Windows 7 / Networking

Network Location Types

Different types of networks require different levels of protection. For example, when connected to your internal AD DS network, you might want computers to allow network management tools to establish incoming connections. However, you do not want to allow management connections if a user connects to a wireless hotspot at an airport or coffee shop.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 provide three different network location types:

  • Public With public networks, such as wireless hotspots, protecting the computer from network attacks is vital. Network Discovery is disabled by default for public networks, and Windows Firewall blocks all unrequested, incoming traffic unless you specifically create exceptions.
  • Private (labeled as Home or Work) Private networks are designed to be used for home or small office networks, where you may want to share resources with other computers on the LAN, but you do not have an AD DS domain controller. Network Discovery is enabled by default on private networks.
  • Domain Any time the computer can connect to and authenticate with an AD DS domain controller of the domain for which it is a member, the network is considered a domain network. Network Discovery is disabled by default on domain networks unless overridden by domain Group Policy settings. Administrators should use Group Policy settings to create Windows Firewall exceptions for internal monitoring and management software.

It is important to understand network location types because any Windows Firewall exceptions you create apply only to the currently configured network location type. For example, if you want Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) to accept incoming connections when you are connected to your home network, you should specify that the home network is a private network prior to creating the exception. If your home network is configured as a public network when you create the exception, IIS will be available when you are connected to public networks such as wireless hotspots, thereby exposing IIS to attacks from the Internet.

Domain networks are configured automatically when a computer connects to a domain controller. All other networks are considered public networks by default. To specify a network as the private location type, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your computer to the network you want to configure as private.
  2. Open Network And Sharing Center. Click Public Network, located below your active network connection.
  3. The Set Network Location dialog box appears. Click Home or Work.
  4. Click Close.

Because Windows might connect to many different networks, it stores profiles of each network using the network's Domain Name System (DNS) suffix and gateway media access control (MAC) address. The gateway MAC address uniquely identifies a network adapter in your router.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Configuring Windows Networking
  2. Usability Improvements
  3. Network And Sharing Center
  4. Network Explorer
  5. How Windows Finds Network Resources
  6. How Windows Publishes Network Resources
  7. How Windows Creates the Network Map
  8. Network Map
  9. Set Up A Connection Or Network Wizard
  10. Manageability Improvements
  11. Network Location Types
  12. Policy-Based QoS
  13. Selecting DSCP Values
  14. Planning Traffic Throttling
  15. Configuring QoS Policies
  16. Configuring System-Wide QoS Settings
  17. Configuring Advanced QoS Settings
  18. Testing QoS
  19. Windows Firewall and IPsec
  20. Windows Connect Now in Windows 7
  21. Core Networking Improvements
  22. Networking BranchCache
  23. How Hosted Cache Works
  24. How Distributed Cache Works
  25. Configuring BranchCache
  26. BranchCache Protocols
  27. File Sharing Using SMB
  28. Web Browsing with HTTP (Including HTTPS)
  29. DNSsec
  30. GreenIT
  31. Efficient Networking
  32. What Causes Latency, How to Measure It, and How to Control It
  33. TCP Receive Window Scaling
  34. Scalable Networking
  35. Improved Reliability
  36. IPv6 Support
  37. 802.1X Network Authentication
  38. Server Message Block (SMB) 2.0
  39. Strong Host Model
  40. Wireless Networking
  41. Improved APIs
  42. Network Awareness
  43. Improved Peer Networking
  44. Services Used by Peer-to-Peer Networking
  45. Managing Peer-to-Peer Networking
  46. Peer-to-Peer Name Resolution
  47. EAP Host Architecture
  48. Layered Service Provider (LSP)
  49. Windows Sockets Direct Path for System Area Networks
  50. How to Configure Wireless Settings
  51. Configuring Wireless Settings Manually
  52. Using Group Policy to Configure Wireless Settings
  53. How to Configure TCP/IP
  54. DHCP
  55. Configuring IP Addresses Manually
  56. Command Line and Scripts
  57. How to Connect to AD DS Domains
  58. How to Connect to a Domain When 802.1X Authentication Is Not Enabled
  59. How to Connect to a Domain When 802.1X Authentication Is Enabled