Must-Have Windows Home Server Add-Ins

A few months in to my Windows Home Server “experiment”, and it has turned from a quick side project, into a new tech passion.  The hardware for my WHS box is complete, it’s quiet and has plenty of disk space.  Now over the past few weeks I have concentrated on personalizing and enhancing the WHS console.  One of Windows Home Server strong points is the ability to extend it via user created or commercial add-ins.  There are more than enough out there, and most cover just about every need that WHS doesn’t do on its own.

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I have downloaded and tested many of these and I wanted to share a few of my “must have” add-ins that every WHS user should have.

  1. LightsOut (free) – I’m starting off with this one because it’s my favorite, and by far one of the most useful.  One of my biggest concerns about having a WHS system is the fact that it’s an “always on” PC.  First thing that comes to mind is energy consumption, and there are several other factors along those lines as well.  LightsOut puts WHS to hibernate or suspend based on an easy to use calendar.  I don’t need the server running all night, so I have it set to hibernate and wake in the morning. 
  2. Advanced Admin Console (free) – This add-in extends the default WHS console to give you commands and options you would only find otherwise by using Remote Desktop.  Need to change some settings in the Control Panel?  Now you don’t have to worry about remotely logging in, you can simply access it from the WHS console.
  3. FTP Manager (free) – You have a server, so make use of it.  This add-in installs the ISS component to WHS.  Now you will be able to access WHS via FTP to transfer files back and forth.
  4. WHS Web Logs (free) – Security is undoubtedly important, and keeping track of who is checking out your WHS from the web.  The latest update gives you the ability to IP block.  

These are just a small sample of the type of add-ins that are available and if you are new to Windows Home Server, these are some fantastic ones to start off with.  One of my favorite websites to find add-ins is www.whsplus.com.  Take a browse through there and see how far you can extend WHS.

Have a favorite add-in?  Let me know which are your favorites.

 

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6 responses to “Must-Have Windows Home Server Add-Ins”

  1. Robin says :

    One of the add-ins I can’t miss is AutoExit to shutdown/wake up/reboot machines over the network that are located in different rooms.Another good one is WHS Disk Mgt for managing the disks.Rob

  2. Spencer says :

    Definitely Rob. Those are also some great add-ins.

  3. Bill says :

    Hey Spencer,I totally agree about the Advanced Admin Console, it makes life so much easier for me. I thought the Lights Out would be handy, but I work weird hours so end up needing to access it when normal people have it shut down over night.It sounds like you built your unit from scratch, I went the safe and easy route with a Acer H340 which filled all my needs and now it runs quietly in the background and I tend to forget it’s their most of the time.I put some information together about my experience here if you want to read my thoughts on home server, http://www.squidoo.com/windows-home-server-infoRegards,Bill

  4. Byron says :

    Your link for WHS Web Logs (free) points to the FTP Manager….I like Disk Management, Update History, and Remote Alert (although I’m checking out WHS Web Logs as an alternative).Byron

  5. Gil says :

    Whiist (http://www.whsplus.com/2009/04/13/whiist/) is also a must.

  6. Andy says :

    Check out CloudBerry Online Backup for Windows Home Server powered by Amazon S3 http://www.cloudberrylab.com/default.aspx?page=backup-whs. Protect your data from physical hardware failure.

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