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Windows Remote Desktop


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Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft to remotely connect to a Windows system using a graphical user interface. RDP is built into Windows by default. RDP listens on TCP port 3389 and udp port 3389. Previously, the RDP software was called Terminal Services client but now it’s called Remote Desktop Connection.

Windows Terminal Services was first introduced with Windows NT 4 and was based on work done by Citrix. Terminal Services are similar to X11 and especially to VNC.  It allows a PC to run a Windows desktop and Windows applications on a server, while viewing them at the PC.  Most of the processing and resources are used on the server, and very little client resources are necessary.   .

Each session on the Windows Terminal Services server will use a minimum of approximately 20 MB of RAM for that session just to log on. Add to this any RAM required to run the programs that each session launches. A typical user running Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel while connecting to the Internet will use approximately 40 MB of RAM, or approximately 20 MB beyond what the session itself requires. However, a power user can easily use twice that amount, while developers or other extreme users can go even farther.


Configuration of remote desktop is not trivial. One problem is the firewall. So initial testing on local network segment (home network in Microsoft terminology) should be  done with firewall disabled for this segment.

The initial testing should be done on local network segment (home network in Microsoft terminology)  with firewall disabled for this segment.

Common cases are

Each has its own idiosyncrasies.

Check if port 3389 is open and listening

From How To Open RDP Port To Allow Remote Desktop Access To Your System by Usman Khurshid, February 10, 2021

There are times when you successfully open the RDP port but you’re unable to connect to the computer remotely. In that case, make sure that you are able to access port 3389 (or any other port if you have changed it) remotely. Follow the steps below to check if port 3389 is open and listening.

  1. Open PowerShell by going to Run –> powershell
  2. Run the following command
    tnc -port 3389

Replace the IP address with your computer’s IP. Replace it with your router’s public IP if you have allowed public access to your computer through the router. The value of TcpTestSucceeded should be True.

Check if a port is open and listening

If you want to check the port using the command prompt, you can follow this guide.

I hope this guide is useful for you and now you can control your remote desktop the way you want. If you have any questions or if I have left any confusion in this article, let me know through the comments below. Your comments are highly appreciated!

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How To Open RDP Port To Allow Remote Desktop Access To Your System by Usman Khurshid

AndrewM26 says: February 9, 2020 at 3:27 AM

Port 3389 was used for Microsoft Terminal Services which was renamed to Remote Desktop Protocol. It is not a good idea to open port 3389 at least externally because of security reasons. Any network scanner will be able to detect an open rdp port pretty quickly.

I usually keep the internal port to the standard 3389 while on the firewall interface, change it to a non-standard port above 40000. This delays the working of network scanners and you can also set the firewall to block connections which are scanning many system ports.

Remote Desktop Port Change and Firewall Setup - Windows Server Fortification

A very common technique used by malicious attackers is to scan the ports of a system looking for common services. The Remote Desktop service, used for remote system management, runs on port 3389 by default. It's worthwhile to keep simple tools from reporting the port as open by changing the port that Remote Desktop uses. Please be aware that this requires editing of the registry, and somewhat advanced configuration of the Windows Firewall. First off, the registry needs to be backed up just in case something goes wrong. The steps to do so are as follows:

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How To Open RDP Port To Allow Remote Desktop Access To Your System

Remote Desktop Connection Software Download

This software package will install the client portion of Remote Desktop on any of the following operating systems: Windows 95, Windows 98 and 98 Second Edition, Windows Me, Windows NT® 4.0, or Windows 2000. (This is the same version of the client software as in Windows XP Service Pack 1.) When run, this software allows older Windows platforms to remotely connect to a computer running Windows XP Professional with Remote Desktop enabled.

This package provides flexible deployment options of the full Terminal Services Client, including auto–repair through Windows Installer technology and application publishing via IntelliMirror™ management technologies or Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS).

Note The Remote Desktop Connection software is pre-installed with Windows XP. To run it, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click Communications, and then click Remote Desktop Connection. This software package can also be found on the Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition product CDs and can be installed on any supported Windows platform. To install from the CD, insert the disc into the target machine's CD-ROM drive, select Perform Additional Tasks, and then click Install Remote Desktop Connection.



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