While Windows 10 offers multiple versions for specific use cases, home users only have two main options to consider: Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. So what is the difference between Windows 10 Home and Pro?
You may be wondering if Windows 10 Home is enough, or should you pay for Windows 10 Pro. Let’s take a look at the most important Windows 10 Pro exclusive features to find out.
Summary of the main features of Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Home
- The operating system has an improved and neatly organized Start menu.
- Provides all the outstanding features of Windows 8.
- With this software, users get an official version of the Cortana digital voice assistant system, which was previously only available for Windows phones.
- Windows 10 Home’s new battery saving feature will help the system save more energy by reducing background activities on utilities.
- Home users get access to all new Virtual Desktop and Snap options, with up to 4 apps at a time.
- You’ll be able to use the Continuum feature, which helps you quickly switch from desktop mode to tablet mode, or vice versa.
Windows 10 Pro
- The Pro version has an elegant design and privacy features.
- Enhanced Assigned Access 8.1 provides users with an extended locking feature for user accounts, to prevent them from using specific apps.
- On the other hand, BitLocker is one of the most powerful drive encryption systems for Windows 10 Pro users, allowing users to encrypt external USB data for an extra layer of protection.
- This software will provide you with many seamless connection tools.
- Both Windows 10 Home and Pro can initiate Remote Desktop Connection sessions, but only PCs running Windows 10 Pro can be remotely controlled.
- Virtualization is another benefit of Windows 10 Pro
- The Windows Group Policy feature is limited to professional users only, allowing administrators to limit what users can do using a centralized set of roles. This includes security factors like password complexity, being able to access network resources, or not installing applications.
1. Windows Remote Desktop
Windows has included its own Remote Desktop tool for a while. This allows you to connect to your PC using another device and control it as if you were sitting in front of your PC.
With Windows 10 Home, you can’t use Remote Desktop to connect to your own PC from other devices. You need Windows 10 Pro to be accessible from anywhere. On Windows 10 Pro, go to Settings> System> Remote Desktop to set up this feature.
If you have a Windows 10 Home, you can easily “copy” this feature with an alternative remote access software. Tools like TeamViewer are free for personal use and work on all versions of Windows.
2. BitLocker encryption
Did you know that even if the computer is password protected, someone with access to the hard drive can still read all the data stored on it? This is where encryption comes into play. It messes up all the files on your computer and makes them unreadable to anyone without a key.
BitLocker is Microsoft’s integrated encryption software for Windows. It is a Windows 10 Pro feature that you will find in BitLocker Drive Encryption in Control Panel .
This is a great tool that makes coding simple, powerful, and convenient as it is integrated into the operating system. Windows 10 Home users must use other options to encrypt the drive.
Refer to the article: How to encrypt a Windows system drive with VeraCrypt for more details.
3. Virtualization Hyper-V
Hyper-V is a virtual machine manager (VM) that allows you to run virtual operating systems on your computer. This is a great tool for trying out other operating systems or installing software in a safe environment, without the risk of the actual system.
Newer versions of Windows 10 also include a handy related tool called Windows Sandbox. You can use the Windows Sandbox to open a “clean” copy of Windows 10, which will reset when you close it. Compared to a traditional VM, this tool doesn’t take much to set up and is easier to maintain.
However, like both functions above, Windows 10 Home users have free alternatives. Hyper-V is a good tool, but for regular VM users VirtualBox will do the job really well.
- Compare VirtualBox, VMWare and Hyper-V
4. Delay updates for longer
Sometimes, Windows 10 Home users have no way to turn off Windows Updates, because it’s all automatic. Now, Windows 10 allows Home users to pause updates for up to 35 days. Go to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update> Advanced Options and you can choose Pause updates to pause updates until a certain date in the future.
This prevents all Windows updates from installing during the interval you choose. However, once that date arrives, you must install the current updates before pausing again.
Windows 10 Pro goes a step further, allowing you to defer both feature and security updates for the set number of days. Feature updates are a major overhaul to Windows 10 that comes out about twice a year and adds new features. The Quality update is a Windows 10 patch that fixes bugs and fixes security problems.
If you feel confident enough in controlling for updates, you may want to use Windows 10 Pro for more control.
5. Enterprise-focused features
Some Pro features are clearly aimed at businesses, but may still be appealing to home users (not all, of course).
One of them is Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer, which allows you to emulate IE 8 inside IE 11. Enterprise Mode is for “old” websites that don’t work in modern browsers, usually business websites. internal.
Another tool that might be used more by the casual user is Assign Access , a Pro-only feature that allows you to limit your computer’s account to only one app.
It’s designed for kiosks or other restricted environments, but is also a great way to limit your child’s use of the computer. Letting your kids play games and make sure they can’t access the web is a nice feature.
Windows 10 Pro also has other business features, such as computer connectivity with domains and Active Directory support. This is important for a corporate environment, but not very useful for the average user.
Should I upgrade to Windows 10 Pro?
As you can see, Windows 10 Pro has some great features, but it’s mostly unnecessary for home users. Use the alternatives listed above and save money on something more helpful. Windows 10 will continue to add new features in major updates for all users, so Home users won’t miss out on anything interesting.