Vista Firewall Network Locations

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by RockLobster, Jun 21, 2008.

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  1. RockLobster

    RockLobster Registered Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    If you are a Vista user you probably know when you set up a new network connection, a dialogue from the firewall pops up and asks you to choose a network location, Public or Private.

    If you read the Microsoft help on this it completely fails to answer the simple question, which of the two location choices, should a stand alone computer set for its internet connection, but it does tell you, choose Private for home and office networks and choose Public for networks in public places.

    It would seem from that information, you should choose Private for your home internet connection, but if you read further, it also says if you choose Private, network discovery is turned on which allows other computers to see yours and yours to see theirs.
    This doesnt sound very secure for an internet connection. So I am assuming, without being entirely sure about it, that public would be the best choice.

    This issue seems to cause some general confusion, for instance I found the this question being asked on Yahoo Answers:
    "When I set up a network connection to connect to the internet through my cable modem, it asks me to choose Public or Private. What am I supposed to choose? I have Vista. Thank you."

    If you visit that web page you will see, everyone who gave a direct answer to the question, said choose private as this is the most secure. Private may or may not be the correct choice, but as I understand it, it is not the most secure of the two options.

    It seems that Microsofts choice of Public or Private was a bad choice of terms, as most people seems to assume, Private means secure and Public means unsecure, when in fact the information in the help seems to suggest just the opposite.

    Can anyone answer this question definativly ? which of the two, Public or Private should a modem internet connection be ?
  2. DevilFrank

    DevilFrank Registered Member

    Jul 20, 2003
    Windows Vista’s Public and Private firewall profiles allow the user to have one profile (the Private profile) for working on a home network and another profile (the Public profile) for connecting to public networks.

    In your situation I would go with "Public". This is the most secure option. If you can bring a NATed router between your modem and your network you can change to "Private".
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