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Windows 7: What is Windows Home Server?

01 Sep 2009   #1

What is Windows Home Server?

Since Windows Home Server is a new addition to The Windows Blog, we thought it would be a good idea to give everyone a refresh on what exactly Windows Home Server is and what it can do for you.

Windows Home Server was designed for households and home-based offices that have more than one personal computer. It was created to help you simplify your digital life, and provide an easy way to access your media and files from any computer, inside or outside your home. The leading benefits of Windows Home Server will help you “Share, Protect, Organize, and Grow” all of your digital content on up to 10 PCs through three basic services. These include automatic PC back-up, restoration ; document and file sharing ; and remote access capabilities. Windows Home Server software will typically be sold with new server hardware from companies like Acer and HP.

The great news about this product is that you don’t have to be computer savvy to set it up or to use it. To get your home server up and running, it only takes three easy steps: plug in the power, connect an Ethernet cord, and install the Windows Home Server connector software.

Starting to sound pretty cool? Let’s take a closer look at each of these features.


Let’s pretend that you just got back from an amazing vacation and uploaded all of your new photos to one of your home PCs. Now, your family is over and wanting to see them, but you forgot which computer and folder you put them on. Instead of spending the time it takes to search through multiple locations, you could be using Windows Home Server and enjoying your picture slideshow. Windows Home Server provides an effortless way to organize and manage all of your media including the vacation pictures. After installation, a pre-defined set of shared folders will be shown: Photos, Music, and Videos. Windows Home Server will organize your family’s files and media, by storing them in one of the shared locations. Since all of these files will be stored in a central place, they can easily be found and accessed from any computer on your home or office network. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter which computer you put your pictures on since you can see them on any computer that is connected to your Home Server. Furthermore, if you enable user access, everyone on your network will have the ability to add and view media that is located in the Shared Folders.

*Organize devices


I think we have all experienced the feeling of losing important files or pictures we love, and it is absolutely devastating. Everyone is aware that you should regularly back-up your computer in order to prevent loss of these valuable things. However, how often do you really find yourself doing it? With Windows Home Server, you will no longer need to run around your house with USB hard drives doing manual backups. Instead, Windows Home Server enables you to rest easy knowing that all of your irreplaceable videos and pictures are safe with Windows Home Server’s daily, automatic image based back-up and restoration feature.

The ability to restore individual files or even your entire computer is what makes backing up significant. Restoration can include accidentally deleted files (documents, music, pictures, videos), or complete computers. If your vacation pictures or crucial financial information accidentally get deleted, they will not be lost forever since you can restore to a previous point in time. You can also increase protection of certain files with Windows Home Server with since you have the ability to duplicate your shared folders. When you have more than one hard drive in your Home Server, your memories and files can then be stored and copied across multiple hard drives.


Windows Home Server helps families and small offices centralize and connect their digital experiences. It provides an easy and reliable way to store, access, and share whatever is most important through remote access. Like other features of Windows Home Server, remote access is fast and simple to use!

When using remote access, Windows Home Server lets you stay connected with friends and family. Once installed, your Home Server will automatically assign you an uncomplicated web address such as “”. You will then be able to share pictures, music, and documents through the password protected web address. From this site, you can upload media to the Shared Folders on your Home Server when using PCs that are not on your home network. This will give your friends and family the ability to log in through the personalized web address and download any pictures or files that you may have there. It is also simple to locate, view files, and even run applications from your home PC just as if you were sitting in front of that computer.


With Windows Home Server, storage space grows as your digital life grows. The ability to increase the number of drives in your Home Server is one of the biggest innovations for Windows Home Server. You can very easily add internal or external hard drives of any size so that you will have an unlimited amount of storage for your collection of files, photos, and videos. Once you have two or more drives plugged in, the server will see this additional storage as one large drive instead of many individual drives. This will result in a much easier process when locating and storing files since you will only be searching through one virtual drive.

*Acer Easy Store

Your Home Server is also fully expandable meaning you have the option to download extra features to help customize your Home Server. The development community has created “add-ins” for Windows Home Server that extends its capabilities in fun, exciting, and useful ways. There are currently over 100 add-ins available for download including “Whiist” for photo sharing, and “Lights Out” for power conservation.

For more detailed information about Windows Home Server, check out the product guide at

To purchase and learn more about Windows Home Server, please visit

- Nicole


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2009   #2

Windows 7 x64 / Same

Just what I've dreamed about: Rack servers in my home.

Thanks for the info!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
What is WHS?

It is simply one of the best products it has been my good fortune to be associated with. I built my own server using an AMD 3800+, 2GB ram, 5 drives (3 @ 180gb and 2 @ 500gb). This is over kill but it works for me. the first time I realized a benefit to having it was 2 weeks after I stood it up when the HDD in my Dell laptop died. Put in a new drive and restored the latest backup in 20 minutes. No problems and no reactivation required.

I have simplified my admin of my home network using this product by having ONE location for my Music, Documentation, Software, etc and then pointing all my pc's to these libraries. Update once and you are done.

Automated backups and retention policies free up my time to do other things that I like better than basic admin and backups.

The included Web site interface allows access to my PC's from anywhere using the web and allows my family and friends to have a central place to share info, pictures, recipes, etc.

All for less than $100.00.

My only complaint is that you MUST use business versions of windows due to the lack of RDP in the home versions if you want to remotely administer your networked PC's. This is a major goof on Microsoft's part in my opinion. This is for creating a home network and RDP is required to administer your networked pc's remotely so you should be able to use Home Premium. This means RDP should not have been removed or Microsoft should include RDP in the Window Home Server client. This has been the only negative thing I have to say about the product.

Another great resource for WHS:
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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