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Connecting Other Devices to the Windows Home Server Network

Getting other devices to access your Windows Home Server network always begins with making the initial network connection:

  • If the device has an RJ-45 jack, run a network cable from the jack to a port on your network's switch or router.
  • If the device supports Wi-Fi, turn on the Wi-Fi option, if necessary. (Some devices have a physical switch that you must set to activate Wi-Fi.) Then use the device interface to display a list of the available wireless networks, select your Windows Home Server network, and enter the security key.

When that's done, you can usually access the Windows Home Server shares directly using the device interface.

To give you some idea how this works on various devices, the rest of this chapter looks at connecting three different devices to a Windows Home Server network: a Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone, an Xbox 360, and a Wi-Fi digital picture frame.

Connecting a Windows Mobile Device

If you have a Windows Mobile 5.0 or 6.0 Pocket PC or Smartphone that supports Wi-Fi, you can use that wireless connection to access the Windows Home Server network. You can then access documents to work on with the mobile version of Word or Excel, download music or images for Windows Media Player, and so on.

Connecting to Your Windows Home Server Wireless Network

Your first task is to connect your Windows Mobile device to the wireless portion of your Windows Home Server network.

First make sure you have Wi-Fi enabled:

  1. Tap Start, Programs, Comm Manager.
  2. If you see an X over the Wi-Fi icon, tap that icon.
  3. Tap Exit.

Now here are the steps to follow to connect to the Windows Home Server network:

  1. Tap the Wi-Fi icon that appears at the top of the Windows Mobile screen (see Figure 5.27). Windows Mobile displays a list of available wireless networks, as shown in Figure 5.27.
    Figure 5.27

    Figure 5.27 When you activate Wi-Fi in Windows Mobile, clicking the Wi-Fi icon displays a list of available wireless networks.

  2. Tap your Windows Home Server wireless network to select it.
  3. Tap OK.
  4. Tab Work.
  5. Tap Connect. Windows Mobile prompts you to enter the network's security key.
  6. Tap the key and then tap Connect.

Access the Windows Home Server Network Shares

With the wireless network connection established, you can now connect to a Windows Home Server shared folder:

  1. Tap Start, Programs.
  2. Tap File Explorer.
  3. Tap Menu, Open Path, New Path to display the Open dialog box.
  4. Type \\server, where server is the name of your Windows Home Server computer.
  5. Tap OK. The Logon to Server dialog box appears.
  6. Type a Windows Home Server username and password. If you want Windows Mobile to store your logon data, tap to activate the Save Password check box.
  7. Tap OK. Windows Mobile displays the Windows Home Server shares, as shown in Figure 5.28.
    Figure 5.28

    Figure 5.28 Windows Mobile showing the Windows Home Server shared folders.

Adding an Xbox 360 to the Network

The Xbox 360 and Windows Home Server go together well because the Xbox can access and play media streamed from the server. First you need to get the Xbox 360 connected to your network. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect your Xbox 360 to the network. If you have physical access to the network, you can plug a network cable into the Xbox 360's network port. Otherwise, you need to attach a wireless networking adapter (sold separately) to the Xbox 360.
  2. Turn on the Xbox 360.
  3. When the Dashboard appears, display the System blade.
  4. Highlight Network Settings and press Select.
  5. Highlight Edit Settings and press Select.
  6. In the Basic Settings tab, if the IP Settings field isn't set to Automatic, highlight the IP Settings section, press Select, highlight the Automatic setting, and then press Select.
  7. If the DNS Settings field isn't set to Automatic, highlight the DNS Settings section, press Select, highlight the Automatic setting, and then press Select.
  8. Highlight the section that includes the Network Name (SSID) field and press Select. The Xbox 360 displays a list of available wireless networks.
  9. Highlight your network and press Select. (Tip: If you don't see your network listed, press X to rerun the network search.)
  10. If your network uses WEP or WPA security, use the onscreen keyboard to enter the security key. When you're finished, select Done. The Xbox 360 updates the network settings.
  11. Highlight Test Media and press Select. You should see Connected in the Wireless Network field and Confirmed in the IP Address field. (If not, highlight Edit Settings, press Select, and repeat steps 6–10.)

Connecting a Kodak Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame

A digital picture frame is a standalone device that displays digital images, usually in a slideshow format and often accompanied by music. Most digital picture frames accept one or more memory card formats, and you supply the frame with images by inserting a card that contains digital photos or pictures. Other digital picture frames have a USB port for direct connections to computers.

Most new digital picture frames also support Wi-Fi. If you have a wireless component to your Windows Home Server network, this means that you can connect one of these digital picture frames to your network, and the frame can then pick up images streamed from a Windows Media Connect device, such as Windows Home Server's Photos share.

An example of a digital picture frame that supports wireless connection is the Kodak Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame. Here are the steps to follow to connect this frame to your Windows Home Server network when you start up the device for the first time:

  1. Turn on the Kodak Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame. On the frame, the Setup - Network Connection window appears and asks if you want to connect to a wireless network.
  2. Select Yes and then press OK on the remote. The frame scans for and then displays a list of the available wireless networks.
  3. Select your Windows Home Server network and then press OK on the remote. The frame prompts you to enter your wireless network security key.
  4. Use the remote to enter the security key characters, select Done, and then press OK. The frame connects to your network and then displays a list of computers that have media sharing activated.
  5. Select the Windows Home Server media sharing item, which appears as follows (where SERVER is the name of your Windows Home Server computer):
    SERVER: 1 : Windows Media Connect
  6. Press OK on the remote. The frame completes the network setup.
  7. Press OK. The frame appears in the Network window, as shown in Figure 5.29.
    Figure 5.29

    Figure 5.29 After you set up the Kodak Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame, it appears with your other network devices.

If you've already connected the frame to a different network, follow these steps to change the frame to your Windows Home Server network:

  1. Turn on the Kodak Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame.
  2. On the frame's remote, press the Home button.
  3. Select the Settings icon and then press OK. The frame displays the Setup window.
  4. Select Network and then press OK.
  5. Select Scan for Wireless Networks and then press OK.
  6. Follow steps 3–7, earlier in this section, to select your Windows Home Server network and make the connection.
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