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Definition: A computer network designed to meet the internal needs of a single organization or company that is based on Internet technology (TCP/IP). Not necessarily open to the external Internet and almost certainly not accessible from the outside, an intranet enables organizations to make internal resources available using familiar Internet clients, such as Web browsers, newsreaders, and e-mail. Simply by publishing information, such as employee manuals or telephone directories on the Web rather than printed media, companies can realize significant returns on investment (ROI) by creating intranets. An intranet that has been selectively opened to strategic allies (including suppliers, customers, research labs, and other external allies) is called an extranet.
Source: Pfaffenberger, Bryan. Webster's new world computer dictionary. London: Wiley, 2003. Print.