RE: Remote Backup for Distant Family RRS feed

  • Question

  • The posted discussion about remote backup is now four years old and wondering what's happened with the technology since then.

    I'm thinking about upgrading to WHS2011 and some of that hinges on the capability of remote backup.  Similar to what I read in the discussion, I now have a family member away at college.  We have the initial and regular backups until she left for school, so I'm not concerned about the time an initial backup would take, but would like to continue subsequent backups via the net.  Does WHS2011 have that capability automatically built-in or is a VPN required?  And if a VPN is required, is a step-by-step setup of a VPN covered in the WHS2011 documentation (I've never set one up and don't know if I have the soft/hardware to create one).

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 6:53 PM

All replies

  • No, that functionality is not built into WHS. See Online documentation here for Backup & Restore capabilities:

    Backup & Restore
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:10 PM
  • What you want to do is not supported out of the box. Windows Home Server is designed for use (and support) of local computers, and for delivering data (files, streaming media) to distant computers via the Remote Access web site. A laptop in another town isn't "local".

    So while it's possible to set up a VPN, it's not going to be documented by Microsoft. Some users, with V1, used VPN solutions (e.g. Hamachi) to deal with this; likewise you could use a SOHO router with VPN capabilities. I happen to like SonicWall, but there are other good ones too. Getting everything configured and working will be a task that falls on your shoulders, though doubtless there are those here who have done this already. You could also search (in this forum and the Vail forum just above it in the list) for terms like "vpn"; I'm certain you'll find something.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:44 PM
  • If you have your heart set on staying with WHS2011 for remote backups, you have some moderate technical hurdles to jump.

    • If you both have routers that support setting up a VPN, this is an option. For example, I know of such a setup where each person's router is running DD-WRT and each is configured to support a VPN between their two sites. Unfortunately, outside the scope of these forums.
    • Otherwise, you'd need to seek out a PC software-based VPN solution such as OpenVPN. Again, outside the scope of these forums.

    If you're willing to consider an alternative to WHS2011's backups, an alternative would be to try using a product like CrashPlan (free) to backup from your family member's laptop over the Internet to your server. It does incremental backups, but your first backup will take a long time.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 8:00 PM