Add user accounts
This task is also easy to perform, but it does take some time as you need to sit down, make a list of employees and determine how to name them. Then you’ll need to give them an initial password and determine the level of access to provide them with.
If you have an existing user/employee base, you might want to get a list of existing passwords from them so that accessing the server with the server account (vs. a local user account) is more seamless.
Windows Server 2016 Essentials allows you up to 25 user accounts (and 50 devices). To start, click on the Add user accounts link, then click on the Click to add user accounts task.
This brings up the following panel in which you put in a first name, last name, and initial password.
The User account name is entered automatically as you type the name (first name/last name without a space). You can use this one or change it as desired. A common method would be to use first name/last name first initial. Be sure to set up your users as Standard users rather than Administrators via the Level of access drop down.
When configuring user passwords, you need to follow the criteria set by the operating system. First up is the easy one:
The passwords match
This simply means that you need to enter the same password in both fields. Transposing characters and/or hitting the wrong key is easy to do, and this requirement simply reduces that potential.
The password must be at least 7 characters long
This is your business. You certainly do not want to have a user without a password or a simple one-character password. The longer the password, the harder it is to decipher.
The password must meet complexity requirements
Once again, you do not want someone to have an easily decipherable password. The complexity requirements dictate that passwords must contain a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters (a-z, A-Z) base numbers (0-9), and non-alphabetic symbols (such as; !,@,#,_,-).
You have the option to change these requirements, if so desired, in the Users tab of the Dashboard – but this is simply not recommended. If you are trying to make use of existing passwords, and they do not meet the above requirements, this is a good time to provide an “upgrade” for your users’ passwords.
When you click on Next, you bring up the following window which determines the access rights granted to the user for any shared folders on the server. The default is Read only. I would suggest that for an initial setup, you create all users with the No access option until you have determined your shared folder structure and what rights a particular user should have for a particular folder.
For example, I doubt you would want to have all your employees have access to an accounting folder or human resources files for that matter. If you set up each user initially with the No access option, and you forget to change their access rights later, you would rather them come to you and ask why they have no access as opposed to the potential that they have some level of access to areas that you did not intend.
Another click on the Next button bring up the Anywhere access user settings. This is where you can tailor remote access settings for the user, with options to grant remote access via VPN or a standard web browser. Remote Web Access can be tailored at a more granular level via options for Shared Folders, Computers, Homepage links and the Server Dashboard – if the user has Administrator rights. If you’ve used a previous edition of Windows Server Essentials, note that the Media option has been removed. Simply check the boxes as required.
Click Create account to set up the account.
Click on the Close button to take you back to add your remaining users.
Before finishing up, there is one item to make note of in the previous screen. When you are ready to start connecting computers to the server, you will perform this task by using your browser. Make note of the URL that is displayed (your link will have your own server name, rather than mine) as this is what is needed to connect a client computer to the Windows Server 2016 network.
Each user folder gets a personal server folder during setup in which they can store any files or sub-folders as required. They’re located in \\[servername]\Shared Folders\Users.
No other user is able to access the files stored in each user folder – it’s a private folder for each individual. Repeat the user account setup process for the remaining users/employees of your company to complete this task.