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Intranets, Extranets and VPNs

1) Local Area Networks (LANS) are used by most businesses with computers. Essentially, a LAN is a network of computers that spans a small area in a single geographic region.

2) (WAN) Wide Area Networks are comprised of two or more computers and/or LANs connected over a wide geographic area. These may be in different cities or different countries around the World. WANS can be Intra or Inter-company.

3) As the internet became more popular, the standards on which it is based became more common and accepted. An intranet uses these standards such as the TCP/IP and HTTP protocols within an organization It is a private network used only within a company for sharing information, and is not available to external users.

4) A VPN is a private WAN tat hs connected over public wires. A VPN uses special protocols such as MSFT PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol), Cisco Systems L2F (Layer Two Forwarding), or the combined L2TP (Layer Two Tunneling Protocol) to connect a network using the internet that is private and secure so that outsiders cannot access it. An Extranet may be implemented by using a VPN.

5) XML is became increasingly popular as a standard for Web formats on the internet. XML provides standards for structuring data in a text format that allows different application and platforms to share that data. Because XML is not platform, application or manufacture specific, it is of great interest in eBusiness solutions.