Windows Home Server – Remote Access

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Windows Home Server – Remote Access
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Stephen Reeves helps us set up remote access to important files. Access your favourite pics, movies and more anywhere!

Suppose you want to hook Grandma up with shiny new pics of her grandchildren, or she wants to show you pics of her roses or macramé creations. With Windows Home Server, this is easy as pie (mmmm, pie...).

This tutorial will look at implementing the remote access features of Windows Home Server, either on a pre-built system from an OEM vendor or on a machine you’ve setup yourself as a System Builder. We’ll also look at some popular add-ins and applications to build up your own server’s functionality.

The Meat!
Windows Home Server includes a few features that make remote access easy. UPnP compatibility, Windows Live Custom Domains, Remote Access Website, User Account management and Shared Folder permissions.

UPnP is used to set up port forwarding on compatible routers without the need for user intervention. If your router isn’t UPnP compliant, or you don’t wish to use UPnP, you can simply forward the two or three required ports to your Windows Home Server.

Windows Live Custom Domains are used to give easy remote access to your Windows Home Server anywhere in the world, even if you have a dynamic IP; you’ll need a Windows Live ID to obtain a Windows Live Custom Domain. Included with your Custom Domain is a secure certificate issued by GoDaddy, so you can have assurance that your remote access is secure.

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User accounts can be setup on Windows Home Server and given access to the remote access website as needed. User accounts with remote access require a complex password for extra security.

In combination with User accounts, you can set shared folder permissions based on what you want your users to access – either no access, read only or full access.

You can create individual logins for your family and friends, or provide a generic login and password so they can log on and view your photos and files, and upload their own, depending on the access you give them.

If Gran doesn’t need to see your collection of goat pictures, simply don’t give her access.

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Remote access is provided entirely through an internet browser, and some features are only available when using Internet Explorer and ActiveX controls.

Some patches relating to remote access have been issued since the original release of Windows Home Server, so it’s important to make sure you’ve installed all applicable patches before proceeding. In addition, Power Pack 1 (when released) will have more changes to the remote access features.

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This feature appeared in the July, 2008 issue of Atomic Magazine
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