As a new category of product, Windows Home Server may be a bit confusing to some computer users. Many people will see the word “Server” and assume that bringing a Windows Home Server machine into their home will be complicated and difficult!
This is where we bring to you a series of well-informed articles to show users that setting up and using Windows Home Server can be easy and, more important, that it can be used to simplify their digital lives by protecting their important files and making them available in a variety of different ways.
One of the most common criticisms for Windows Home Server is that many of the features could be cobbled together using a low-cost Linux-based server, network attached storage device, or other products. The problem with this criticism is that it assumes that everyone is comfortable stitching together a bunch of disparate technologies in order to build a solution for their home network.
If it really were easy, then everyone would have already done it!
Windows Home Server makes a huge stride to close the technology divide. In this particular article we will look to answer some of most essential queries that usually have bogged down users while using WHS as follows:
Who Needs a Home Server?
Microsoft is obviously hoping that the answer to this question is “everyone,” and the truth is not far off. The typical target household for Windows Home Server is a home where two or more PCs are used for either business or personal computing. To make the most of Windows Home Server, the house should also have a broadband Internet connection.
The term ‘server’ may tend to scare people away from Windows Home Server, but potential customers should realize that while the machine is a server in its functionality, it is easier to set up, administer, and utilize than a normal Windows PC. Users are not asked to answer questions that they may not understand. Default settings are very reasonable, and significant effort has gone into providing a simple user interface that gives users the exact information they need, without excessive or confusing computer jargon.
Understanding WHS’ limitations
At this point it is important to begin to understand some of the limitations of Windows Home Server, which we have categorically enlisted here-in:
- Windows Home Server doesn’t do e-mail.
- Windows Home Server does not do Active Directory. Active Directory is the computer and user management engine that Microsoft’s main line of server products uses to manage accounts, computers, and settings in the business environment.
- One piece that is obviously absent from Windows Home Server’s backup strategy is the ability to ship backups to an off-site location.
- Another frequent request that has not yet been addressed is the ability to centralize parental controls for Internet usage.
We will continue our discussion further into the next few articles, by slowly shifting our focus on one of the best piece of dedicate hardware for Windows Home Server, namely, HP MediaSmart Series 470/475.