How To Set Up a Domain Name for Windows Home Server Remote Access

Another step along the way to having remote access for your Windows Home Server is that you need to select a personalized domain name for your Windows Home Server which makes it easier for you to remember the URL to connect to your Windows Home Server when you are away from home. For example, if it was available, I could use edneyfamily.homeserver.com. The only part of the domain name I need to choose is the edneyfamily part.

Because the personalized domain name is used to access your Windows Home Server over the Internet, it has to be unique, so try and think of something that is easy for you to remember and means something to you. Make sure you think of a couple of different possibilities just in case the domain name you want has already been taken by someone else.

All of the following steps are performed from the Windows Home Server Console, Settings, Remote Access tab. And for additional information, this walk-through assumes you are running Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 – if you are running an earlier Power Pack then these steps may appear a little different to what you see. Go download and install PP2 now.

Firstly, ensure that Remote Access is turned on. If it isn’t just click on the Turn on button (in which case you can skip the next step).

Remote 1

From the Domain Name section, click the Setup button.

Remote

This will launch the Set Up a Domain Name wizard.

Remote 2

Note: You will need a Windows Live ID to set up a domain name.

Click Next to continue.

You must now sign in to Windows Live to continue.

If you don’t already have a Windows Live ID it is easy to create one. See the Creating a Windows Live ID section later in this article.

Enter your Windows Live ID e-mail address and password to sign in to Windows Live.

Remote 3

Click Next to continue.

The next screen of the wizard is the Privacy Statement and Agreement.

Remote 4

Note: As you are being asked to accept the agreement, it is a good idea to read it and make sure you are happy to agree. If you are not happy to agree then you cannot use the remote access facilities of Windows Home Server.

Read the Windows Home Server Privacy Statement and the Windows Live Custom Domains Addendum.

Click the I accept button (assuming you accept).

Click Next to continue.

On the next screen you must type in the domain name you would like to use.

Remote 5

Type in the domain name you would like to use in the Domain Name box.

The domain name can contain the following:

  • 63 characters maximum
  • Letters, numbers, or hyphens. The name must begin and end with a letter or a number.

You can only register one domain name per Windows Live ID you have.

Click the Confirm button to check that it is available to use. If it is not available you will see the message telling you so.

Remote 6

Don’t worry if the domain is not available, just choose another one and try again.

If the domain name is available it will be displayed on the screen – just click Finish.

You will see confirmation that the domain name has been set up.

Remote 7

Tip: Make a note of the URL so that you can access your Windows Home Server. It will be http://domainname.homeserver.com followed be either /home for the homepage over port 80 or /remote for the remote access login page over port 443 (which will also start with https:// instead of http://).

Click Done to complete the process.

There is also a button called Configure, which enables you to either release the current domain name or choose a different domain name.

Remote 8

Creating a Windows Live ID

Having a Windows Live ID is a pre-requisite for creating a domain name for use with Windows Home Server, but don’t worry, its simple and only takes a couple of minutes.

To create a Windows Live ID, just follow these steps:

Using Internet Explorer or any other Internet browser, visit https://accountservices.passport.net/ppnetworkhome.srf?lc=2057 which is the Windows Live ID website.

Select the type of Windows Live ID you want to create. For the sake of this example, I will select Sign up for a limited account.

WL ID1

The next steps involve you having to create an e-mail address and password to use a Windows Live ID credentials.

WL ID2

Enter an E-mail address in the box provided – you only need to enter the text before the @.

Note: The e-mail address can contain letters, numbers, periods, hyphens and underscores.

Enter a password in the box provided.

Note: The password must be a minimum of six characters in length – as you type the password you can see from the password strength visual how strong your password actually is.

Type in the characters that are displayed in the picture – this is used as a security mechanism to stop automated programs from creating accounts.

Click the Continue button.

The next screen contains the terms of use and online privacy statement.

WL ID3

Type in your e-mail address that you just created in the box and click the I Accept button to continue.

The last screen confirms that you have created your Windows Live ID.

WL ID4

Click the Continue button to complete the process.

You can now use this newly created Windows Live ID for creating the Windows Home Server domain.

You can also use this Windows Live ID for any other purpose that requires a Windows Live ID.

56 COMMENTS

  1. Just reinstalled my home server and was about to set up the domain name and got the answer that the domain is not available. How can i get my old domain name back??

    //Roger

  2. Roger – you should just be able to sign in with the Live ID you used and it should give you the opportunity to reuse your old domain.

