Remote Access to Home PCs via Windows Home Server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hey guys,

    After reading the documentation for Windows Home Server, it appears to be possible to connect to your PCs at home via Windows Home Server.
    I assume this is done using RDP, somehow tunneled over a different port. So at the PC end, I should see a Remote Desktop Connection on port TCP 3389. Is that correct?
    If that is the case, Windows Home Server acts as an RDP proxy/gateway; from the outside I connect to its management interface (I assume web based - not I did NOT try Home Server at all) and from there I can pick the computer on my home network I want to connect to and voilá, I get connected.
    So on my end, the originating computer, connected to the server, I assume I will need the Microsoft RDP Client (MSTSC, part of XP and Vista). And on the home computer end, it must have Remote Desktop enabled and working. Is that correct? If it uses RDP, does it mean Windows XP Home cannot be remote controlled (as it has no Remote Desktop functionality - only XP Pro has it)?

    And finally, my add-in, already developed for Windows Server 2003, is very simple but I think useful. I would need to get Windows Home Server to see what I need to change on our code - if anything. The idea is once we install our add-in on Windows Home Server, all these remote connections to your computers on your network get recorded to a file, that you can playback and watch exactly like you do with a video. You can also export the recorded session to Flash/AVI and open it using Flash Player or Windows Media Player.
    Why is this useful? Well for many reasons. One I can think is to record what you or anyone else did (auditing/security). The second is sometimes we connect remotely to PCs to fix them and later we forgot what we have done. As this records all it is just a matter of playing back that video to see what was done.

    Is this something people think would be useful? First I need to know if my assumptions regarding remote desktop, tunnelling, etc are correct or not. :-)


    Wednesday, August 22, 2007 7:41 PM

All replies

  • You are correct that the computer at home must support RDP, XP Home, and Vista Home editions do not. The remote computer you are using to connect to the server with does not need RDP enabled, you are using RDP from the home server console- the connection to the server is web based [ https:// ] I would love to see an addin as you have described, I am a little nervous about having my server and network exposed to the internet, and would like to know who is accessing. I also have a computer repair buisness, and am looking into remote support options, and agree that a 'record" of what is done would be useful.


    Wednesday, August 22, 2007 8:38 PM
  • So I guess my add-in would work as expected. But I will need more information on how this HTTPS to RDP translation is done. If I connect from my PC to a website over HTTPS and then remote control a PC I assume there is some sort of ActiveX control involved that would get loaded with the website page for the remote control. Is that correct?
    And I assume some proxy/gateway thing runs on the Home Server box itself to allow me to go through RDP to other machines. In that case it would be very easy for my add-in to work.
    I guess I need more info from the developers on this.
    You can check what I am talking about (an RDP recorder) on my website at http://www.tsfactory.com.


    Wednesday, August 22, 2007 10:17 PM
  • Claudio, WHS works pretty much as you assumed. (It uses a cut-down version of Remote Web Workplace to proxy RDP connnections out from inside your network, BTW.)

    The only thing you would have to be careful of is where you would be storing your recorded sessions. WHS expects pretty much complete control of every drive in the system, so you should avoid accessing the drives via anything but the network shares that WHS sets up. But that's probably a pretty minor detail. Smile
    Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:40 PM