Connecting a PC to Windows Home Server 2011 in 10 easy steps
For those of you who’ve downloaded the Release Candidate for the new Windows Home Server 2011 (formally known as “Home Server Vail”), we’ve decided to put up some short & sweet instructions on how to connect a home computer to a Windows Home Server.
If you just happened to stumble on this site and have no idea what a Windows Home Server (WHS) is, let me briefly explain: First of all, don’t let the “Server” in the name scare you into thinking this is something that only your family tech guy can put together. No, Windows Home Server has evolved into a simple to use, yet powerful solution for your Home Entertainment needs and even reaching out into the rest of the Connected Home. Not only acting as a central storage location for all of your media (movies, music, video, photos, and even your documents), the Windows media server will stream that content to any computer in the home as well as giving you the ability to access and stream remotely to a tablet or smartphone (or any computer actually). Beyond that, WHS 2011 will also automatically back up every computer in your home so that you have the peace of mind that your data is always protected. Needless to say, Windows Home Server is a solid product and I believe that WHS still stands as a central feature in the Connected Home of the future!
If you haven’t tried it yet, you certainly should and you can even evaluate the software without buying any new hardware by following this tutorial on How to build a WHS 2011 in a virtual environment. Go check it out and catch up!
Now…for the rest of you:
1. Open up a web browser on the computer you want to connect to your Windows Home Server 2011 and go to this address: http://yourservername/connect
2. Once there, click on “Download software for (Your OS)”
3. Save the file when prompted and then launch it.
Wait for it…wait for it…
4. Click Next
5. And Next again
6. Enter the password you used in the installation of your WHS 2011.
7. Enter a description
8. Decide whether you want your server to wake each computer on your LAN (Local Area Network) when it’s time to back them up. (I would select yes, they can go back to sleep!) 😉
9. Decide if you would like to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program. I do for Beta software so that any feedback can be used to fix issues.
Wait for it…
10. and then click Finish
Voila! Your computer is now officially connected to your Windows Home Server! Now you will be able to stream from your home media server to your PC from within Windows Media Center or any other DLNA supporting device!
Go ahead and sign in with your WHS password created when you built the server and you’ll be taken directly to the Dashboard where our steps in configuring your new Windows Home Server 2011 will continue in a future article:
Take some time and get to know the layout, this is YOUR Microsoft Home Server and the better you know the lay of the land..the easier this will all be.
If you happen to be new at all of this, don’t stress about it! This stuff is not difficult and Microsoft has done well at creating a product that the average consumer will be able to work with. Just like with any new piece of hardware or software, there is a learning curve, but I can say that this learning curve will be definitely worth it when you have the Home Entertainment set up of your dreams!
Please do not hesitate to leave a comment if you’ve got questions about any of this. We will help you through it!