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Make WHS Connector Laptop Friendly (Keep quiet when on the road) RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I put the WHS Connector on my laptop. The connector keeps trying to call home, even when I am on the road. This has annoyed at least one corp security dude.

     

    The WHS Connector needs an option to ask the user about being home/away before it goes blindly calling out to the WHServer. At least recoginze that the current machine IP is not on the network used for the WHS access!

     

    This feature can be automatically implemented but even a simple fix like asking the user whenever the IP address changes would be an improvement (and reduce embarassment at work)

     

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007 4:42 PM

All replies

  • Won't 'right-clicking' on the Connector Icon and selecting 'Exit' do what you want? That's what I do for the laptops and never have any problems.

    The second point would be a little more problamatic, I would have thought. What happens when, for whatever reason, your home IP changes prior to the scheduled backup taking place, which for the majority of the target market, will be the middle of the night. A pop-up box waiting for user input is going to be waiting a long time.

     

    Colin

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007 5:04 PM
  • You could remove the Connector shortcut from your Startup group, and put it in your Quick Launch group or on your desktop - works fine for me.
    Wednesday, July 11, 2007 11:01 PM
  • Either of the previous actions will solve the immediate problem.

     

    Neither will reduce the "customer support burden" for a company that is shipping WHS as a product. I believe that the default behavior of the WHS Connector is such that carrying it into a school or installing on a machine with enhanced security software like Zone Alarm will cause avoidable support calls.

     

    I am submitting this as a suggestion for improving the product, not asking for help for myself.

     

    If the WHS Connector does not load at startup, the customer will forget to start it. If none of her computers have the connector running she will never see the alerts for the missing backups. SO, I did not recommend that path.

     

    If the WHS Connector is running, the user will likely forget to turn it off until it starts generating attention. Then it is too late and someone might be annoyed.

     

    So, any other ideas besides having the WHS Connector keep quiet when it detects that it is away from home?

     

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007 11:18 PM
  • Apologies if this was misinterpreted as a help request rather than a suggestion, but good to know that either would provide a workaround.

     

    Is it likely that all the computers in a household would be used externally and therefore this situation could arise? Well, obviously its possible, but probably not common. It is, after all, a Home system.

     

    If the customer forgets to start connector and none of her computers have the it running, she won't see the alerts. Neither will she if the machines are configured to not show alerts; it's likely the primary user would take a bit of interest in the status of things and check occasionally. ZoneAlarm is a red herring; it's not an MS provided or supported product.

     

    Making the connector network aware is a good suggestion, but unlikely we'll see it in v1. Hopefully in v2 though.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007 11:51 PM
  • This might be something that can be configured in Vista (in a future version) because the OS is aware if the network is a "Home", "Work", or "Public" connection.

     

    Asking the user wouldn't work because the connection is made by a service.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007 3:32 AM
  •  Insitefullyyours wrote:

    Either of the previous actions will solve the immediate problem.

     

    Neither will reduce the "customer support burden" for a company that is shipping WHS as a product. I believe that the default behavior of the WHS Connector is such that carrying it into a school or installing on a machine with enhanced security software like Zone Alarm will cause avoidable support calls.

     

    I am submitting this as a suggestion for improving the product, not asking for help for myself.

     

    If the WHS Connector does not load at startup, the customer will forget to start it. If none of her computers have the connector running she will never see the alerts for the missing backups. SO, I did not recommend that path.

     

    If the WHS Connector is running, the user will likely forget to turn it off until it starts generating attention. Then it is too late and someone might be annoyed.

     

    So, any other ideas besides having the WHS Connector keep quiet when it detects that it is away from home?

     

     

    Personally, I think Connector should NOT be installed to Startup by default, but instead left in the Programs Menu (up in the top "important" area if you know what I mean).

     

    Once installed initially, Connector does NOT need to be running for Backups to occur.  Connector running merely provides a simple interface for status messages, and an easy way to access the console.

     

    On all my machines, Connector is immediately removed from Startup, since my Wife/Kids don't need to access the console, and couldn't do anything about the errors if they saw them Stick out tongue

    Friday, July 13, 2007 12:18 AM
  • I run WHS connector on my laptop and two others. The first two laptops run windows vista and have no issue with warnings about calling home, the third has xp home and is also fine. When I'm on the road the WHS icon is grey'd out.
    Friday, July 13, 2007 1:14 AM
  • But that means that people who don't know how to get it to start automatically have to keep going to the Programs menu every time, and for some means they may miss important notifications.

     

    You can switch off notifications from the tray icon, and it provides a quick and easy way to open the shares. If you are Admin, it's an easy way to get to the console from any machine.

    Sunday, July 15, 2007 9:47 AM
  •  Lyme wrote:
    I run WHS connector on my laptop and two others. The first two laptops run windows vista and have no issue with warnings about calling home, the third has xp home and is also fine. When I'm on the road the WHS icon is grey'd out.

    See, this is the problem. The laptop owner is not even aware that the WHS Connector is trying to open a connection to the server. (The icon is grey while the Connector service fails to reach the server.)  The owner, unaware the laptop is calling out, carries it into an environment with intrusion detection and soon a security officer is escorting the laptop and its owner out the door.  This is not currently a big issue (few places that let you carry in and connect a personal laptop have strong network monitors) but it should be addressed. 

     

    I opened a separate thread about Connector security here: WHS Software topics:Connector Security Questions

     

     

    Monday, July 16, 2007 1:08 PM
  • I can see your concern however I personally do not think it is that much of a big deal, especially as most anti virus programs do the exact same thing. If you really want to be quiet when you go somewhere, turn your wifi off.
    Tuesday, July 17, 2007 3:21 AM
  • I don't think adding a few configuration parameters to the Connector would be out of the question.  Perhaps the being able to set the connector so that it only attempts to connect when assigned a particular ip address/subnet combo, or by a specific gateway.  Maybe even going so far to isolate it to certain MAC addresses.  The interface wouldn't be too complicated and a wizard could put it in plain English fairly easily, I would think.
    Tuesday, July 17, 2007 6:30 AM