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Coming Home to Windows Home Server Part 33

Nov 1, 2010 10:02 AM, By Eric B. Rux

Installing Vail and moving your life to the new server.


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Remote Access

The next step is to enable Remote Access. From the Home Server Dashboard, click on Server settings, then Remote Web Access. Clicking on "Turn on" starts a wizard that walks you through steps of setting up your router and domain name.

Setting up the router for your Home Server has always been wrought with trouble; either it works, or it doesn't—and it was difficult for the average home user to figure out why. Microsoft has done a good job of improving the wizard that sets up Remote Access with each Power Pack, so I was surprised when the wizard in Vail failed to setup my router. A little troubleshooting on my part found the culprits: 1) I have two routers on my network, and 2) I had manually setup the router for the old Home Server. These two anomalies are simply outside of the wizard's capabilities. Once I disconnected the second router and removed the static entries in the router, the wizard worked fine. Remember: Home Server is designed to work in a simple home environment. Keep this in mind if you have trouble getting Remote Access to work.

The second part of Remote Access is the Domain Name. If you had Remote Access setup with your old Home Server, you will want to move your Domain Name to the new server. In my case, I used Microsoft's free "homeserver.com" domain, so I simply entered "MyName.homeserver.com" into the wizard. After logging onto Windows Live, the Remote Access wizard moved my domain name over to the new server.

A new feature of Remote Access is the ability to customize your home page. You can change the logo and the background image. The logo should be 32x32 pixels, while the background image should be close to 800x500 pixels. Images can be in bitmap, GIF, PNG, or JPG format.

Just Getting Started

I had a good time setting up my new Vail Home Server and migrating the data from the old server. While Vail is totally new, it resembles enough of the old Home Server to make navigation easy. I stumbled on some more new features that I missed before, and I'm looking forward to digging into those as well.

The migration wasn't too difficult, but logging onto the console concerns me. If you have questions or comments, please email me and we’ll try to walk through it together. I'm going to see if I can find a better solution that will make it easier for the average home user.

Have fun with your new Vail server!

Eric B. Rux is a contributing editor for Windows IT Pro, and he writes a monthly column for Residential AV Presents Connected Home. Rux is the manager of Technical Support Services for Eastern Washington University and teaches the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification program at a technical college.



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