Windows Vista Master: Customizing Network Settings

For each connections, you can provide a name of your choosing and select whether you want that connection to be part of a public or private setting. You also have to determine a location you want to use. This is all done the first time you connect to a network, but you can go back and customize your connections and make changes.

The three network locations are Home, Work, and Public. These settings automatically configure your firewall settings to adjust to the type of network you have chosen. For example, if you select Public (considered untrusted), the firewall settings are more strict because you will be accessing things such as airport networks or the network at the
local Wi-Fi coffee spot.
  • Domain Location—The firewall is automatically turned on and is configured through Group Policy settings provided by Active Directory. In addition, all the settings for network discovery and file and printer sharing are configured through the Group Policy.
  • Public Location—The assumption with this option is that you are physically exposed on an insecure network. The result is that the firewall is turned on and network discovery is turned off, along with all forms of sharing (file, folder, printer, media are all off by default).
  • Private Location—This assumes you are safe and trust the environment (home or work) to which you are connected, perhaps even knowing that there are other safeguards in place to protect you like a good router with a firewall and security settings. Even still, the firewall is on, but network discovery is also on. All sharing options are still turned off by default, but you can easily enable them.

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