Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tech Tip: Set up Remote Desktop on 443 to Get Through a Restrictive Firewall


I often connect to the Internet through a guest wireless account. These guest wireless networks are typically very restrictive and block all ports except for 80 (http) and 443 (https) .  This is a big pain when I need to remote desktop into a remote machine, or perform other tasks which also might be restricted by the firewall like accessing my online email, searching the Internet for helpful blog posts, etc.

Here is an awesome tip to get to the resources you need: Set up a remote machine and change the Remote desktop port from the default of 3389 to 443. To do this just change a registry key and then reboot your machine. See this Microsoft KB article for details. You will also need to configure your router to forward inbound traffic for 443 to your machine. Instructional videos on port forwarding with a Linksys router.

Another benefit of this approach is that the traffic between you and the website is not exposed to the guest network which is usually a low security, public network and vulnerable to packet sniffing. The guest network only sees RDP packets being passed between your laptop and your remote machine.


Arun said...

Awesome idea, I am totally going to do this. I have been mucking around with an HTTP-Tunnel program for most things like this but this is a great idea if you don't need port 443 forwarded to another machine.

Thank you!

Arun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eda said...