New to Windows Vista are the Network Locations. Vista uses your network location to determine the security settings that should be applied to protect your computer. There are three different network locations: Home, Work and Public. A public network is considered an un-trusted network and therefore, the Public network location has more security settings applied. Take for instance, network discovery. This feature is disabled for the Public location but enabled when you connect to a private network.

Windows Vista allows you to easily change the network location based on the type of network that you are connected to. For example, if you connect from an airport or Internet cafe, you should change to the Public network location for more security. When you connect to your home network, security settings can be relaxed.

To change your network location:

  1. Click Start and click Control Panel.
  2. Select Network and Internet.
  3. Select Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click the Customize option beside your network connection.
  5. Select the network location that you want to use.
  6. Click Close.