Should I allow communication on public networks?

  • I apologize if this is a newb question. Reading this prompt, it appears that I should check Private Networks and uncheck Public Networks. However, Windows defaults to the opposite being checked.

    Am I misreading this? Why is the default to allow public networks, and disallow private networks? Is there ever a case where it is appropriate to allow public but not private?

    Windows Security Alert

    Private is now the default :)

  • I had the same feelings as you regarding the default selection being set to public. After reading the other answers to this question I didn't really feel like they directly addressed your question around why Public is set to the default. So, I've done some testing and have found the following:

    The default selection is based on the state of your current network. It is not based on what is considered best practice for firewall rules. If the network that you are on is set to Public, then the default checkbox is set to Public.

    I think that most of us generally consider our home networks to be Private, however Windows cannot assume that is the case and so by default your network is set as Public. You can follow the steps below to set your trusted home network to Private. After you have done this, you will notice that future security prompts will default to Private rather than Public.

    How to set your Trusted Home Network as a "Private" Network (windows 10):

    1. Open up Network & Internet Settings (this should bring open the network "Status" section by default)Status section within Network & Internet Settings
    2. Click on "Change connection properties". If you have more than one network adapter, you may be connected to more than one network. Make sure you're selecting the correct one.
    3. Select "Private" for the Network profile.Setting Network profile to Private

    What the default selection looks like after setting your Network to "Private":

    Default selection is set to Private

    Just to wrap everything up: the reason that Windows selects Public, Private (or Domain) based on your current network settings is because it would cause mass mayhem for most end-users if they instead defaulted to Private (or Domain). None of their apps that required inbound network connections would work because the safe default for networks is Public, while the safe default for firewall rules is Private.

    Hope this helps!

    This needs to be reported to MS.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM