Remote desktop protocol is the standard remote desktop connection service built into windows machines. This service is free to use, easy to connect with, and allows for unattended access to the target machine. The service does require some configuration if you want to connect from outside of your network. If you’re looking to connect to another computer just once or twice while someone is on the other side to assist you may want to use a service like join.me or teamviewer. However, if you don’t want to use a third party service but need to setup reliable unattended access, use RDP.
To allow remote desktop connections to a computer:
- Right click on computer.
- Select properties.
- Select Remote Settings.
- Allow remote connections to this computer, and then select OK.
These steps will allow you to connect to a workstation inside of your network using that workstation’s name. If you want to connect to a machine outside of your network, you will need to get that machine’s IP address and login credentials. You may also need to setup port forwarding on the firewall that services the network you’re trying to connect to. The setup for this can vary, but the default port for RDP is 3389. If there is only one workstation that needs to be connected to then that port can be forwarded to the appropriate internal IP.
If there is more than one internal IP you may need to change the default port for RDP on the workstation.
To do this you will need to open the registry and edit:
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\PortNumber.
Once that is complete, restart the workstation to apply the update to the RDP port.
In order to connect to a server through RDP, you can follow the instructions below. RDP can be used to connect from both a Windows PC or from a Mac using Remote Desktop for Mac which you can download from the App Store.
Connecting by RDP
To connect to a server you will need the address for the target server, as well as a login and password.
- Open RDP.
- You can do this by opening the start menu and typing ‘Remote Desktop Connection.’
- The search results should bring up RDP as the first match. If you are using a Mac you can open Remote Desktop from the Dock.
Or if you’re using a Mac:
On the next screen, you will be prompted for a computer name. Fill this in with either the IP address or the name of the server.
Then put in the User Name. You may need to select ‘Show Options’ in order to be able to change the User Name.
Then select Connect. Enter in the password on the next screen, then select OK.
This should take you directly to the desktop of the computer you are trying to reach.
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