Better Media Server
Windows Home Server 2011 comes with powerful media transcoding and media streaming capabilities. It supports a wide variety of codecs, including but not limited to AAC, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, AVCHD, and WMV. The upgrade to becoming a DLNA 1.5-compliant server allows you to connect DLNA-capable client devices to your Windows Home Server and set them up as media servers.
These new changes allow you to have a better functioning server from the get-go, as you no longer need additional plug-ins for media capabilities.
Windows 7 HomeGroups
If you're a fan of using Windows 7's HomeGroup feature, you're in luck with Windows Home Server 2011. You're able to add your server to a HomeGroup, which enhances file sharing and sharing printers by making the process much more easier and fluid. Additionally, you can tune the access permissions to read access, full access, or no access at all.
Easier Login Management
Veteran users of Windows Home Server will always remember the chore it was to log into older releases of the server software. Making sure that the characters for your system and account login match on all PCs is tedious, leaves a lot of room for error, and is overall not efficient. This changes forever with Windows Server 2011.
You're no longer required to set up auto-login on multiple PCs, as an external application called Dashboard separates PC logins from Windows Home Server logins. This enables you to have no login on your desktop PC, all the while maintaining secure access to the server itself.
Better Server Management
The management of your server has always been easy with Windows Home Server, however, it got even better with the 2011 release. Instead of being limited to working through a single, modal screen, you have full support for Windows on a remotely connected desktop.
Server Backups and Storage
The automatic backup of your client PCs is now available with Windows Home Server 2011. Take advantage of server backups which include operating system files as well as server settings. You're also no longer required to manually initiate a server backup - by default, they happen twice daily and can be customized to match your needs. Windows Home Server 2011 is also fully compatible with Advanced Format hard drives, allowing you to work with larger disk sizes.
Whenever you're away, Windows Home Server 2011 still allows you plenty of ways to access your server and its contents. One of these is the web-based front-end to server content, which was improved and made more functional in this release. Higher-end Windows users (Windows 7 Professional and up) are also able to use a remote desktop-like way of remotely controlling PCs on your home server. This eliminated the need for using third-party applications which can often be expensive or incompatible with your server.
Home Network Health Monitoring
Gain useful insight into the health of your home network with the included Connector software. Monitor the overall health of your network, the health of individual computers, backup status, check for updates to your anti-malware software, and much more. Keep everything in check, whether you're the founder of a small business or the IT-pro of your household. You're able to keep your workers, family or friends protected without having to manually visit each of their computers yourself.