The Windows 7 Network Location

Windows 7 Network Location SettingsWindows 7 Network Location

Controlling Network Location helps to secure your computer in public areas, while allowing network discovery on a home network.


Start at the Network and Sharing Center

  1. Navigate to the Control Panel
  2. Click on Network and Internet
  3. Select the Network and Sharing Center.

Here is where you can set the network location, change the adapter settings, inspect the firewall, or troubleshoot internet connection problems.

Set Network Location

Microsoft's idea behind Network Location is that you can configure sharing and other security settings automatically.

Windows 7 Home Network

Click on 'Home network' to change your network location.

Windows 7 Home Network

As the name suggests, 'Home' is for small trusted networks where you have control over all the local resources such as routers.  This 'Home network' setting not only enables your computer to discover other machines and network devices, but also allows you to join a homegroup.

With the old fixed Rj45 connectors there was no physical security problem.  However, a wireless connections mean that strangers with an ordinary computer could connect to your home network.  The better your Wi-Fi router, the greater the range for a possible 'drive-by' attack.

The key to configuring home networks is controlling the passwords on your router.  There is usually one master password to get into the router settings, and an access code number for devices to attach.  Half the battle with home network security is awareness, assess the threat of strangers in range of your router, make sure the passwords for your Wi-Fi devices are not the defaults.

Windows 7 Work Network

This is a little used setting for small offices. Network discovery with the 'Work' setting, but you can't join a homegroup. With the Work setting you are at the mercy of your network manager.

Domain Network Setting
Domain Network is a location for enterprises with Windows Server and active directory.  There is no option, this setting is just a product of joining a domain.

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Differences with Windows 8 Network LocationWindows 8 Network Location

In Windows 8 there are only two network options, Public or Private.  There is no 'Home network', or 'Work network settins as there are in Windows 7.

See more on Windows 8 Locations

Summary of Windows 7 Network Location

Controlling Network Location allows network discovery on a home network, yet making your computer more secure if you change to 'Public network' when away from your base.

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Microsoft Windows 7 Network Topics

Windows 7  • Windows 7 Network Adapter Connection  • Windows 7 Network Monitor

Windows 8 Network Location  • Windows 7 Private Network  • Review of SolarWinds TFTP Server

Windows 8 Configuration  • Windows 8 Metro UI  • Windows 8 Wireless  • Network Performance Monitor