In Windows Vista, the Home and Work options are functionally identical; the only difference is the default icon that Windows assigns to represent the network. In Windows 7, however, there is a key difference: only Home networks can use the Home-Group feature .

If you have a mobile computer that connects to multiple networks, keep in mind that Windows keeps three groups of network security settings: one for private (home or work) networks, one for public-location networks, and one for use when your computer is joined to a domain-based network. A visit to Windows Firewall shows that it maintains three profiles: Home Or Work (Private) Networks, Public Networks, and Domain Networks; each is associated with a network location type

For more information about Windows Firewall, see "Blocking Intruders with Windows Firewall" on page 505.

This is important because, for example, when you are connected to a public network and Windows Firewall is turned on, some programs and services ask you to let them communicate through the firewall. Consider carefully whether you want to unblock such programs; if you do, that program is unblocked for all networks identified as "public location" networks.

The location of the current network is shown in Network And Sharing Center, below the name of the network

To change the network location, in Network And Sharing Center, click the link that identifies the network location . In the dialog box that appears (same as in Figure 17-2), click the appropriate location

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