It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a computer pro or not – Windows 10 Pro is better than Windows 10 Home for everyone.
You didn’t know there was more than one version of Windows 10? If you’re wondering “What Windows do I have?”, here’s how to check the Windows 10 version:
- Click in the Cortana search box in your taskbar (look for the magnifying glass)
- Type “About Your PC” (no quotes)
- Click on About Your PC in the search results
In the information window that opens up, look for the line that says “Edition.” It says what version you have.
If you’re running Windows 10 Home, you should think about upgrading to Pro. If you’re setting up a new PC from scratch, consider installing Windows 10 Pro from day one. Let’s look at some reasons why.
What’s the Difference Between Windows 10 Home and Pro?
There are a lot of differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro. But when you read through the list, some features may not seem important.
You might not even know what some of them mean.
Things like Group Policy, Dynamic Provisioning, Assigned Access, Domain Join and Client Hyper-V can sound like a foreign language. And if you do know what they mean, you might think you don’t need those features on your average home PC.
That could be the case but there are a handful of features in Windows 10 Pro that are worth the upgrade for every PC user. One of the most important is Bitlocker, a feature that Windows Home users are really missing out on.
Protect Your Valuable Data with Bitlocker
Bitlocker is an encryption system that lets you secure files you save on your PC or on removable storage like USB sticks. To open and view the contents of those files, you need the password. Without it, they’re unreadable.
If you use a laptop as your main computer, this is incredibly important. Laptops are easy for thieves to grab; take your eyes off it for a few seconds and it could be gone. The same applies to USB sticks, not to mention how small and easy-to-lose they are.
Desktop computers aren’t immune to theft either. If someone breaks into your home, your computer is going to be one of their top priorities.
There’s probably a login password on your PC but don’t kid yourself, that won’t stop a determined hacker from getting at your files. Bitlocker will.
Access Your PC from Afar with Remote Desktop
Remote Desktop lets you access your PC remotely, using it as if you were sitting right in front of it. This can be useful for business people who need to access their office PC from home or on the road but it can be just as useful for “home” users.
If you have a desktop PC at home, you’re probably not going to take it with you if you’re away from home. But there could be information on it that you do need to access when you’re not home.
Remote Desktop lets you access it from anywhere you can get an internet connection so you can find information, copy files and various other things.
Windows 10 Home can access machines running Remote Desktop but it can’t be the host that other PCs are accessing. You need Windows 10 Pro to do that.
Windows Inside of Windows
Client Hyper-V is a Windows 10 Pro feature that isn’t for everyone but if you have a use for it, you’ll love it. It lets you create “virtual” PCs that can run other operating systems “inside” of Windows 10 Pro.
For example, you could set up a virtual PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8. You could even get nostalgic and run older versions like Windows 95 or XP. Or you could run non-Windows operating systems inside of Windows 10, like Linux.
This lets you try different operating systems without having to wipe your PC clean and start from scratch. It also lets you run specialized software, older games or anything else that might need an older version of Windows to work properly.
Controlling Your Own Destiny
Windows had a bad reputation for security and stability for many years. Apple’s “Mac vs PC” ad campaign from a few years back was almost entirely based on that premise. Microsoft has come a long way since those days though, and Windows 10 has a solid track record.
One of the ways Microsoft has done that is through regular software updates for Windows. Those updates get installed automatically shortly after they’re released.
That’s a good thing in most cases since it keeps your PC secure and up-to-date. But sometimes it’s nice to install those updates on your schedule, not Microsoft’s.
Windows 10 Pro uses Microsoft Update for Business, which gives you far more control over the update process than you get with Windows 10 Home. If you’ve ever been in the middle of a game or working on an important document and suddenly Windows decides to install updates, you know how frustrating these unexpected restarts can be.
What Windows Do I Have to Buy?
If all these benefits have you convinced you should upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, you’re probably wondering what Windows do I have to buy and how complicated is it going to be.
Good news – it’s not hard at all. In fact, Windows 10 Pro is already on your computer if you’re running Windows 10 Home right now. All you need to do is buy the Pro version and change the Windows key on your PC to the new one for Pro.
- Click the Start button then Settings
- Click on Update & Security then Activation
- Select “Change product key” and enter your new Windows 10 Pro key
When you click Next after the above steps, your computer will start the upgrade process using the files already sitting on it. All your data, apps and other information will still be there after the update and the way Windows looks and works won’t change at all.
Pick up a copy of Windows 10 Pro and you’ll be working with a secure PC that gives you better control and more power over what you can do with it.