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Remote Access

The MSS includes some Remote Access features, which allow secure access to file browsing, upload and download and accessing the Photo Sharing feature via a secure HTTPS web connection. Remote Access is disabled by default, and is enabled via the Web Site Connectivity control in the Remote Access Server settings (Figure 25).

Remote Access Settings
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Figure 25: Remote Access Settings

Remote Access settings include a wizard to sign up for dynamic DNS accounts from Windows Live or TZO via the Domain Name control. The wizard provides three alternatives for setting up a domain name: TZO.COM Custom Domain Name, HP Personal Domain Name by TZO.COM and Windows Live Custom Domains.

The TZO Custom Domain Name is the most flexible option, since it provides the option of using any domain name that isn't already registered. It also allows you to automatically notify Photo Webshare visitors when new photos are available via email without having to set up an SMTP email server and ensures that you can reach your MSS even if your ISP blocks the standard HTTP port 80. This option costs $24.95/yr plus a one-time $14.95 domain registration fee.

The HP Personal Domain Name by TZO.COM option is free for the first year, then $9.99 per year after that. It's more restrictive of the domain names that you can register, limiting them to subdomains of or—, for example.

There isn't much information available about the Windows Live Personalized Domain Name option, other than it exists.

Since running any Internet-accessible server behind your router requires opening ports, the MSS tries to make that easy for folks who have never ventured into their router's admin screens. Clicking the Router button will attempt to open the ports required for remote access (TCP 443, 4125) in your router's firewall via UPnP. But of course, that requires a router that supports UPnP and has it enabled.

Many routers now support UPnP, but some ship with it disabled by default (which I still think is a good thing). So clicking the Router button might not do the trick. In fact, this Computerworld article says that the need to tweak the automatic Router setup feature was one of the reasons for HP's delay of MSS shipments. So if clicking the Router button doesn't work for your router, you'll need to get into its settings anyway.

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