It is normally safe to connect to a private network, such as one at home or at work. Users attempting to access your machine via the network are likely to be known users with access to it. It’s less probable that you’ll be the victim of a malicious attack.
If you’re on a public network, though, you should keep your system hidden to be secure.
Hide a computer from network
Any form of network, public or private, can be used to hide a computer. Both sorts of networks can be used with the method outlined below. Hide a system from a network will provide some safety, but it should not be your entire protection.
Turn off network discovery
Turning off network discovery is the key to hiding a Windows 10 system from a network.
- Open Control Panel.
- Go to Network and Internet.
- Click Network and sharing center.
- Click Advanced sharing settings in the column on the left.
- Under Network Discovery, enable the “Turn off network discovery” option.
- Click Save Changes.
- Your computer will be hidden from the network.
Network visibility settings
It’s important to remember that network visibility settings are network specific. If you hide your system on a work network, it will only be visible to other members of that network. You’ll have to disable network discovery again if you connect the same system to a home network later.
Windows 10 asks if you want to be visible to others on the network when you join a new network. Choose to keep yourself hidden if you see this prompt, and network discovery for that system will be disabled.
You won’t be able to interact with other systems on the network if you disable network discovery, even if they have it enabled. You won’t be able to use network devices such as printers, media centers, or network drives.
Although turning off network discovery makes your system invisible to other computers, you are still a part of a network and are connected to it via a router. Anyone with access to the router’s admin panel can see your system, including its MAC address. The router’s admin panel prevents anyone from accessing the computer’s files.