What is the difference between a domain and a workgroup?

Computers on a network can be part of a workgroup or a domain. The main difference between workgroups and domains is how resources on the network are managed. Computers on home networks are usually part of a workgroup, and computers on workplace networks are usually part of a domain.

In a workgroup:

  • All computers are peers; no computer has control over another computer.

  • Each computer has a set of user accounts. To use any computer in the workgroup, you must have an account on that computer.

  • There are typically no more than ten to twenty computers.

  • All computers must be on the same local network or subnet.

In a domain:

  • One or more computers are servers. Network administrators use servers to control the security and permissions for all computers on the domain. This makes it easy to make changes because the changes are automatically made to all computers.

  • If you have a user account on the domain, you can log on to any computer on the domain without needing an account on that computer.

  • There can be hundreds or thousands of computers.

  • The computers can be on different local networks.