Windows 10 allows you to setup each network that your computer connects to as either Public or Private network. So let us go ahead and take a look at the difference between public and private network in Windows 10.
Public and Private Network in Windows 10
When your computer connects to any network for the first time, Windows 10 prompts you to confirm whether you want to make your computer discoverable by other computers.
Your response to this pop-up determines whether the network that your computer is trying to connect to will be setup as public or private network.
If you choose to make your computer discoverable, the network will be set up as a private network.
If you choose not to make your computer discoverable, the network will be setup as a public network.
Difference Between Public and Private Network in Windows 10
When you setup a network as private, Windows 10 assumes that you trust the network and makes it easy for other computers to find your computer.
Since a private network supports network discovery features, this type of network is ideally suited for sharing files, folders and printers.
In case of a Public Network, Windows 10 makes your computer hidden from other computers and disables all network discovery features on your computer.
As a rule of thumb, you should always use a Public Network connection, whenever you are outside and using public WiFi Networks (Coffee shop, library and others).
Switch from Public to Private Network in Windows 10
At any time, you can switch from Public to Private network or from Private to Public network on your computer.
1. Click on the Start button > Settings Icon.
2. On the Settings screen, click on Network & Internet.
3. On the next screen, click on Status in the left pane. In the right-pane, click on Change Connection Properties Link.
4. On the next screen, you can set the network type as either Public or Private based on your own requirements.
Windows 10 will setup the network as either Private to Public type, depending on your selection.