the LAN via remote or Internet access to partners outside your organization such as frequent suppliers and purchasers. Such relationships should be over authenticated link to authorized segments of the LAN and are frequently encrypted for privacy.[3]


Extranets often replaced point-to-point electronic data interchange (EDI) connections that used standards such as X12. Today, companies provide suppliers, resellers and other members of their supply chain with access to their virtual private networks (VPNs).


See also[]