A server or device on a network that authenticates users trying to log on or access network resources. In a Microsoft Windows NT–based or Windows 2000–based network, special servers called domain controllers act as security providers and handle tasks such as user logons and control of resource access.
If all domain controllers are temporarily offline, users can still log on to their local computers and use local computer resources but cannot be authenticated for accessing resources elsewhere on the network.
Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows 98 can operate as stand-alone computing environments or as part of a Windows NT or Windows 2000 domain. If files on a computer running Windows 95 or Windows 98 will be shared by users on a Windows NT–based or Windows 2000–based network, be sure that you have configured Windows 95 or Windows 98 networking to use user-level security instead of the more common share-level security used in workgroup environments.