Trusted Certificate from Microsoft Street Value $100 5 Year Expiration Date – FREE

As previously posted the update due on Tuesday November 27th will amongst many other things improve the remote access experience for Windows Home Server users by providing them with a “trusted SSL certificate” for their home servers. That means customers will be able to access their home server from outside the home without any security warnings being generated by the web browser.  GoDaddy, a leading provider of Web domain addresses, is the provider of the free trusted certs which have a 5 year expiration date with a street value of $100 – all for free!

More details on GoDaddy’s SSL Certificate’s are available in the PDF guide Why you need a SSL Certificate.

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Jungle Disk for Windows Home Server Review

We were sent a private beta of Jungle Disk for Windows Home Server, an online, off site backup solution for Home Server.

Once the add-In was installed we were able to use the new Online Backup tab under the settings dialog to configure Jungle Disk. From here we clicked the link to take us to the Amazon S3 signup page. But if you have an account already you just need to insert your two security keys as supplied.

Jungle Disk Settings

Within this tab, you also have the option of selecting which shared folders you want to backup and the time frame in which you would like this to happen. By default it uses the time that you have set in the Backup tab. In my example 12 midnight till 8 am. Your files will now be backed up during this period each day.

After the initial backup, only new or changed files will be uploaded and If the time period you have set is not long enough for your initial backup to complete, it will continue on the next day as needed.

You also have the option of limiting the bandwidth used by the backup, in case you use upstream bandwidth intensive applications like VOIP etc, and you can also specify after how many days that you would like to remove deleted files from your online backups.

The main screen allows you to pause your next scheduled task and start a backup immediately if required. The screen is mostly taken up by a log, that shows if there are any backup warnings or errors. A shortcut is also provided to take you back into the online backup settings tab as and if needed.

Jungle Disk Main  

The Restore Files button opens another screen that enables you to select which SERVER to restore from (in case you have more than one). From here you also have the option of displaying files that are no longer present on your server, in case of situations like accidental deletion etc. This makes it easy to restore those files that are missing, quickly and easily.

Restore Files

As we stated earlier, at the moment Jungle Disk for Windows Home Server is only currently available as an internal preview build but will be available shortly as a public beta. Several features which are planned for the final release version are:

  • Multi-version backup / restore
  • File / folder / file-type filtering
  • Byte-level incremental backups for changes to large files
  • More complex scheduling options
  • Additional restore options
  • Custom encryption settings (similar to the desktop version of Jungle Disk)
  • Backup history display
  • Integration with the WHS Health / Error reporting system

We look forward to the public beta release, as I am sure many of you are too.

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Remote Access Timeout

When using remote access you may find that uploading or downloading a large file or a group of files will cause the connection to time out before the operation finishes with the error message “The remote connection to the computer timed out. Please connect again.”

By default, remote access is configured to timeout after 20 minutes, which is adequate for uploading/downloading about 15 MB even at slow DSL speeds but if you are frequently seeing this error message, you’ll need to adjust the timeout value to something higher. Setting the timeout to 30 up to 60 minutes is reasonable if circumstances require it. Setting a timeout interval that’s too long increase your security risk and can consume an unreasonable amount of resources on a server.

It is easy to change this timeout value:

  1. Using mstsc.exe, start a Remote Desktop Connection session to your home server.
  2. Use notepad.exe, to edit C:\Inetpub\remote\web.config.
  3. Locate the following line:
    <sessionState mode=”InProc” cookieless=”false” timeout=”20″/>
  4. Replace “20” (which represents 20 minutes) with a larger number to allow your uploads to finish.
    If you change the timeout value to more than 200 minutes, you must also change the executionTimeout value. Search for the following line
    <httpRuntime maxRequestLength=”2097151″ executionTimeout=”12000″/> 
    and increase the executionTimeout value (measured in seconds) to the same or greater value than the timeout value (measured in minutes).
  5. Save your change, close the file, restart the IIS after this edit or better still, restart the server. Any edit to IIS or a related issue with the web    configuration will need the web services to be restarted and log off from your Remote Desktop Connection session.
  6. Use Remote Access to upload your file or files to ensure that the timeout parameter you chose is sufficient to complete the upload.

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Give Grandma and Grandpa Access To Your Photos Even Though They Are Thousands of Miles Away

One of the “silent features” of Windows Home Server is the ability to give people access to your shared folders even though they aren’t even in your household.  You don’t need to associate user accounts with computers, which means you can create as many users as you need in WHS and them assign them permissions on individual folders.  Using the WHS web interface, these people can now access your server and browse shared folders — a perfect way to give grandma and grandpa access to see the latest photos of your family from afar!

Using the web interface, they login with the username and password you have given them and then go to the Shared Folders tab.  From there the can view your files, download them to their local PC’s and view or print them off.  You can even give them write permissions which will allow them to upload files — a perfect way for an extended family across the country, or across the world, to share photos and have a “central family server” for storing them on!  The best part about it, it doesn’t matter if they use Windows, Mac, Linux or an old Amiga — as long as they have a web browser and Internet access they can connect up.

Just one more way Windows Home Server helps keep your home, and your family, connected.

Guest Blogger

Robert Stinnett
www.robertstinnett.com

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French Home Automation Webcast

Microsoft enthusiast and evangelist Benjamin Gauthey has posted a two minute Webcast in French showing a D-Link IP camera being remotely controlled via the web sites pane within the remote management interface of Windows Home Server.

Available from here.

English translation by Google.

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Is there a Problem with your Security Certificate?

If you are using a computer without the connector (console) software on it (e.g. at work trying to access your home server) and you try to connect to the web interface of WHS then the following error appears:

error

Home PCs with the connector/console software installed have the server’s certificate automatically installed during connector setup. Computers without the software installed don’t have this certificate and so the error message.

To stop this error appearing; when accessing the web interface we need to export the certificate from a PC with the connector/console software on it and then import it into the PC without the software on it.

EXPORT

  1. So on the PC with the connector/console software on it open your web browser and type in your https://xxxx.livenode.com address
  2. To the right of the address bar click on the Padlock icon and then View certificates
  3. Click the Certification Path tab
  4. Double click the long GUID number (root certificate)
  5. Click the Details tab
  6. Click the Copy to File… button
  7. Export the certificate somewhere safe using default option

IMPORT

  1. Move the certificate to the machine without the connector/console software
  2. Double click the the .cer file and select Install Certificate… on the General tab
  3. Click Next on the wizard that opens and place a dot in Place all certificates in the following store
  4. Click Browse and select Trusted Root Certification Authorities and click OK
  5. Click Next and then Finish

That’s it. You can now access your web interface on your PC without the connector/console software via your livenode.com dynamic address, your server name e.g. SERVER or localhost without getting the dreaded error html page.

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Add-In: OnTheFlyUnzipper – Automatic Unzipper

Imagine this scenario. You are at a friend’s house and you want to upload 25 files from his PC to your WHS using the upload feature from the Shared Folders tab within the web interface. Now if you have tried this you will know that it takes forever, but no longer.

The latest news from the German Ms Homeserver Blog is that using OnTheFlyUnzipper will allow you to add hundreds of files in a ZIP or RAR archive, upload this file to your Windows Home Server and the add-in will then automatically uncompress the files. Saving you time, bandwidth and of course megabytes within your upload.

Other options or functions include:

  • unzip only archives with a special prefix in the filename (if you don’t want to unzip every archive)
  • delete the archive after uncompressing
  • create a folder for the contents of the archive
  • select the shares that should be monitored for archives
  • runs as a service

Well done to developer Alex (AliG) for this add-in and apart from the download a PDF User guide is also available.

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