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A local login is a form of computer security. It is a process by which an individual can limit who accesses a personal computer. In the case where the individual is logging into one computer or a personal computer, this is called a “local login”. In this scenario, the individual can log in to access data and log out when the computer is no longer needed.

However, many times there are benefits of linking computers to a domain. A domain is a group of computers. In a domain or forest group, the individual computer has a wider variety of resources. The accesses to these resources are controlled by the Primary Domain Controller (PDC). In other words, a domain login allows the computer to log into a domain or forest, rather than connecting to only a home network.

The benefits of a PC being able to log on and connect to a Domain verse local login.

Once the PC is logged into the domain, the domain controller’s main purpose is to control access to the network and manage the information stored in the network (see article on permission trees). A workstation or PC on the domain must communicate with the domain controller to gain access to the network. Without the domain controller, which is sometimes called a machine, the network is not a domain but simply a workgroup or localized computer.

Other functions of a Domain are:

1. All access permissions for all the servers are stored in the domain controller.

2. The Domain maintains a list of who can access the network in an active directory.

3. It determines which files the user can access, and what they can do with these files.

4. Provides added security.

5. Offers the added convenience provided by the additional speed that is created by freeing up the individual PC resources from performing service functions.