|August 29, 2004
In this guide, I'll show
you how to change the port number that Remote Desktop uses. Why would
you want to do this?
1. For security
purposes. The standard port of 3389 that Remote Desktop uses is very
well known which makes it a potential target for hackers.
Before we start, we have to
deal with a few things. First, each computer on your computer that
you plan on using as a Remote Desktop Host must have a STATIC local IP
address, assuming that you're behind a router.
2. To allow multiple
computers to run Remote Desktop Hosts from behind a router. Since
only one computer can use a given port number at anytime, we can give each
computer that runs Remote Desktop Hosts a different port number so each
one can be used remotely. Otherwise, with just the standard port
number of 3389, you would be able to connect to only one computer.
We can give Computer 1 port 4000, Computer 2 port 4001, and forward the
appropriate ports to the correct computers. Now you can connect to
many computers behind one router, not just one.
In this example, we'll pretend
that we have 3 computers behind a router that are running Windows XP Pro
with Remote Desktop Hosts. We'll configure it so that each computer
will run Remote Desktop Hosts on a different port number.
We're gonna have to mess with
the Registry of Windows, which means that you should first back it up and
be really careful with the changes you make. The Registry is a pain
in the butt to work with so make sure you are extra vigilant with any changes
On the computer used as the
Remote Desktop Hosts, we'll begin.
Go to: Start --> Run
Type in "regedit".
Navigate down to:
Click on "PortNumber".
Then using the "Edit" menu, click "Modify", and select "Decimal".
Now type in the port number
you want to use. In this example, I'll pick "4000". You have
to be careful in picking port numbers so they don't interfere with other
programs you maybe using.
Click "OK" and close the
Registry Editor. You will need to reboot the computer for the changes
to take effect.
Next, we go into our router
to forward the proper ports to the proper computer. In our example,
computer 1 is 192.168.1.40 and uses port 4000, computer 2 is 192.168.1.41
and used port 4001, and computer 3 is 192.168.1.42 and is on port 4002.
So our port forwarding page might look something like this.
So how do we connect to these
Remote Desktop Servers now that they have different port numbers?
Start the Remote Desktop
Client. Basically it's the same thing as using the Client normally,
except that you add a port number to the computer name. In our example,
the computer name is located at temphost.com and we're using port 4000,
so our client looks like this:
Now if you wanted to connect
to computer 2, just type in "temphost:4001", then for computer 3, you use
"temphost:4002". In this method, we address each computer by its
unique port number.
Even if you are just using
one computer behind a router with Remote Desktop, it is a good idea to
change the port number just for security sake.