Home Server Away From Home

As you can tell, I’m pretty enamored with Windows Home Server. I got a better demo today of the remote access features. You can access the shared resources of the Home Server via a browser using HTTPS. According to a rep at the HP booth, the end user will have to be sophisticated enough to figure out how to configure their home network so that the Home Server is visible from the Internet. Also, if the home doesn’t have a static IP address (and I don’t think many do), then you’ll have to use some kind of Dynamic DNS solution. The HP rep seemed to think that a “service” of some kind would be available to assist the home user with this task.

Because remote access uses HTTPS, there’s no support for WebDAV and Web Folders. This means you can’t access files remotely using File | Open in your favorite Windows application. You have to go through the browser. The remote access features include the ability to use Remote Desktop in the browser to remote control clients PCs on the home network.

Speaking of Remote Desktop, you can access the Windows Home Server desktop console using Remote Desktop. Most home users won’t use this feature, but if you want to use your Home Server to serve up something like a custom Web application, then presumably you could do that. You can see some screen shots of Windows Home Server at these sites: