'Home' Network setting: Public or Private?


spr_pseudo

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11:33 AM
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Win11
Windows can be confusing relating to calling a 'home' network public when it's private. The misunderstanding comes from it being connected to ethernet (for example), which you know is on a private 'home' network, but is also connected to the internet, which seems to be appropriately 'public'. Can it truly be considered private with the internet having access to it (barring firewall restriction). When it's wifi, the problem is wifi signals are open to the public, but may connect to a local router with wifi, that is also connected to the 'public' space itself with it's emitting signal. So which setting is really appropriate since you're technically connected to a public internet or wifi public space? Is the difference really to do with whether there's a hardware firewall or wifi password in the way?
 
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11

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Setting to the 'recommended' public setting means that the various devices on your network don't 'trust' each other, so it is a more secure setting. Imagine, for example, that you pick up a piece of malware on your mobile phone, and bring it into your home, if your network is set to 'private', then the malware has free rein to infect all the other devices on your network.
The downside comes if you have problems connecting devices, without going through the router - e.g. using your PC as a print server. That can be difficult to set up, depending on the software which comes with the printer. You can, of course, temporarily set your network as private to set up a device, and then change it to public after your devices are working properly.
 
Last edited:

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My private IP address on my home network set as private is 192.168.1.120. Go ahead, try to connect to it. And of you really want to see all my files, go ahead and connect to my NAS at 192.168.1.15.
 

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    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
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    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
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    Windows 11 Education
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    Intel i7-8550U
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My private IP address on my home network set as private is 192.168.1.120. Go ahead, try to connect to it. And of you really want to see all my files, go ahead and connect to my NAS at 192.168.1.15.
Did you miss the bit about having a compromised device INSIDE your network? Obviously nobody OUTSIDE the network can connect to your local ip addresses.
 

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    Windows 11
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    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home built
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    Ryzen 3900x
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    Gigabyte Aorus Master x570 rel 1.0
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    32GB (2x16) @ 3600 MHz Corsair Vengeance LPX
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte Windforce RTX 2080
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    No separate sound card.
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    Dell U2718Q
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    3840x2160
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    1TB WD-Black SN850; 1TB Samsung Sata 850 Evo; 4 TB WD Blue Sata SA510 2.5''; 4TB Samsung Sata SSD 870 EVO 2.5".
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    Dell Inspiron 7373 2-in-1
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    Intel Core i7 8th Generation
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    Dell 0HG1FH (U3E1)
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    Touch screen generic monitor
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    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    256GB Micron SATA SSD.
    Internet Speed
    400Mb/s (Wifi)
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
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    Eset Internet Security
    Other Info
    Dell says this system is not Windows 11 capable, but Microsoft seems happy with it.
Did you miss the bit about having a compromised device INSIDE your network? Obviously nobody OUTSIDE the network can connect to your local ip addresses.
A little bit of care and attention all but ensures that the standard home user's liile network of a few computers and printers won't be compromised from the inside.
 

My Computers

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    Windows 11
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    PC/Desktop
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    Homebuilt
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    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!
I get my internet through the cellular network which uses CGNAT and assigns blocks of users the same IP address. Makes it even more difficult for someone on the outside to obtain entrance to my home network, regardless of built in firewalls and other such security. Sucks if one wants to use remote access cameras that need a dedicated public IP and for gaming. Forced to use a VPN or purchase an IP address from the carrier, if they have one available.
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 (22631.3737) Feature Pack 1000.22700.1003.0
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    Laptop
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    MSI
    CPU
    i7-10750H
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    MSI MS-17F5
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    16GB Samsung DDR4 3200
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    Samsung 24" Curved (HDMI)
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    Sabrent Rocket Gen3 1Tb Smasung EVO 870 1TB
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    Avast
I get my internet through the cellular network which uses CGNAT and assigns blocks of users the same IP address. Makes it even more difficult for someone on the outside to obtain entrance to my home network, regardless of built in firewalls and other such security. Sucks if one wants to use remote access cameras that need a dedicated public IP and for gaming. Forced to use a VPN or purchase an IP address from the carrier, if they have one available.
DDNS - Dynamic Domain Name Service
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!
DDNS - Dynamic Domain Name Service
I never got into that, really no big deal for me but a lot of folks complain about it. Cloud cameras work fine.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 (22631.3737) Feature Pack 1000.22700.1003.0
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI
    CPU
    i7-10750H
    Motherboard
    MSI MS-17F5
    Memory
    16GB Samsung DDR4 3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel + Nvidia RTX3060 Laptop
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 24" Curved (HDMI)
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Sabrent Rocket Gen3 1Tb Smasung EVO 870 1TB
    Antivirus
    Avast
Setting to the 'recommended' public setting means that the various devices on your network don't 'trust' each other, so it is a more secure setting. Imagine, for example, that you pick up a piece of malware on your mobile phone, and bring it into your home, if your network is set to 'private', then the malware has free rein to infect all the other devices on your network.
The downside comes if you have problems connecting devices, without going through the router - e.g. using your PC as a print server. That can be difficult to set up, depending on the software which comes with the printer. You can, of course, temporarily set your network as private to set up a device, and then change it to public after your devices are working properly.
I think the linguistics is troubling. It shouldn't be is the network private or public, but whether you want the win11 pc to be hidden on the network you're on or not. I'm thinking why would I ever say the local network is "public" when I see i and whether microsoft says it means other things that aren't told about. Then you have vpns with assigned alternate ips and then you have to figure out what it might mean if you say it's public.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win11
here's a quote from jumanjis article. he understood exactly this linguistic problem:

When you are on your home network and have it configured as private on your computer, your PC is discoverable by other devices connected to the same network. So, in this case, the public Wi-Fi setting is more secure than the private one. Yes, you read that right!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win11

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