RDP Port Forwarding (Configure Port Forwarding For Remote Desktop Protocol)

20 Nov, 2022

RDP port forwarding allows you to connect to a remote computer over the internet, even if it's behind a firewall. This is done by creating a secure tunnel between two computers (opens in a new tab), and then forwarding all traffic from one port on your local machine to the remote computer.

By setting up remote desktop port forwarding, you can access your work computer from home, or vice versa. You'll be able to control the remote computer as if you were sitting right in front of it. Port forwarding is not a difficult task, but it does require some technical know-how.

With a solution like LocalXpose (opens in a new tab), you can easily configure port forwarding in minutes.

Table of contents

In this guide, we will offer a step-by-step breakdown of how you can use LocalXpose for RDP port forwarding. First, let's first explore what RDP port forwarding is in more detail.

RDP Port Forwarding (What Is It?)

When someone connects to a desktop computer using a remote desktop client, they create a peer-to-peer connection. To gain access to the host (opens in a new tab), you will need to connect to the system from outside the network this desktop computer is running on.

This is where RDP port forwarding comes in. You can quickly gain access through remote desktop port forwarding.

How does remote desktop protocol port forwarding work?

RDP port forwarding essentially maps the port on your public IP address to the port and IP of the desktop computer you wish to access. Once you have access to the desktop computer, you can perform any task and navigate around the interface as though you were physically in control of the desktop computer. This is a useful tool for remote workers and DevOps teams (opens in a new tab).

Configure Port Forwarding For Remote Desktop Protocol

Let's explore an example of how to configure port forwarding for a remote desktop protocol.

Imagine a scenario where your RDP server is listening on port 3389/TCP and it is not accessible through the internet. The only people who can access it are on the same local area network. To open up access to the server, you need to configure port forwarding on your router so that you can access the local RDP server on port 3389/TCP through the internet.

To access the local RDP server, you should first download LocalXpose. This is a reverse proxy that enables you to expose your localhost to the internet. From your terminal, you can tell LocalXpose to forward any connections coming from the internet (on port 4444) to your local RDP. The command should look something like this:

./loclx tunnel tcp --port 4444 --to localhost:3389

The above command will generate an address for you, such as us.loclx.io:4444, which you can use outside your network to access your local RDP. With IP whitelisting, a reverse proxy solution like LocalXpose enables you to grant access to specific IP addresses (opens in a new tab), ensuring that only those you authorize are able to access your RDP.

Does RDP need port forwarding?

Yes, If you don't want to play with your firewall or router and want an easy and fast solution, then your solution will be RDP port forwarding to be able to access the remote computer from outside your local network. If you want incoming connection requests (opens in a new tab) from the internet to go straight to your local computer, then port forwarding with LocalXpose is the way to go.

Is it safe to port forward RDP?

Yes, it is safe to port forward RDP as long as you are using a secure tunnel. Through LocalXpose, It will create that for you on the fly. Alternatively, you can start an end2end tunnel with your own certificate. In case of HTTP applications then you will have more options to play with like you can protect the tunnel with basic or key authentication. Alternatively, you can start an end2end tunnel with your own certificate.

How can you get started with RDP port forwarding?

To get started with RDP port forwarding, you can use LocalXpose on Windows, macOS, or Linux. With an elegant command-line interface, you can quickly set up your tunnel without having to manually configure any ports on your router or firewall.

Are you ready to get started? Explore the possibilities of LocalXpose today. (opens in a new tab)

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