intranet - Definition from the Hotspot Shield Glossary

An intranet is a form of private network that is contained within a specific business or location. The intranet is primarily used as a group resource that members of an organization can access to share files and work on jobs together in a secure environment.

The intranet may have a portal or gateway that may look like a web page that users can login to access files etc. An intranet will use secure protocols and encryption to ensure that data remains private. Access to the World Wide Web will usually be possible through an intranet and this private network will control the flow of data and ensure the information returning back through the network is safe. If an intranet allows access to any external parties it then becomes an intranet.