An extranet is a computer network that allows controlled access from the outside, for specific business or educational purposes. In a business-to-business context, an extranet can be viewed as an extension of an organization's intranet that is extended to users outside the organization, usually partners, vendors, and suppliers, in isolation from all other Internet users. In contrast, business-to-consumer (B2C) models involve known servers of one or more companies, communicating with previously unknown consumer users. An extranet is similar to a DMZ in that it provides access to needed services for channel partners, without granting access to an organization's entire network. An extranet can be understood as an intranet mapped onto the public Internet or some other transmission system not accessible to the general public, but managed by more than one company's administrator(s).
Contributions by Paul W, Mindmatrix, and 126.96.36.199.