Windows Hello vs Windows Hello for Business: Key Differences

Discover new ways of securing your Windows devices

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Author
Claire likes to think she's got a knack for solving problems and improving the quality of life for those around her. Driven by the forces of rationality, curiosity,... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If you are looking for a way to secure your Windows devices with multi-factor authentication, then you will be interested in Windows Hello.
  • Follow this guide as we explore the ins and outs of both Windows Hello and Windows Hello for Business.

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Windows Hello and Windows Hello for Business are two of Windows biometric authentication options. They both let you sign into your device using fingerprints, iris scans, and face recognition. But they operate slightly differently. 

The biometric authentication solution was first introduced in Windows 10 and allows users to secure their devices. Although Windows 11 already has built-in multi-factor authentication, this is a much-welcomed approach. 

What is Microsoft Windows Hello for Business?

Windows Hello is a biometric authentication system that uses a combination of sensors and software to unlock your device. It can also be used to authorize the use of enterprise apps, websites, and services.

On the other hand, Windows Hello for Business is a security feature that allows users to sign in with biometric authentication. In addition to providing an additional layer of security, it also helps organizations reduce their reliance on passwords.

Windows Hello for Business offers several benefits over traditional password-based sign-ins:

  • Stronger security – You don’t have to worry about your most sensitive data. It is protected from unauthorized access by using a strong form of multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • Better user experience – Users can sign in quickly. With a simple glance at their PC, they can unlock it eliminating the need for them to remember passwords.
  • Reduced IT costs – Windows Hello for Business eliminates the need for administrators to manage passwords across the organization. This can help improve security while saving time and money on IT operations.

Is Windows Hello for Business considered MFA?

Yes. Windows Hello for Business can be considered MFA. It is a technology that allows you to use your face or fingerprint to log in to your device. 

It also enables you to use these biometrics as part of two-factor authentication (2FA). This means that when you sign in with your password, the system will also ask for one other piece of information. This can be an app PIN or a physical security key.

What’s the difference between Windows Hello and Windows Hello for Business?

Both Windows Hello and Windows Hello for Business offer biometric authentication but one is more advanced than the other. Basically, Windows Hello for Business has all the features of its predecessor but with advanced features.

The two technologies have many similarities, but there are also some key differences to consider:

Users

Windows Hello is a biometric login system that uses facial recognition, iris scanning, or fingerprint detection to unlock your device. 

It’s a fast and convenient way to sign in without having to enter a password every time you turn on your PC. This makes it more suitable for single users who want to secure their one devices.

Windows Hello for Business is more suitable for large organizations. It offers a PC security solution for businesses that uses Windows Hello facial recognition technology for user authentication. It’s available on both consumer and enterprise devices.

Authentication

Windows Hello users can sign in by setting up a PIN code for the first time. Then, when they turn on their device they enter it whenever they sign in. The beauty of this convenience PIN is that it is unique to the device you are using.

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In the event that someone was able to uncover it, they would still not be able to use it on another device to access your account.

Windows Hello for Business uses the same technology as Windows Hello. It can be used to authenticate both personal and work accounts on devices that support it. But it also has some additional capabilities that make it more suitable for business use.

Both methods require the user to enroll their biometric data on their device before they can use it to sign in. This means users can go password-free and still be able to sign in to their devices.

As you might expect, the biggest difference is that Windows Hello for Business supports multi-factor authentication (MFA). 

In addition to this added security feature, Windows Hello for Business also supports multi-user sign-ins. This means that multiple people can use the same device without needing separate profiles or settings.

Integration with Active Directory

It is pretty obvious at this point that since Windows Hello is mostly used by individuals, there is no need for integration with an AD device. 

Windows Hello for Business integrates with Active Directory (AD), which is the most common directory service used by enterprises. With Active Directory integrated, it’s easy for IT administrators to deploy and manage Windows Hello for Business in their organization.

Like most services, Windows Hello for Business is not without its limitations. At the moment, only Windows users can access the service. Also, there is a limit on the number of users who can be enrolled on a single Windows 10 device which is 10.

One of the buzzwords in security for the past few years has been biometric authentication. Not only does it make the experience of logging in more convenient, but it makes it much more secure as well.

Better yet, there are many options for this form of authentication that are easy to implement at home and in small business environments. Our choice, if we had to pick just one option as the winner, would be Windows Hello.

If you would like to explore other third-party multi-factor authentication software, don’t hesitate to check out our recommended article on the same.

Should you face issues like Windows Hello not working, we also have an excellent guide to help you bypass this problem.

Tell us your preference between Windows Hello and Windows Hello for Business in the comments section below.

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