As before, Microsoft will release several different versions of Windows 11 – there will be a total of 7. This is no longer 20, as was the case with Windows 10, but still a lot, but typical users will only be faced with a choice between Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro (both with your own installation and in the form of pre-installed systems on new computers). This article is devoted to a detailed comparison of the difference between Home and Pro.
First of all, the main difference should be taken into account – prices. So far, they are unknown, but if Microsoft keeps the cost of Windows 10 assemblies, then Home will cost $ 140, and Pro – $ 200. It is also worthwhile to immediately understand that for most people Windows 11 Home will be more than enough – the system will offer the ordinary user everything he needs to work. Windows 11 Pro has additional features, but if they are needed, then only advanced users.
Differences table between Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro
|Windows 11 Home||Windows 11 Pro|
|Setting up a system with a local account (without a Microsoft account)||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Access to Active Directory (Azure AD) to combine devices into one network (with printers, servers)||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Hyper-V hardware virtualization technology||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|“Sandbox”||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Remote access Microsoft Remote Control||⚠️ Only as a client||✅ Yes|
|Windows Hello biometric authentication (face scanner, fingerprint)||✅ Yes|
|Device encryption||✅ Yes|
|Firewall and network protection||✅ Yes|
|Internet protection||✅ Yes|
|Parental control||✅ Yes|
|Secure Boot Secure Boot||✅ Yes|
|Windows Defender Antivirus||✅ Yes|
|BitLocker encryption||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Protecting confidential files (Windows Information Protection, WIP)||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Mobile device management (MDM)||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Group policy||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Enterprise State Roaming Service on Azure||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|“Kiosk mode”||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Storage virtualization technology Dynamic Provisioning||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Windows Update for Business||❌ No||✅ Yes|
|Maximum RAM||128 GB||2 TB|
|Maximum number of processors||one||2|
|Maximum number of processor cores||64||128|
Top Pro features not found in Home
Some of the unique options in Windows 11 Pro may never be needed even by advanced users, but Home still lacks some cool features that wouldn’t be superfluous.
Initial system setup
The first difference between Windows 11 Home is that it cannot be configured without an Internet connection and a Microsoft account. So far, some loopholes allow you to install Windows 11 Home without an account (or you can delete the account immediately after setting up the system), but these hacks are not in Windows 11 Pro – if you wish, it can only be configured with a local account (which you create directly for your computer).
Another difference is that computers with Windows 11 Home do not have access to Active Directory, that is, they cannot be combined into a single network with other devices (like printers, servers, and other computers). Also in Home, there are no Group Policy settings. These are all useful options, but they are unlikely to be needed by regular users.
Virtualization, sandboxing and remote control
Some of the main advantages of Windows 11 Pro that could not fail to strike the eye of advanced users – hardware virtualization Hyper-V and Sandbox. You can also highlight the lack of full-fledged work with Microsoft Remote Control in Home (only client mode is available), but this option has alternatives in the form of third-party developments like TeamViewer. However, the Hyper-V virtualization technology, which allows you to create virtual machines, also has third-party counterparts.
But a convenient replacement for the “Sandbox” can hardly be found from third-party developers – this option allows you to run potentially dangerous applications in an isolated environment (roughly speaking, in a virtual copy of the system on a computer) and test them in it before deciding whether to trust them …
One of the main differences between Windows 11 Home and Pro is the latter’s support for various security technologies. Since the Pro version is intended more for business users and computers in the workplace, it should provide advanced cybersecurity features. For example, it has support for BitLocker – this feature encrypts data stored on a drive so that no one else can access it (even if the computer is stolen).
Also in Windows 11 Pro, it is worth noting Windows Information Protection (WIP). This tool prevents the leakage of enterprise secrets because, using this opportunity, companies can programmatically prevent their employees from sending content outside the work network. There are third-party alternatives to WIP, but the tool is built right into Windows, so it clearly does its job better. Also, WIP allows you to distinguish between personal and work files on a computer, so that, if necessary, the company can remotely erase work-related files without affecting user data.
Processors and RAM
Windows 11 Home and Pro have the same minimum system requirements, but their upper “limit” is completely different. For example, the Home version supports only one processor, which can have no more than 64 cores. Also, the “basic” version of the system is limited by the amount of RAM in 128 GB.
Hardly anyone will argue that the above characteristics will not be enough for the average user. But advanced users may need more – for example, to create a large number of virtual machines. Windows 11 Pro supports two processors (up to 128 cores) and up to 2 TB of RAM. This is definitely not necessary for an ordinary user, but it may be necessary for advanced PC owners.
Management function for companies
By far, a major part of the difference between Windows 11 Home and Pro lies in the capabilities for business users – most of the device management options are not available in Home at all. But all of them are in Pro (Group Policy is especially useful) and even more – in particular, “Windows Update for Business”, which allows system administrators in companies to control how updates are deployed to users’ computers (to avoid unexpected problems).
Add to this usefulness like “Kiosk Mode” (the user has only one program on the computer), Active Directory services, mobile device management MDM, and more – it is immediately obvious that the Home version is absolutely not enough for enterprises.
Conclusion: Windows 11 Home or Pro
Summing up all of the above, the simplest conclusion is this: if you choose a system for a home computer and for the first time see the names of functions available only for Pro, then there is no point in overpaying for Windows 11 Pro. If you are choosing a system for a work computer that stores extremely important data, then even basic security features from Pro (for example, BitLocker encryption) can be useful.