After finding a security hole in the original version of P80 and the fact the install was a bit a of work, P80 author Kris Rodenhausen went back to the coding drawing board. Several good things became of this, the least of which is a true Windows Home Server add-in. I think we all know how to do that so there is no need for me to go through how to install an add-in.
I also don’t think I need to rehash all of the same ol’ screen shots and all of the same information of what P80 is and instead just point to the review on the first version for that information. What I want to concentrate on with this review is what is new in version 2.0.5. For starters P80 should install no matter what language and future versions will be attempted to localize other languages.
What you need to get started:
- P80 Install
- Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 – Windows Update installs this automatically if you have Auto Update on. Once again, why isn’t your system fully patched anyway?
- Optional but highly recommended AutoExit by Asoft. To take full advantage of P80 it really is a must.
As mentioned P80 installs through the Console now. Because of this there is now a new tab on the Settings page of the Console for P80. Here are links to the P80 Release Info, the P80 support forum and a email link for support.
The next big change is how a you log in to the P80 website. No more fiddling with settings and other software. Just one click to log into your personal WHS website and the P80 link is right there, no more double log in. This eliminated the security hole that was in the last version since the website is on the private site of your web page. Now WHS handles all of the security. I will say that anyone you give access rights to will be able to view the P80 website. I’m sure we all trust anyone we give access rights to but I did want to bring this up. So remember whatever you can do with P80 they can do also.
Speaking of trust it seems Microsoft and WHS don’t trust each other. Having read many posts about certificate errors from WHS users this can pop up. I get to my WHS website via https://xxx.homeserver.com when either on my LAN or remote places. Some people can’t get to the WHS website from inside their LAN without using http://ip or http://WHSname. When I go to my WHS website using either of those two methods I get the certificate errors. Clicking “Continue to this website (not recommended)” lets me log into the website but the red address bar is shown. With any luck Microsoft will get this fixed for all WHS users.
There is also the addition of a shared folder, //shares/P80ServiceImages, that contains icons that you can use for the monitored Services on the Summary page. You can use the default images files or make and use your own files as long as they are .JPEG or .PNG files with a pixel setting of 48×48. Once you have these files picked out just browse to them and click on them. P80 will import the files into the image folder.
Other updates include the addition of percentage readings of the hard drives in you WHS. Now shown on the Summary and Drives pages are total used, shared and remaining percentages in the storage pool and on each individual hard drive.
Saving what I think is the best new additions for last. Everyone is always wanting “the killer feature.” Kris has added the ability to shutdown or reboot your WHS. Like before using Nick Asseloos’s excellent add-in, AutoExit, you can control the PCs on the LAN to either hibernate, shut down, reboot and so on. Nick upped his game with the latest release and now you can use Wake On Lan to wake up your PCs with Auto Exit, as long as your hardware supports it. Kris has brought that into P80 too . You add the fact you can view and do all of this from any web enabled PC or phone and I think you have “the killer” feature and just an all around nice app.