If you have a network connection in your Network and Sharing Centre that Windows is classifying as an “Unidentified Network” chances are you want to make it private for your firewall rules.
The problem is that because Windows cannot classify the type of network, often due to there being no default gateway specified on remote access LAN connections, the default is to make it public as this offers the most restrictive level of network access.
Irritatingly Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 do not allow you to alter the type of network if it is classified as unidentified when using the Network and Sharing Centre.
A temporary measure is to set the unidentified network to private using PowerShell. See the MSDN blogs for the script. Be warned though, if you reboot the unidentified network will return to public.
A more permanent solution, but a possible security risk, is to set any unidentified network to be classified as private rather than public by default. To do this we need to modify the defaults using the local security policy. See the steps below.
- In Administrative tools, open “Local Security Policy”.
- Select “Network List Manager Polices” in the left hand pane.
- In the right hand pane open “Unidentified Networks” and choose “Private” in the location type.
- Check your firewall settings will not lock you out of the system once the rules apply.
- Close the dialogue and reboot to apply the changes.