TUCOWS ARTICLE

How to Use Remote Desktop With a Router

This week find out how to use Remote Desktop through a router so you can access your computer from a remote location.
Published: Nov 7, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan

This question submitted by Ian McNaulty, Trevor Baines, Anna Reagan, Alma Millen, Carl Pommerenke and numerous others

Over the last few weeks we've been looking at the ins and outs of utilizing Remote Desktop that comes with Windows XP. Setting this up correctly will allow you to access your home computer from work, your work computer from home, and lots more. If you missed either of those earlier articles you can find them below and catch up.

Setting Up Remote Desktop

Setting Up Remote Desktop Client

Today we're going to take a quick look at using Remote Desktop if your computer accesses the Internet through a router. When you use a router you have to let Remote Desktop get through, otherwise you won't be able to get access. So, even if you've done all the things we talked about in the first two articles, if there's a router in your network, you need to pay close attention to this.

For starters, Remote Desktop requires the use of port 3389. This port will need to be forwarded from the router to the computer. Also, under Internet Information Services, accessed when you set up Remote Desktop, there is a TCP Port section. This defaults to port 80. Assuming you didn't change this port you need to make sure that your router is passing things through these ports - 3389 and 80, to Windows. You'll also have to make sure that things can pass through the Internet Connection Firewall.

To go in and manually configure ports is relatively easy. Click on My Network Place and you should see an option for View Network Connections. You can also get to this point by just right-clicking on the My Network Places icon and selecting Properties. Find the network connection you use for accessing the Internet and click Properties here as well.

Now you'll see a tab that says Advanced and you'll want to click on that. That done, click on Settings. Now just click Add and you'll be able to add a port. In the name/IP Address field put 127.0.0.1. You can also type in a description that means something to you in the description field. You'll also note fields for Internal port and External port - in general, these will hold the same number. Add one of the ports, like 3389 and indicate that it's TCP. You're done. To add other ports just go back and click Add again.

I'd suggest that you consult the documentation and help for you router when you're making changes to that. I'd also recommend that you do screen captures of your existing settings before you make any changes. That way, should something go wrong, you'll be able to get your router back on track. I hope this segment answers all the questions about utilizing the Remote Desktop feature of Windows XP. If not, write me and let me know.

I'd like to thank Ian McNaulty, Trevor Baines, Anna Reagan, Alma Millen, Carl Pommerenke and numerous others for asking this question.

If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you can submit it via e-mail by clicking HERE. You will not receive a reply, but all topics will be considered.


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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