Setting up Remote Desktop on a Router

Dennis Foote- System Engineer

The first thing needed to set up Remote Desktop is to find your default gateway to access the routers GUI or interface. To do this, you will need to find the Run tool that is part of Microsoft Windows. For Windows XP, go to your Start menu and look on the bottom right side of the menu.  You should see the Run tool there. For Windows Vista and Windows 7, you can open the Windows menu and type Run in the search and it should come up to click on.

Once you have Run open, type CMD in the blank field and hit enter.

A black box called the command prompt should open with something like C:/Users/(name of your computer) Please type ipconfig  and you should see something like below. You should write down the Default Gateway and IPv4 Address, which is in BOLD below.

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.2

Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0

Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1

Now that you have your default gateway and IPv4 address, it’s time to close the command prompt and proceed with opening ports on your router to allow remote connections.

To do this, open an internet browser and in the address field type the Default Gateway (in my case, 192.168.1.1). This should prompt you for a user name and password. These can be found through manufactures' websites or with a bit of googling.  Cisco, a common router typically by default, has admin for a user name and admin as a password.

Once in the router you are going to look for port forwarding this is going to allow you to open ports and allow Remote Desktop through your router.  Once you find Port Forwarding, you will need to fill in some information. You should see a couple of boxes that say Port blank to Port blank. You will type 3389 in both boxes.  At the end of this string it will ask you what IP address you would like to open this port up to. Please enter the IP address that you wrote down earlier as the IPv4 address while looking up your ipconfig.  Click save and you’re done with the router part of the setup. 

Now all that’s left to do is to turn on Remote Desktop on your PC.  For this you will need to go to your computer's advanced settings. This can be found in Windows XP by right-clicking on My Computer and going to properties. Windows Vista and Windows 7 users will need to right click on Computer and go to properties and click on the Advanced System Settings.

Once in Properties, open the remote tab. You will have 3 choices to allow remote connections please choose that one that suites you best. Click Apply and OK. That should be it. You are now ready to remote into your computer. If you are away from home, you will need your public IP address.  While at home, this can be found by going to www.whatsmyip.com or www.ipchicken.com.  You will need this to get into your machine from off the network. If you are home, simply type in your IP address or the name of the computer from any other PC on your network. 

Some last few things: You will need to let Remote Desktop through your Windows firewall and or Anti-Virus. You can find these instructions with a little googling.