Determine the requirements for joining a domain or a workgroup.
When you install Windows networking components, you will be prompted to join either a workgroup or a domain.
You must provide the name of the workgroup or domain during the installation. A workgroup is a small group of networked computers that work together as peers, where centralized administration and a high level of security are not required.
A domain is a logical grouping of networked computers that share a common security database for storing security information.
Security and centralized administration are important elements of a Windows domain. The table below compares Workgroups and Domains.
|Basic computer services : Resource allocation, administration, and authentication
||Performed by each computer
||Each computer has its own local Security Accounts Manager (SAM) database. A user must have a user account on each computer which she or he accesses.
|| A common security database is shared by the domain. Security information is stored in the Active Directory > on domain controllers.
Users with a domain account can access resources on any computer in the domain with a single user account.
|Number of users
|| Ten or fewer computers, each running Windows server. Workgroups become more difficult to manage when there are more than ten computers. Windows Professional can have a maximum of ten concurrent connections.
|| Domains are scalable. They can easily support a small group of computers or up to several thousand computers.
In a Windows domain, each Windows or NT computer in the domain has a computer account. When a computer joins a domain,
the appropriate user and computer account must exist, or the computer account can be created during installation by an authorized user.
The following SlideShow describes the requirements for joining a domain and workgroup.
Although a user with a valid domain user account can log onto the domain from a Windows 95 or 98 machine,
Windows 9x computers cannot be members of a domain.
Only Windows NT and Windows computers have computer accounts and are members of the domain.