The difference between a LAN and Intranet

intranet

My current understanding is that a LAN is a 2 or more computers connected within a local geographical location.

I always thought intranet was the webpages accessed on a LAN network but that appears to be called intraweb.

So what is the difference between intranet and LAN?

Best Answer

  • A LAN is a set of computers that all have a NIC that's connected with the same subnet mask (e.g. 255.255.255.0), and which are on the same network (e.g. 192.168.0.X). One way this is easily done is connecting a number of computers to the same switch/switch stack, or the switch part (the LAN ports) of a home router.

    When this happens, each computer on the LAN can send broadcast traffic to all other computers on the LAN, and talk to any other computer when the IP address is known, if the computer itself is not blocking traffic from the LAN.

    I always thought intranet was the webpages accessed on a LAN network but that appears to be called intraweb.

    Well, in a LAN you can have servers (in addition to standard PCs/laptops) that offer services to PCs/laptops on the LAN and LAN only. A web server could be one of those services, and there may be other things like a file server, Lync or chat server, etc. Intranet would technically be the entire collection of servers meant to be accessed by computer on the LAN (but not available from the general Internet) - and intraweb could be the web server only from the intranet.