XtraNet, where the name came from

In December 1996, a near-beer (no alcohol beer) was in front of Steve PeerJohn Herrington and I were drinking Guinness, most likely, sitting at a pub eating chicken wings. John had gotten Steve and me together because John knew this Internet thing would be huge, and we were both doing web development; therefore, we should meet.

I was struggling with what to call my business, and Peer said, “There’s this new term for what you are doing. You’re connecting the internal database and systems so they can be securely accessed over the web. They call it an Extranet.” 

Back then, the Internet was for your website. An Intranet was what you had inside your company for your employees. And an Extranet allows your customers to interact with your internal systems. Today we call it online banking.

I incorporated XtraNet Communications Inc. on December 31, 1996. I can’t remember why I dropped the “E” from the word Extranet. We bought the dot com (XtraNet.com) domain name a few years later, it cost us $5,000, but that’s another story.

Bottomline John was right the Internet thing became huge, and this is how my business became named XtraNet.

Gary Bernier
XtraNet Classroom Downtown Toronto
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