Creating a network domain is important in today’s digital age, where schools, governments, corporations, businesses and other large scale organizations rely more on digital tools and technology. When you set up a domain network, whether wired or wireless, you can share and control files, Internet, and printer access.
Almost all organizations benefit from having a domain, but it can also be useful for home users. So what is a network domain, and how do you set it up?
What is network domain?
A network domain is a collection of multiple devices managed by a centralized authority—the domain controller. These devices are configured with network settings such as IP address range, default gateway and subnet mask so that they can communicate on the network. The domain controller enforces security, firewall, and traffic flow policies.
For a computer to join a network domain, it must be authenticated by the domain controller. After authentication, the computer accesses shared resources, such as files, applications, printers, and the Internet, based on the permissions assigned to the user account.
In addition, the domain controller creates and modifies user and computer accounts and group policies. This data is stored in a directory service, usually a server that runs on directory server software such as Microsoft Active Directory.
Computers in a network domain can be on the same local network. Alternatively, they may communicate over a virtual private network (VPN) or Internet connection. Domain networks can be local or remote.
Either way, once your computer becomes part of a network domain, you’re no longer in control. A domain controller—one or more servers—configures computers and gives you access to resources.
Why should you set up a network domain?
Setting up a network domain offers many benefits to both small and large scale organizations. While this may not be as useful for smaller home networks, it can provide value for larger or more complex home networks that require centralized management and control. But in an organization with multiple devices, a domain provides ease of network administration and the ability to automate features. Network participants can do just what you want them to be on your network!
Additionally, you can enable excellent intrusion detection, firewall and prevention systems to protect you from cyber attacks. As a domain controller, you can hinder unwanted access to your devices and ensure regulatory compliance.
In addition, you can reduce information technology (IT) costs by managing devices and the user experience more efficiently and seamlessly with a domain network. This is further reinforced by how scalable a domain network is; You can increase or decrease as required.
What do you need to set up a network domain?
How to set up a network domain using Microsoft Hyper-V
You need a device running Windows Server with Active Directory Domain Services to set up a domain network. This device will act as the domain controller for your network. We are going to create a network domain using Microsoft’s Hyper-V, which is available for Windows 10 Pro and Windows 11 Pro users.
First, download the current Windows Server ISO file. Microsoft usually offers a free trial, which allows you to activate Windows Server for a short period of time.
Install windows server
Ideally, you should transfer the downloaded ISO file to bootable media, such as a USB flash drive or DVD, with at least 8 GB of space.
First, you’ll need to create a bootable USB flash drive or DVD with at least 8GB of space using the downloaded ISO. There are many tools that you can use to create a bootable USB drive. You should also format your bootable media as FAT32. Once you have created the bootable media using the ISO file, plug it into the target server to install Windows Server.
If you follow the installation wizard, you can complete setup and activate Windows Server. However, you may have to manually force the server to boot from the storage device.
Alternatively, you can run Windows Server as a virtual machine using a hypervisor such as Hyper-V on a desktop computer.
After selecting Next, Windows Server will be installed. You will be asked to enter a password and username, which is administrator by default. A new desktop experience will display, and the Server Manager tool will automatically pop up.