    Andrew

    • I am almost sure this is my name I created my homeserver domain and yet it said it is not associated. Trying every help area I can find and this one is two years old so getting desperate. Trying to contact MS to find out about my domain will cost me $80. Maybe Bill Gates will float the payment

  3. When I try to sign in with LiveID after reinstall, it just sits there forever and nothing happens……

    My old domin still works and connects to my WHS but it gives me expired certificate message.

    Is there a way to configure it some other way?

    • Peter – no, that is the only way to configure it. It could be that there was a problem with the Live ID servers – its happened before.

      Can you try it again?

      If it still doesnt work then why not post something in our new forum so others can help as well?

      Andrew

  4. I have an existing registered domain name for my home business. Is there a way I can use that with WHS ?

  5. Hi I have updated my domain from xxxxx.homeserver .com to a custom one with TZO (www.xxxxx.com).

    When I tried to install any addins (Whiist, Webguide etc) it points automatically to xxxxx.homeserver.com.

    I can access my custom domain with no prblems. Any thoughts?

    Regards

  6. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for this info. Something I would find helpful are step-by-step instructions on setting up remote access to my HP Server using a domain name I currently own and held at GoDaddy. I don't want to pay TZO the annual fee, I don't want to use LiveID, I simply wan to use my own domain name.

    Is that possible and if so what are the steps to set it up?

    Thanks!

  7. Andrew thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this site. I have one question? do you know where I can find good information in setting up my home server for remote access. I have a Modem, linksys router, but i cant set to get it working. I have fowarded a couple of port since my ISP blocks port 80 but all tries have been futile.

    • Todd

      Assuming that you have enabled a user for remote access, the login name is whatever the username is and the password is whatever the password is.

      You configure a user for remote access via the Users tab.

      Andrew

  8. thank you. It is working great. Now I will try the remote logging so I know who has been on the network. I run a small business.

    Is there a way to back up my server to my home computer over the internet. Keepvault makes me buy space. I want it to go home.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Todd

    • Hi Todd

      Glad it's now working :-)

      Im not aware of a way to back up your home server to your computer over the internet – sorry!

      I think you are looking at someone like Amazon S3 or KeepVault.

      Cloudberry are about to run a beta so perhaps you could give that a try? Do a search on the site for Cloudberry.

      Andrew

  9. Andrew,

    Do you know why one of my 4 computers says connection disabled and I can not log in remotely?

    Thanks for your help

    • Todd

      What operating system is it running? It has to be running a version of the operating system that actually supports remote desktop connection and not all versions of Windows actually do.

      Andrew

    • Todd

      XP Pro should work – have you enabled Remote Access on the XP machine? If you have done that already then I dont know why it isnt working :-(

      Andrew

    • That is possible – yes. You may need to add that as an allowed service in Norton.

      Forgot WHS for now, just try connecting to that XP machine from another computer running the Remote Desktop Client – that will prove it isnt WHS. Try adding the allowed service in Norton (I cant remember how to do that as I dont use Norton anymore) or try disabling Norton for the test.

      Andrew

  10. I already own a domain and my ISP has set up a sub domain and set DNS to forward to my home IP. (No Charge). It is working correctly and I can ping the subdomain and get a reply okay from my home IP.

    So how do I configure my home server to work with this?

    I have set up my router correctly but on the home server I only get options for setting up through Live or TZO and I can not find a way to configure it manually.

    • Hi Richard

      There is no option to manually configure a domain name because it is not supported. That is not to say that you cant get it to work, just that it is not supported.

      I did a very quick bit of research on Google and found some mention of people setting up the homeserver.com domain and then having their ISP forward there current domain to that domain. Do a search because I am not sure if it entirely matches what you want to do.

      I havent done it myself so I cant really say if it works or not – sorry.

      Let me know how you get on though.

      Andrew

  11. If like me you already have your own registered domain name most providers will set up a sub domain and DNS routing against it free of charge. This will not affect any existing services such as web sites on your main domain name.

    I managed to get my personal sub domain working with my Home Server by tricking the console into saving the details without buying any addition services as follows:

    1. Open the console and select remote access.

    2. Select "TZO.COM custom domain name".

    3. Selected "Transfer my custom domain name to TZO.COM" (you will need to add a name and email address)

    4. Enter your custom domain name when requested and click transfer.

    5. Click Finnish and quit TZO.COM web site when transferred.

    The custom domain and IP info is now cashed in your Home Server and no costs incurred.

    Remember to configure port forwarding on your router correctly before you start.

