Windows 10 comes in with a built-in remote desktop client that can be used to access your desktop environment remotely over a network or via the internet.
However, for this feature to work, you’re going to have to open up the RDP port on your machine so that other devices can communicate with it remotely. The default port used by RDP is 3389 and we’ll be taking a look at how you can open it up in this article.
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Allow the port through Windows firewall
First up, we need to allow the port to be able to go through the Windows firewall.
Step 1: Press Windows Key + I to open Windows settings and then click on Update & Security.
Step 2: Click on Windows Security in the left side panel.
Step 3: Click on Firewall & network protection to open up a new window.
Step 4: Click on the Allow an app through Firewall setting at the bottom.
Step 5: Click on the Change Settings button to make the settings available for edits.
Step 6: Scroll down to find Remote Desktop Connection. Allow this for both public and private networks if you want to be able to access it using the internet. If you only want network access, we recommend using only the private checkbox.
If you don’t see the remote desktop option in the list, click on the Allow another app… button in the bottom right and navigate to:
C:\Windows\System32\mstsc.exe to add it to the list.
Step 7: Click OK at the bottom to finalise the settings.
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Allow RDP port through the router
If you want to use the Remote Desktop client over the internet, you’ll need to not only allow the client through any firewalls that you may have and then also through your router.
Now while the steps for each router will vary depending upon the make and model but here’s a general idea of what you need to do.
Step 1: Head to your router’s home page. This would generally be your default gateway. In my case, it’s 192.168.0.1
Step 2: Log in to the router settings and look for port forwarding settings. On my router its under the Applications tab.
Step 3: Now we’re going to forward the default RDP port which is 3389 using TCP over to our machine’s local IP Address. Save these settings and you’re good to go.
Again, depending upon your router, you might have to take a different approach towards opening any ports to allow apps to be able to communicate over the internet.
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Changing the default RDP port
If you’re intending to use Remote desktop over the internet, it’s a good idea to change the default RDP port to enhance your security. Here’s how:
Step 1: Press Windows Key + R to open the Run window. Type in regedit and hit Enter.
Step 2: Navigate to:
Step 3: Find the key named PortNumber and specify a value between 1001-254535.
For security reasons, we recommend a value above 30000.
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Testing the RDP port
To check whether or not your RDP port is open, you can use the tnc command in the Windows powershell.
Step 1: Press Windows key + R type in Powershell and hit enter.
Step 2: Run the following command
tnc [ip address] -port 3389
The IP address will be the local IP of your PC or if you’re looking to use RDP over the internet, your router’s public IP address. The command outputs a list of values. We’re looking for the TcpTestSucceeded value in particular. It should read True if everything is working as expected.
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