Windows 10 Home Vs. Windows 10 Pro | Which Is Right For You?
Windows has been the number one choice for most people's needs since its arrival back in the early '90s. It has evolved massively over the years trying to stay one step ahead of the competition (mainly Apple) and is now at it's most advanced - We'll forget about Vista. Windows 10 is the latest version of the operating system from Microsoft and one that comes to the table, offering two unique versions - Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro.
On the face of it, deciding which one best suits your needs looks like a fairly simple task. Windows 10 Pro is tailored towards businesses and professionals, whereas Windows 10 Home is more geared towards home PCs. Easy, right?
Sort of. That still doesn't answer some of the major questions surrounding the two versions. Like, what's the real difference between the two?
So, for that reason, we've decided to create this comprehensive article comparing Windows 10 Home to its Pro counterpart.
Main Differences Between Home Vs. Pro
Let's waste no time and jump straight into some of the major differences that separate the two versions of Windows. These are the fundamental differences between the two suites.
Windows 10 Pro
- Price - $199
- Windows Store - Business
- Additional security features
- Additional tools - Admin/Enterprise
- Ability to join Azure Active Directory Domain
Windows 10 Home
- Price - $139
- Addons - Additional $99 if you want to upgrade to pro
- Store - Home use
- Ability to join a workgroup
So, as you can see, there's a clear difference when it comes to price and features when comparing the two versions of Windows. As I'm sure we can all work out the difference in the price (it's $60), let's move onto the main feature differences:
Windows 10 Pro Vs Windows 10 Home: Features
Windows 10 Pro
- Remote Desktop
- Client Hyper-V
- Group policy management
- Dynamic provisioning
- Windows Updates for business
- Ability to share PC configurations
- Enterprise mode internet explorer
- Enterprise state roaming with Azure active directory
- Domain Join
Windows 10 Home
- Remote desktop support not included - Third party app required
- Virtual desktop not included - Third part app required
- Windows update processed through the Windows update tab
It should be fairly obvious at this stage that Windows 10 Pro offers an abundance of features that the Home version doesn't. Windows 10 Pro can be thought of as a bulked-out version of Windows 10 Home. It can do everything Home can do and more. This is highlighted in the increase in price as well.
Let's take a closer look at some of the useful features that are unique to the Windows 10 Pro suite.
Windows 10 Pro Remote Desktop
Remote desktop is a feature that allows users to remotely access their desktop via another device or PC. Handy.
Even though you don't get the full functionality of RDP on Windows 10 Home package, you do still have the option of opening a session. You just won't be able to access the desktop remotely. Luckily, there are a bunch of free alternatives to choose from in this department. Some free options even have features that RDP doesn't.
Hyper-V is a unique, Windows-exclusive hypervisor that is used to run virtual machines on specific CPUs that support virtualization. A VM (virtual machine), for lack of a better definition, is a software computer that provides the exact same functionality as your physical computer. It can run applications and operating systems like a physical PC but is ran as a software package on your physical PC. This is ideal for people wanting to perform unique tasks that can be seen as risky for your physical computer. They're also put into practice when testing operating systems and viewing virus-infected data.
Group Policy Management
This is a feature used within Windows 10 Pro that allows a governing body to manage a number of different accounts within its group. It provides centralized management and the configuration of OS's, applications, and user settings. This is ideal for business owners that want to keep track of numerous accounts within their business.
Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer
Historically, certain web-based business applications were built on older, outdated versions of Internet Explorer. Instead of updating the business application to a newer version of IE, many of these businesses decided to keep their employees on older versions. The business still operated under the old IE and they saw no reason to upgrade.
That in mind, Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer allows users with the latest version of IE to access engines from outdated versions. This means they have access to better security and the latest web technology, whilst not having to upgrade the entire business.
Azure Active Directory
Azure active directory is a cloud-based management service that helps employees sign-in to specific profiles and resources. It gives the employees the ability to access Office, the Azure portal, and thousands of other SaaS applications. It's a great tool for IT admins as it allows you to control user's access to apps and resources based on your business requirements. It allows you to set individual profiles with specified levels of access to individual resources within the business.
Domain join is the Windows domain that allows you to access network resources such as drivers and printers. It's one of the main principles in business networks and is extremely easy to navigate and utilize.
Windows 10 Pro Vs Windows 10 Home: Security
So far, we've only spoken about the benefits Windows 10 Pro gives to your business. Next up, is the general security differences Windows 10 Pro offers over Windows 10 Home.
Windows 10 Pro
- Built-in Bitlocker and management
- Windows Defender Anti-virus
- Windows Hello
- Windows Information protection
Windows 10 Home
- Third-part app required for encryption
- Windows Defender Antivirus
- Windows Hello
It's fair to say that the security differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro are fairly limited. They both come to the table with Windows Defender Antivirus and Windows Hello. However, the Pro suite offers Windows information protection and Bitlocker.
Bitlocker is nothing new, it arrived alongside Windows Vista and has helped aid the protection of the Windows suite from harmful files. It's designed to protect data by providing full volume encryption to your entire operating system. If you're used to Apple's Filevault, you'll be happy to see this additional extra in the Pro version of Windows 10.
We've already touched on how Windows 10 Pro has the ability to create virtual machines within your physical PC. What we didn't elaborate on was the Windows Sandbox. This is an environment created around the virtual machine that separates the running programs removing any chance of system failure or software vulnerabilities. A very useful feature for some businesses.
So, which version of Windows 10 is right for you? Windows 10 Pro certainly offers up a bunch of additional features that are particularly good for businesses. However, you need to ask yourself whether an additional $60 is really worth those added extras. There certainly seems to be a case for going down the Windows 10 Pro route, but that choice is up to you.
Let's sum up what we know so far:
Windows 10 Home: Most people's go-to operating system that showcases great value for money and pretty much every feature you need to get up and running.
Windows 10 Pro: Offers a much more refined Windows package that includes additional features for; business management, extra security, and resource management.
Drop us a comment in the section below letting us know what you thought of the comparison - and whether or not we'd missed anything out. Better still, you can now head on over to our Community where you can discuss everything to do with Windows with like-minded individuals.