The most practical way to set up a Windows 8 DLNA Media Server is to use the one that is already included in Windows 8 as all the videos, music and pictures that you access in the respective folders are automatically added to your computer’s media library. If you want to share media over your home network, you will need to add the content to the Shared Videos, Shared Music and Shared Pictures folders. You will still be able to access them in your local library and they will be available in your computer, but it will also be possible to access them across other devices connected to your home network. Here you will find out how to set up your Windows 8 DLNA Media Server to get more flexibility to access your content.
What you need to do
The first thing is to put the media in the correct folders, using Windows Explorer to move them. Each of the media libraries contain a My folder and a Shared folder and once you set up Media sharing all the content in these folders will be accessible to media players. Now you can follow the below steps:
1. Enable DLNA Media Server Function in Windows Media Player
You don’t need to have a Homegroup configured to use the Windows 8 DLNA Media Server, but having the Windows Media Player set up correctly is essential.
Go to the Stream menu
and select Turn on media streaming.
Then press the “Turn on media streaming button”. You will see a list of DLNA devices that Windows located within your network. Choose the one you want to stream to and select OK.
2. Allow DLNA Media Players to Access your Media Content
It’s important to keep in mind that when you select Allow All, anyone in or around your network will be able to access your library and see your personal files. The Windows Media Player has an option under Stream that also allows all devices to play your media. If you enable this option on a laptop that you may use outside your home, others may get access to your content, which is why you need to be mindful with this option.
3. Set Up the DLNA Media Client in Windows Media Player
The media server and the main player computer need to be on the same network and if you check another Windows computer and look up Windows Media Player, you should see the shared Library when you right click “Other Libraries”. If the content doesn’t appear immediately, you can select Refresh. The shared content available from the Windows 8 DLNA Media Server includes files in the My Music and Public Music folders. My pictures and Public Pictures are also shared by default, but you can adjust the settings and manage what content can be shared in Windows Media Player. Simply go to Organize, then Manage Libraries and Pictures. There you can remove from the list the folder that you don’t want to share.
One thing that is worth considering is that DLNA Media Server lacks access control features such as permissions, or logins. This means that it is very weak in terms of security and anything that is shared through your DLNA server can be accessed by everyone. This is why it is advisable to restrict is use to your home network and you should also use the Media Streaming Options to configure sharing settings and control who you share your media with in case you need to use your laptop outside home.