private network - Definition from the Hotspot Shield Glossary

A private network is a network connection that is secured and cannot be accessed without entering security details such as a username and password. Businesses will use private networks to protect their information and to only allow their employees access to the company infrastructure. Network administrators can configure a private network to only recognize certain devices. These devices could be directly connected to the network via Ethernet cables etc., or indirect connections through such things as VPN connections or Wi-Fi. There is little difference between the actual physical formation of a private and public network. The defining characteristic is the access and security measures involved.