Windows Home Server Team Blog

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Remote Access to Files and PCs

Remote Access to Files and PCs

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One of the key features of Windows Home Server will be to allow users to easily connect to their home server when they are away from home.  By default, the Remote Access capabilities will be turned off, but they will be easy to setup once a user decides that they want to enable this feature.

Remote Access is granted on a per user basis, as defined in the Windows Home Server Console, and any user that has remote access capabilties will need a strong password defined for their user account.  You can then use these user accounts to connect to your home server over the internet.   

Once connected to your home server, you will be greeted with a straightforward user interface lets you do the following:

  • Download 1 or more files or folders from the Shared Folders that you have access to on the home server.
  • Upload 1 or more files to a Shared Folder
  • Remotely connect to your home PCs so you can use them to run applications  as if you were sitting in front of them
  • Run the Windows Home Server Console to check or change the settings of your home server

This means that you can not only connect to your home server, but you can also remotely connect and use your home computers all through a single solution.

We have been working closely with the Windows Live Domains team to provide users a personalized internet address to their home server as part of the Remote Access setup feature.  This functionality is not part of the Beta 2 release, but it is being actively tested by our Microsoft dogfooders and will be made available to the broader beta community in a subsequent development milestone.

t. 

Comments
  • A question I've had since hearing about this RDP access via the web is how you will handle users with dynamic IPs from their ISP...  Is there a dynamic DNS provider they will have to use or will Home Server have a running process that updates some remote DNS server somewhere with the new DHCP address they receive?  I'm going to take a stab and say that this will affect most of Microsoft's market for Home Server...

  • The biggest question in my mind is, can you remotely connect to machines that don't have Remote Desktop?

    For example, I'm sure a lot of people are going to have Vista Home, Home Premium or non-Pro XP installed instead of Ultimate, yet as far as I know only Vista Ultimate, Vista Business and XP Pro allow Remote Desktop.

    If I can't connect to *all* machines on my home network then this remote connect ability loses a lot of it's power.

  • No MonocularJack you can't remote in to PC's running the home flavor of the OS. I can remote in to my XP Pro machine, but not my XP Home machine. XP Home wasn't give the ability to host RDP connections... it makes no sense that a Windows HOME Server product can't remote in to an Xp HOME product or a Vista HOME product.

    Come on MS this is an easy one to resolve.

  • And remote access is the one thing I can't get to work. At all. My XP Pro box is always marked as "unsupported" in the web interface. Really bizarre.

    It's also a shame that you can't manually register 2003 boxes for this; as a geek I have 3 Win2k3 boxes at home, and the ability to use WHS as a TS gateway to get into all my machines would be incredibly useful.

  • dariena, that's what I was afraid of.  The entire reason I haven't upgraded from MCE to Vista Home Premium is that I run MCE headless and since Home Premium doesn't support RDP I'm out of luck.  No way I'm paying for Ultimate to sit on a machine that doesn't even have a monitor.

    They are going to have to address this, like you said, a HOME server should be able to work with all the other HOME products.

  • Hi All,

    I have just downloaded and configured a WHS and have successfully connected an older Windows XP Pro. laptop to that server and performed its 1st backup.

    I was originally concerned about the lack of wireless connectivity support for the WHS, since the hardware utilized a Belkin 54gwireless nic, but reluctantly I connected that long CAT5 cable to the built-in nic on the motherboard and it was done.

    The only issue I had was creating the Bootable WHS Connect CD's and WHS DVD utilizing VISTA Ultimate. I quickly found a product online ISORecovery? to take care of that issue.

    My question is: The Reviewer's Guide for WHS Beta2 states on page 16, that you can register for a free internet address (e.g. <yourname>.HomeServer.com) so that you can remotely access your home server using your own personalized internet address....

    Where or what is the proper URL for this?  HomeServer.com does not link to any registration site.

  • During the initial beta of Windows Home Server, the team setup a test domain for the Dynamic DNS services

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