Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Active Directory and Domain

Active Directory vs Domain

Active Directory is a service that gives you the freedom to store information over a network. The service is Microsoft’s initiative that allows users to access information from a single data source. The entire network’s hierarchical structure is visible to user’s that login to the system. Information stored in an active directory encompasses attached hardware or services available. Other than storing information, Active Directory is used to maintain network processes in large organizations. It is also used to grant permission to specific users thus providing security features through conditional access.

Active Directory is complex software. So it’s advisable to spend some time understanding it because if you are caught in some issues, then its tough to recover from it.

In Active Directory, a network object refers to the printer, users applications, and security that is related to the network. Each of these objects is uniquely identifiable, and this information is usually stored in the object. This data is also used to determine the purpose of the object in the network. The objects are positioned in the hierarchical structure that is an important characteristic of Active Directory.

Domain is a set of computers on a network that are given a common name and database and abide by common policies. It is part of the Active Directory hierarchy. Domain is a central location for administrative work and security policies. Each domain is assigned a separate database account, and an administrator manages all objects under a domain. The security system is responsible for providing access to users with authentic login credentials.

Domain is responsible for the working of Active Directory. Multiple domains are set up for avoiding issues if one domain is down. This way the system continues with its normal functioning even when a domain breaks down. Domain can also refer to the set of network addresses on the Internet. In the field of computing, it is a source of program entities or a collection of network addresses.


1. Domain is at level three of Active Directory’s hierarchical structure.

2. Active Directory is a network administration concept that stores information and provides conditional access to it while domain is a collection of computers that work under a common name, database, and policies.


1. Active Directory can be compared to a directory service that is used to store

information such as a computer and user.

2. A domain is a knowledge base or a place of control.

3. Both Active Directory and domain are concepts related to network administration.

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