  12. I can't successfully reconfigure my remote access.

    I have spent a week trying, trying and trying again to search the internet for a resolution to this problem. Tried countless time from the Home Server Console to "Turn off" Remote Access, turn it back on, Configure Remote Access, and when I get to put in the only LiveID I have ever used (same one I created the home server web address with xxxxx.homeserver.com) I get the following response "Unknown error (0x80072eff) 80072eff" I am ready to give up on it, since I can't find anything to assist me and am just getting to the point where it is just another troublesome addition to the computer family we don't need (since we never had it before) but it seems like a nice feature that might be useful sometime.

  13. Jimmy J

    I had this problem whilst configuring a homeserver for a friend in our case it was due to the router (Netgear DG834v3) and windows firewall.. I updated the router firmware and checked that windows firewall wasn't blocking Windows Home Server console and everything worked ok…It's worth a try

  14. The domain name was not working. I can type in the IP address to see the HS home page and login to see my folders.

    The Domain Name Details window:

    Status: Configured, but not verified

    How do I verified the domain name?

  15. Ok I have been working on this for three strait days now trying to figure this out. I have learned so much about networking in the last three days I am brain dead. I set WHS on static I have set the udp upnp dns for this but i still cannot access the server from remote net. WHS says it is configured correctly and verified but I keep getting Problem Loading Page. If I change https://xxxxxxxxx.homeserver.com to http:xxxxxxxxx.homeserver.com it will let me log into my router remotely. but have not been able to access my server that way yet. now with ie8 connection wizard it says remote or resource wont accept the connection. I have my user account set to access remotely and everything set up. but i seem to be missing something to make this work. and my luck i am thinking to hard into it and it will be something simple or just flat out stupid. please help.

    Thanks In Advance.

  16. My HomeServer just died. Lost the powersupply. HP said they no longer make it. So, I purchased a new server. My question is how can I use the same domain name as my old server…or can I?

    • Andy

      When you set up remote access on your new server you should be able to specify the old domain name – from memory it will give you the domain name once you sign in with your Windows Live ID.

      If it doesnt work, or you need any other help, please visit our Forums.

      Andrew

  17. hey All,

    quick question for everyone. I just setup my WHS then i haveset up the domain exactly how these instructions have stated and yet when i log in to windows live i am now getting please verify your domain with an mx record or cname. i thought this domain name wasjust for me to access outside of home i didnt think i needed to register anything can someone help me out

  18. Can I ask you a question? If I want to buy domain and hosting in the US, how can I transfer money? I have tried several times but I failed.

  19. Reinstalled WHS2003 on a new drive. When trying to sign into my live ID.. does not like the email address or password provided. How can I retrieve the email address I originally used? it only gives an option if you forgot your password. Reason is I would have to sign up with a different email address and create a new homeserver web address. Wish to use the original one I named.

    • Sorry Tom but I think if you have forgotten the email address you originally used there is no way to recover it. I would suggest your only option is to create a new Live ID. Perhaps you could try contacting Microsoft Live ID support for assistance but I dont know if they can help or not.

  20. when I put the email and pasdword it does nothing.

    I have to put it again and again….

    I try to enter in my live id and it works. But WHS does noting.

    What append?

    • You can create a new one and just stop using the old one. If you really want to get rid of it you can choose to release it and then someone else can register it, otherwise just create and use a new one.

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  23. This was straightforward. But it still not visible from the web. How can I get a EX470 and WRT54G to get my Remote Access on?

    • are you trying to see if its visible from the network you are on or from outside on a completely different network? I ask because WHS V1 had a quirk that showed it wasnt working if you tested it from inside but if you tested it from outside it worked fine.

      if you have tested it from outside and its not working can I suggest you start a thread in our forums so that someone can provide more specific assistance?

      • Both. The WHSv1 has a wizard which verifies the connection internally. I’m guessing it contacts and outside server which checks it. It says it’s fine. But when I check it inside and outside using the browser I get nothing.

        • like I said, the checking tool doesnt work properly from inside your network.

          When you say you checked it from outside using the browser, do you mean using a computer OUTSIDE of your home network, for example one at work? Any testing from inside of your network wont show it as working and it might actually be!

          if you have checking it from outside of your network I would suggest starting a thread in our forums for more specific help.

  24. I’m getting an error code of 80000190 can’t access windows live domain service, I have a windows live domain name already setup but upgraded to whs 2011, didn’t like the interface and some other features so went back to whs 2003. Now I can’t set up remote access,even though I had everything working before . Any ideas?

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