Changing intranet security settings

Here are answers to some common questions about intranets and intranet security.

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What is an intranet?

An intranet is a private network, usually within a company or organization. An intranet uses the same protocols as the Internet and can contain the same types of content.

What's an intranet used for?

Intranets are commonly used to store internal, company-related content, such as information about company policies or employee benefits. Because security is tightly controlled by the administrator, the security settings for intranet content can be less restrictive than the settings used for content that comes from the Internet.

What's the difference between the Internet and an intranet?

One difference between the Internet and an intranet is the way pages are addressed. On the Internet, webpages typically are addressed through a full domain name, such as Depending on how the administrator has configured the network, the domain name is usually not needed to access intranet sites and many webpages can be accessed by typing a common name (for example, http://mycompanypicture). If intranet security is enabled, Internet Explorer will recognize the difference between the addresses and use the appropriate security zone settings.

Do I need to set anything in Internet Explorer to have intranet security?

Not usually. When you first install Internet Explorer, it will check to see if you are on an intranet and set address checking appropriately. Your network administrator can also control whether Internet Explorer uses the intranet security zone settings. If Internet Explorer recognizes that you are on an intranet, you do not need to do anything else. If it does not recognize that you're on an intranet, follow these steps to tell Internet Explorer that you are on one:

To tell Internet Explorer that you are on an intranet

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.

  3. Click the Security tab, and then click Local intranet.

  4. Click the Sites button.

  5. In the Local intranet dialog box, clear the Automatically detect intranet network check box.

  6. Select all other check boxes, click OK, and then click OK again.

Why do I get an Information bar notice about the intranet?

If you are connected to an intranet but receive an Information bar notice that an intranet address has been detected, it means that Internet Explorer did not automatically detect your intranet. To tell Internet Explorer that you are on an intranet, follow the steps in the section above.

How do I connect to my company's intranet?

To learn how to connect to your company's intranet, you'll need to talk to your network administrator or search for "network" in Windows Help and Support. The settings discussed above control how Internet Explorer works with intranet addresses, but those settings will not help you set up an intranet connection if one does not already exist.