Network Administration: Group Basics in Windows

In a computer network, a group is a special type of account that represents a set of users who have common network access needs. Groups can dramatically simplify the task of assigning network access rights to Windows Server 2008 users. Rather than assigning access rights to each user individually, groups let you assign rights to the group itself. Then, those rights automatically extend to any user that you add to the group.

Two distinct types of groups exist:

  • Security groups: Most groups are security groups, which extend access rights to members of the group. For example, if you want to allow a group of users to access your high-speed color laser printer, you can create a group called ColorPrintUsers. Then, you can grant permission to use the printer to the ColorPrintUsers group. Finally, you can add individual users to the ColorPrintUsers group.

  • Distribution groups: Distribution groups aren’t used as much as security groups. They’re designed as a way to send e-mail to a group of users by specifying the group as the recipient.