is "public" safer than "private" (or home) when setting up windows?

I have 2 laptops in my home, and my mother has a desktop, and sometimes a visitor will bring their own laptop.  We all connect to the same modem, and sometimes the same printer.
We have no need for file sharing.

Sometimes one computer will be infected, and I worry that this infection might spread to other PC's that happen to be using the modem.

In one laptop, which I bought recently, I asked the person who set up windows to set it up for "public" on the theory that public networks do not trust files from other PCs, and so would not trust viruses from other PCs.

But he strongly objected, saying that "public" is less secure.

Other people have said its MORE secure.

I just installed windows 10, and that added a complication, because the default behavior is to attach to any network in the neighborhood.

So my questions:

1) what are the choices: are they: public/private/home?

2) which should I use (public/private/home), given that malware infections happen often in this house, and I don't want them to spread because one PC "trusts" another PC.



Hi Gilbert,

Public network for networks in public places (such as coffee shops or airports). This location is designed to keep your computer from being visible to other computers around you and to help protect your computer from any malicious software from the Internet. HomeGroup is not available on public networks, and network discovery is turned off. You should also choose this option if you're connected directly to the Internet without using a router, or if you have a mobile broadband connection.

Home network for home networks or when you know and trust the people and devices on the network. Computers on a home network can belong to a homegroup. Network discovery is turned on for home networks, which allows you to see other computers and devices on the network and allows other network users to see your computer.

Private network

In the Internet addressing architecture, a private network is a network that uses private IP address space, following the standards set by RFC 1918 for Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4), and RFC 4193 for Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). These addresses are commonly used for home, office, and enterprise local area networks (LANs).

For more information on Windows 10 security and privacy, refer to the link.

Hope it helps. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to reply. We will be glad to assist you.

K.Z. Sharief Khan
Ex-Microsoft Forum Moderator

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Question Info

Last updated August 1, 2020 Views 20,953 Applies to: