skip to primary navigationskip to content

PDN networking

The PDN domains, workgroups, and homegroups represent different methods for organizing computers in networks. The main difference among them is how the computers and other resources on the networks are managed. If you still use Windows XP system, your computer may be a member of PDN master_dom group.

Computers running Windows on a network must be part of a workgroup or a domain. Computers running Windows on home networks can also be part of a homegroup, but it's not required.

Computers provided by PDN IT are normally part of the PDN domain. While research computers  are usually part of a workgroup and possibly a homegroup.


In a workgroup

  • All computers are peers; no computer has control over another computer.

  • Each computer has a set of user accounts. To log on to any computer in the workgroup, you must have an account on that computer.

  • There are typically no more than twenty computers.

  • A workgroup is not protected by a password.

  • All computers must be on the same local network or subnet.

In a homegroup

  • Computers on a home network must belong to a workgroup, but they can also belong to a homegroup. A homegroup makes it easy to share pictures, music, videos, documents, and printers with other people on a home network.

  • A homegroup is protected with a password, but you only need to type the password once, when adding your computer to the homegroup.

  • If you'd like to transfer data between your computer and lab computer, contact your local system administrator about sharing files on your computer for detail.

In a domain (

  • One or more computers are servers. Network administrators use servers to control the security and permissions for all computers on the domain. This makes it easy to make changes because the changes are automatically made to all computers. Domain users must provide a password or other credentials each time they access the domain.

  • If you have a user account on the domain (, you can log on to any computer on the domain without needing an account on that computer.

  • You probably can make only limited changes to a computer's settings because network administrators often want to ensure consistency among computers.

  • There can be many computers in a domain, eg: in the teaching classroom, administration groups.

  • The computers can be on different local networks.

  • If you'd like to transfer data between your computer and lab computer, contact PDN IT support for detail.

  • If you'd like to access the pdn-groups share from home broadband, you may use vpn service (ref: Check how to transfer files section or contact PDN IT support for detail.