Azure AD Device Registration vs Azure AD Joining

Azure AD extends the security and device management capabilities previously only available for on-premises devices to the cloud. It helps organizations fulfill the dual challenges of protecting their assets while simultaneously empowering their employees to stay productive wherever they are. Azure AD provides the organization’s IT staff tools like Microsoft Intune to manage device identities. These can be used to enforce security and compliance policies across devices with features like single sign-on (SSO) and device-based Conditional Access (CA). There are multiple ways of getting a device in Azure AD. In this blog, let us clear the confusion between Azure AD registered devices vs Azure AD joined devices.

Azure AD Device Joining

Azure AD joined devices are computers with Windows 10 operating systems owned/ controlled by organizations that adopt a cloud-first or cloud-only approach. This solution works for cloud and on-premises deployments even in hybrid environments and is extensible to all organizational users. Provisioning can be done with Self-service: Windows OOBE or Settings, bulk enrollment, or Windows Autopilot. Users can sign into their devices using a password, Windows Hello for Business, or FIDO2.0 security keys. In addition to capabilities like SSO and CA, it also supports Self-service Password Reset (SSPR), Windows Hello PIN reset on the lock screen, and Enterprise State Roaming across devices.

Scenarios for Azure AD Join

Although organizations that do not have on-premises infrastructure like Windows Server Active Directory are best suited for using Azure AD join, here are some other scenarios for Azure AD join.

  • Organization is transitioning from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud.
  • Inability to use on-premises domain join.
  • Office 365 and other SaaS applications are the primary necessities.
  • Manage seasonal users for which Azure AD is preferable over Active Directory.
  • Empower workers in remote branches with limited on-premises infrastructure.

Azure AD Registration

Azure AD registered devices become the preferred option for organizations that have implemented a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy or need to support mobile devices. With this method, the organization’s users can access Azure Active Directory controlled resources using their own devices. This method does not require an organizational account to sign into the device as the device, which could be Windows 10, iOS, Android, or macOS device, is owned by the individual. The provisioning is done from the company portal, Microsoft Authenticator App, or the settings of the device depending on the operating system. In addition to a password, Windows Hello, PIN, biometrics, or patterns can be used for signing into such devices. Organizations can manage devices using Mobile Device Management or Mobile Application Management. Features like SSO and CA are available to Azure AD Registered devices as well.

Scenarios for Azure AD Registered Devices

Azure AD registered devices become the preferred option when organizations need to allow access to their resources from personal devices. Here are some scenarios in which Azure AD device registration can be enforced.

  • Users need to sign into their devices using a local account but need to access resources protected by Azure AD.
  • Admins need to enforce organization-specific configurations like storage encryption, password complexity, and software security on employees’ personal devices.
  • Employees can access email, reporting time-off, and benefits enrollment from their home PC.
  • Prevent employees from accessing organizational resources from rooted devices.

Apps4Rent Can Help with Azure AD Identity Management

While some modes of joining devices can be done by users themselves, others require controlled provisioning by administrators. Device identity management is available with Azure AD Premium P1 license upwards. As a Microsoft CSP, Apps4Rent assists businesses with the right cloud solution licenses and helps in implementing them at the lowest prices. Our customers can avail of 24/7 email, phone, and chat support for Azure services. Contact us to know more about the Azure AD device registration vs Azure AD join and identify the right solution for your organization.

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