A first look: Inside Windows Home Server remote access

Windows Home Server gives you the ability to access files remotely by providing you with a URL that allows you to upload or download files from anywhere on the Web. Shawn Morton gives a first look at this feature.

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One of the cooler parts of Windows Home Server (WHS) is the ability to access files remotely. WHS provides you with a URL (yourservername.livenode.com) that allows you to upload or download files from anywhere on the Web.

Remote access landing page

The only thing of any value on this page is the "Log On" button� oh, and that random photo of a guy working on his laptop in the desert (Figure A).The WHS Console (in Settings | Remote Access) allows you to specify the name of the server that shows up in the upper left of this page.

Figure A

Landing page

Log On screen

This is the Log On screen -- username, password and a button (Figure B).

Figure B

Log on

Remote access home

The Home tab is pretty basic. It gives you a link to your Shared Folders, some marketing copy about remote access and another shot of that guy who doesn't care about getting sand in his laptop (Figure C).

Figure C


Shared folders

If you use WHS Remote Access, you will spend almost all of your time in the Shared Folders area (Figure D). This is where you can access the files on your server. By default, Music, Video, Photos, Software, Public and your Personal folder are accessible.

Figure D

Shared folders

Browsing a Shared Folder

Next is a screenshot of the inside of my Software Shared Folder (Figure E). From this screen you can browse the file system, upload new files and download existing files.

Figure E


Downloading a file from a Shared Folder

To download a file from your server, you click the checkbox next to the file name (far left of the screen shown in Figure F) and then the "Download" button (right side of screen).

Figure F


Uploading a file to a Shared Folder

To upload a file to your server, you click the Upload button (right next to the "Download" button) and browse for the file you want in the window that pop-ups (Figure G). You can add multiple files in a single upload.

Figure G


Streaming is not supported

The only bummer about using WHS Remote Access is that streaming is not supported (Figure H). If you have your media collection on your server, you will need to download each file individually in order to listen to/view it. I am hoping this is something that will be addressed in later releases (or maybe with server add-ins).

Figure H

No streaming