The main difference between Domain and Workgroup is that, in a domain, network administrators use servers to control all computers on the domain while in a Workgroup, no computer has control over another computer.
A domain is a form of a computer network in which all user account, computers, printers and other security principles, are registered with a central database located on one or more clusters of central computers known as domain controllers. But, a workgroup is a peer to peer Local Area Network that allows computers to share files and printers. Overall, networking devices such as computers can belong to a domain or a workgroup. However, the way of managing the resources on the network is different in each setup.
Key Areas Covered
Domain, Domain Controller, LAN, Peer to Peer Network, Subnet, Workgroup
What is Domain
A domain is a set of devices such as computers. However, it is not necessary for all these devices to be present in the same location. Also, there is no limit to the number of devices that can exist within a domain. Looking at its purpose, the domain improves the security and manageability of a network. Therefore, most IT service providing companies recommend clients to implement a domain environment.
Moreover, each domain has a unique ID to identify it. And, it can have one or more servers. The network administrators use these servers to manage and control the security and permission of the computers in the same domain. When a change made in one device, it reflects in other devices as well. Therefore, managing the devices in a domain is very easy. If the user has a user account on a specific domain, then he can log on to any computer on the domain without an account on that computer.
What is Workgroup
Before, defining the workgroup, let us discuss some of the terms related to it. A Local Area Network (LAN) is a network that is limited to a small geographical area such as home, office, or a school. Similarly, Peer to Peer (P2P) is a decentralized communications model. In this model, each party has the same capabilities, and either party can initiate a communication session. Moreover, each node in this operates as both client and server.
A workgroup is a peer to peer Local Area Network (LAN). Therefore, all computers are peers, and a computer cannot control another computer. In a workgroup, each computer sets user accounts. Thus, if a particular user requires to access the computer, he must have an account on that computer. Moreover, a workgroup does not have a large number of devices. Usually, it contains a limited number of devices such as 10 or 20. Furthermore, every computer must be a part of the same LAN or Subnet.
Difference Between Domain and Workgroup
A domain is a logical group of network objects (computers, users, devices) that share the same Active Directory database. But, a workgroup is a Microsoft term to denote a peer to peer local area network. Thus, this explains the fundamental difference between domain and workgroup.
However, the main difference between domain and workgroup is related to their functionality of controlling the devices. In a domain, the network administrators use servers to control all the computers on the domain whereas, in a workgroup, all computers are peers and no computer has control over another computer.
Also, another notable difference between domain and workgroup is the need for user account to log in. In a domain environment, a user with an account on the domain can log onto any computer in that domain; the user need not have an account on that particular computer while, in a workgroup, each computer needs a user account.
Moreover, in a domain, the devices can be connected to different local networks whereas, in a workgroup, every device is a part of the same LAN or subnet.
Number of devices
Besides, there can be a large number of devices in a domain (100 to 1000 devices). But, the number of devices in a workgroup is limited (10 to 20).
In brief, a network is a collection of devices such as computers, printers, wireless points, and many other networking devices. These devices connect to each other through communication channels or data links to share data between them. The communication medium can be either wireless or wired. Computer in a network can belong to a domain or a workgroup. The main difference between domain and workgroup is that, in a domain, network administrators use servers to control all computers on the domain while in a workgroup, no computer has control over another computer.
1.“Workgroup (Computer Networking).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Mar. 2019, Available here.
2.“Windows Domain.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Apr. 2019, Available here.
3.“What Is Peer-to-Peer (P2P)? – Definition from WhatIs.com.” SearchNetworking, Available here.
1.”Network-workgroup” By The people from the Tango! project – The Tango! Desktop Project (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia