4 Features of Windows Versions to Know Before Buying
Bitlocker to encrypt the drive
NOTE: Encryption does NOT protect against misuse of passwords. If you use simple passwords or have passwords written in plain site, encryption will not protect your files!
Licenses connected to the physical hardware
When a Windows 10 Home or Professional license is activated, it is connected to the physical hardware it resides on. If the physical hardware changes, the license is technically no longer valid. This means it is not within the license terms to re-use the license even if you are building a replacement because the original device died when using the Home or Professional versions.
For most users this is not an issue as devices typically last 4-6 years. After that amount of time the original operating system has surely been replaced by a newer version. However, if you were to install the operating system on an older device, or a new device was dropped or destroyed, replacing the license can be wasteful and expensive.
With the Enterprise version of Windows 10, the license is not connected to the physical hardware. As such, it is the version that makes the most sense when using virtualization. The Enterprise version easily handles being moved between physical servers as a virtual device and without invalidating the license. It might also make sense to purchase the Enterprise version if it were being installed on a machine temporarily.
The grid below is a summary of the features discussed in both Part 1 and Part 2 and how they apply to the three main operating system versions.
When choosing an operating system version, consider some of the most important features before making a choice. From the amount of memory supported, to whether the device can connect to a network, to drive encryption, these features may affect your decision. The greater the features the greater the expense, but outgrowing a version and paying for the upgrade is more expensive than starting with the correct version to begin with and will always cost more time.
As always, the more information you have the better the likelihood that you will make the best choice for your unique situation.