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Windows Home Server “Remote Notification” Add-in Review

Remote Notification is an add-in by Alex Kuretz for Windows Home Server which will forward system health notifications from the WHS to an email address of your choosing.  Although you can select any email address this really comes in handy for when you’re away from home and you configure the add-in to forward these emails to your cell phone or PDA via SMS.  Of course – any messages sent to your phone are paid for by you based on your current calling plan so be careful.

This add-in will send a short email/text message anytime the WHS Console icon changes status from from its normal green color.  So you may get alerted that a computer on your network has added a new drive, has not been backed up in X number of days (depending  on your settings), if your anti-virus/spyware software is out of date or turned off, or that a hard drive is failing or had an error.

You can grab the add-in here (direct download link) and then store it on your WHS in the Software/Add-Ins directory to make it available to the WHS console.  The first step is installing the add-in as you would install any other add-in:

Click on the Install button to start the installation and then once it is done you will be prompted to close the WHS console.  Once it closes just log back into the console to start the setup of the Remote Notification add-in.

Click on that Remote Notification entry on the WHS Console menu and you will be presented with the setup page.

General Settings

Service – turn the notification process on and off.
Notifications – Choose to be notified about Errors, Warnings or both.

Message Settings

Sender– Name and Email.  This is what the email’s From line will have on it when you receive the alert.  I use WHS for the name and whs at windowsobserver dot com for the email – of course, taking out the de-spamming elements.
Recipient– this is the email address where you want the notification to be sent.  Put everything before the @ sign in the Username block and everything after the @ sign in the Hostname box.  There are some examples that may help you out or you can type your own hostname (@windowsobserver.com for instance).
Send Suppressed Notifications – Check this box to also send alerts that you have previously been notified about and suppressed in the WHS Console (under the Home Network Health tab).

Mail Server Settings

SMTP Server– enter the name of your email server.  You must have access to an outgoing email server to use this add-in – it does not have its own built in email capability at this point.  Maybe that is a feature that can eventually be added by the developer.  The Port number (25) should work on most setups and typically you do not require the use of SSL.  However if your mail server requires authentication (log in with username and password before sending email) then you must check the box next to Authentication and put in the Username and Password in the SMTP Authentication area.

Once you have everything set up you can test it by clicking on the Send Test Notification button at the bottom of the settings window.  If everything is working correctly you will get a notification window like this:

Check the email address you entered and you should see this email:

Make sure you select the Enable button before you close the settings window otherwise the system will not send you the alerts and notifications.

With that, you are now ready to be alerted via email of any problems your home server experiences.  This is a handy plug in and very good work by the developer.  I know not everyone has access to a mail server so that may be a hindrance to some users but maybe it is a feature that can be added down the road.

Source:→ WGS

WHS, Windows Home Server, Remote, Notification, Remote Notification, Addin, Add-in, Review

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