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When you are connected to a network on your computer, you have a choice to keep your network public or private. How you wish it to be is your own choice. Depending on what kind of connection you have, your computer will interact with other devices that are using the same network. When you initially make a connection, Windows will set a connection for you. It might choose a connection that you do not wish to have.

If you are facing any privacy issues or you are unable to use some features on the network due to your network settings, you can change them later. The process is very simple and you can change the settings for any Windows and Ubuntu device.

What is a Private Network?

While a public network is for everyone to use, a private network is for use at home or IN an office or organizational setting. On a private network, only trusted devices are allowed to connect. If you have a private connection, you will be able to avail some features that are not present in public networks.

All devices on a private network are able to use the device discovery feature. They can also share printers and see their computers in the network browser.

In a public network, you do not know other devices nor do you trust them. Examples of public networks are the Wi-Fi that you use at airports or coffee shops. Browsing on these networks is not as secure as private networks as the latter has trusted devices only.

How to Know Your Network?

You can check on your computer whether your network is private or public. To do this, go to Settings and then go to Network & Internet. On the sidebar, you will see multiple options. Select ‘Status’.

You will see your connection and its status. The connection name will be written under the icon and the network connection status will be written under the network name.

How to Change the Network from Public to Private in Windows 10?

If you have Windows 10 on your computer, you can change the network setting from Settings. For this, click on the Internet icon in the taskbar.

  • When you click on it, a link will pop up. Click on Network and Internet Settings.
  • After this, click on the network you are connected to. It could be a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.
  • When you click on it, you will see the options under Network Profile.

From here, you can just select Private from the options. When your network is Private, you will be able to use printer sharing and PC discovery features. You should only use this network at home or in an organizational setting.

How to Change the Network from Public to Private in Windows 8?

The process for changing the network from public to private is a little longer in Windows 8. First of all, you have to click on the Internet icon and then select Open Network and Sharing Center.

  • In the Network window, select Change Advanced Sharing Settings.
  • Then, click on Private.
  • Enable the options for turning on network discovery, file sharing, and printer sharing. Also, enable ‘Allow Windows to manage Homegroup connection’.
  • After this, close the Private tab and go to the Guest or Public Tab. Open this tab and turn off network discovery, file sharing, and printer sharing.
  • After changing these settings, go to the Charms bar on your computer. Click on Settings and then on Network.
  • When you click on Network, you will see Connected. Click on it and then select Turn sharing on or off.
  • By choosing Yes, your network will go private. If you use No, your network will be a public network.

How to Change the Network from Public to Private in Windows 7?

The process for Windows 7 is a little different. Start the same way by clicking on the Internet icon and then select Open Network & Sharing Center. This will direct you to the Network window.

  • Then, click on View your active Networks. Here, you will find either Wi-Fi or Ethernet, depending on which connection you have.
  • Under it, you will see the network. It will either say work network, home network or public network.

Click on this to find more options. You will see the three options. If you want to keep your network private, you can choose a home, or work network. To keep your network public, you can keep it public.

How to Change Network from Public to Private in Mac?

The settings for Mac are slightly different. You can change the LAN for Mac devices to make your network private for work or home.

  • First of all, go to Settings and then to System Preferences.
  • After that, select Sharing and then go to Internet Sharing.
  • Here, you can change how your Internet is being shared. Click on Share your Connection and then WAN Ethernet.
  • Then, go click on To Computes Using.
  • Check the Private LAN box.
  • Then, click on Services and check the box named Internet Sharing.

This will make your connection private in Mac.

How to Change the Network from Public to Private in Ubuntu?

In Ubuntu, you would have to change the settings manually. For this, follow the following steps:

  • Go to Activities and then type Settings.
  • Enter Settings and then click on Network.
  • If you have a Wi-Fi connection, click Wi-Fi.
  • Then, click the little circle that is next to the Wi-Fi or network.
  • It will look like this .
  • Then, choose IPv4 or IPv6 and change the method to Manual.
  • Write the IP address and Gateway. Also, type the right Netmask.
  • Next, you will be directed to DNS where you have to switch off the Automatic option.
  • Then, type the IP address of the DNS server you are using. If you want to add additional servers, use the + sign for it.
  • Then, go to Routes and turn off Automatic. Type your Address. Getaway and Netmask.
  • After making all these settings, click on Apply.


It is better to keep your network Private if you are using the Internet at home or work. We hope this guide gave you the required information for changing networks from public to Private.