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Remote Desktop Connection to behind a router.

By Healer ·
How do we remote (RDC) to a computer in a peer-to-peer network behind a router and a firewall?

I am aware there are quite a few brands of free VPN software for non-commercial use. Those for commercial use is quite expensive for subscription. I am wondering if we can use Windows Remote Desktop Connection over the Internet.

I suppose I need the WAN IP address. Then how do we get to the computer behind the router or even the firewall?

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Port Forwarding

by kiroboy In reply to Remote Desktop Connection ...

The computer in the network needs to have a static IP address.

Also under system properties under the Remote tab check the box under the remote desktop section and use the button to select an account that you will use to log in remotely.

You also have to open the port in windows firewall and in any software firewall you may have loaded on the machine by adding a rule or exception.

(the default port for remote desktop is 3389. you can change that number in the registry so that you can set up more than one machine to be logged in to remotely.)

i also like to go to the windows firewall control panel and under the advanced tab i click on ICMP and check the first box, or else the computer will remain 'quiet' and hidden in the network, and that might make you unable to log into the machine remotely.

in the router/firewall you have to set up port forwarding. if you have not changed the default port of 3389 then map 3389 to the ip address (statically assigned) of the machine you want to access remotely.

Also edit the rights of the account you will use to log in and make sure they are a member of the 'remote desktop users' group or 'administrators'.

Finally to log in to the computer that you have set up you use "<wan ip>:<port number>"

If this is the only machine you have set up for remote access then you can log in to it by using just the wan ip and not the port number.

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Where to change in the registry for RDC?

by Healer In reply to Port Forwarding

I thank you for your kindness.

If I can remote (remote desktop connection) to the computer from within the LAN, does it mean the port 3389 is already open? Does it also mean I should be able to remote from outside the LAN using the WAN IP if the port forwarding has been set up correctly? Even there is only one computer connected to the router I suppose I still need to set up port-forwarding, am I right?

Could you please tell me where in the registry we change the port number for remote desktop? I have searched the registry and there were many places referring to remote desktop port 3389. Which one to change, I wonder.

Windows 7 is new to me, I can't find ICMP on the Windows firewall. I wonder where it is.

So when we try to log in, do we enter WAN_IP_address or domain name:target_computer_RDC_port in the Computer field and target_computer\RDC_user_name in User name field?

Last but not least, do the ISPs usually need to do something before we can RDC? What I am asking is whether they usually stop people from doing anything apart from surfing? Recently I found that I couldn't even remotely access my router.

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RDP

by kiroboy In reply to Where to change in the re ...

Yes for your first three questions.

Here is the registry location:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\PortNumber

I have not used Windows 7 yet but I think I read that the ICMP settings are in an advanced version of Windows Firewall that you can find in the Administrative Tools under Control Panel. Here is a link to a site with screenshots that explains how to access that:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/allow-pings-icmp-echo-request-through-your-windows-vista-firewall/

To log in remotely: in the computer field you should use wan ip:port number. I think the User field is just for convenience and not required but you can simply enter the user name without specifying the domain or workgroup name before it. If you want you can enter 'domain\user_name' in the User field.

ISPs do not prevent the use of RDP; not in my experience at least.

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I changed the port number but ..

by Healer In reply to RDP

I changed the port number and it still wouldn't work. It doesn't even work using the local LAN IP address. I changed it back to the default 3389 and it worked fine both locally and remotely. Perhaps more changes in the registry are necessary.

I have not done anything about the firewall ICMP setting as I can ping the target computer over the network without any problem. I looked up the Windows 7 Firewall again but I still couldn't see the ICMP setting. I looked up the netsh help but didn't see how I can get current status of the firewall ICMP setting.

I can RDC from within the local LAN using the WAN IP address provided the default port number 3389 remains so I suppose I should be able to do the same from outside of the LAN. I shall try it when I get the chance. Now I just want to make sure I can do the same with more than one computers on the same LAN, using different port numbers I suppose.

The User name field on the Remote Desktop Connection window seems to be redundant as I still need to enter the user name again when it gets through.

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Add Firewall Exception

by kiroboy In reply to I changed the port number ...

One thing to try if you change the port number in the registry is to add an exception for that port number in the windows firewall.

Once you are able to connect to the machine from within the network then it should work from outside the network after you do the router part also (port forwarding).

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I've got it working

by Healer In reply to Add Firewall Exception

thanks to you.

Having opened the port on Windows Firewall it worked straight away.

By the way, how do you feel about Windows Remote Desktop Connection as compared with other commercial or free VPN software? Would you use them instead of others?

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Alternatives

by kiroboy In reply to I've got it working

Overall I prefer using RDC because of the speed and reliablity and ease of setup and use.

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Use RDP

by The 'G-Man.' In reply to I've got it working

within a VPN tunnel!

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