How to Change the RDP Port in Windows - V2 Cloud

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How to Change the RDP Port in Windows

  • October 12, 2021
  • Author: V2 Cloud

The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) enables remote access to Windows computers and servers. By default, RDP uses a listening port on port 3389, a well-known port that can be a target for malicious attacks. Changing the RDP default port can enhance your system’s security by making it less conspicuous to potential attackers.

This detailed tutorial will walk you through the steps to change the RDP port on a Windows machine, helping to secure your remote connections.

 

The Importance of Changing the RDP Port

When choosing a non-standard RDP port, it is not recommended to use port 1-1023 as they are called known ports, while port 49152-65535 is a dynamic or private port that is not in use by any service or application.

Changing the default RDP port is a strategic measure to mitigate risks associated with automated scans and attacks that typically target default ports. By using a less predictable port number, the visibility of your RDP service to external threats is significantly reduced, thereby enhancing the overall security of your network.

 

How to Change the RDP Port in Windows? 5-Step Guide

Step 1: Prepare for Registry Editing

  • Access the Windows Device: Initiate an RDP connection to the Windows client or server you intend to configure.
  • Open the Registry Editor: Press WIN+R to launch the Run dialog box, type regedit, and press Enter. This opens the Registry Editor, which is a powerful tool used to modify the underlying settings of the Windows operating system.

 

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Step 2: Navigate to the RDP Configuration Registry Key

  • Locate the Registry Path: Use the navigation pane to go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp. This key contains settings specific to the Remote Desktop Protocol.

 

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Step 3: Modify the RDP Port Entry

Find the PortNumber Entry: Within the RDP-Tcp directory, look for the PortNumber registry entry, which shows the current port configuration.

Edit the Port Number: Double-click on PortNumber. In the dialog box that appears, select the ‘Decimal’ radio button and then change the value to a new rdp port number, such as 33091, which is less likely to be targeted than the default port.

 

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Step 4: Apply and Confirm the Changes

  • Save the Changes: Click OK to save the new port setting.
  • Restart the RDP Services: For the change to take effect, you need to restart the RDP services. Open Command Prompt as Administrator and type: ‘net stop termservice && net start termservice’.
  • Reboot the Computer: Alternatively, you can restart the computer to ensure all services reload with the new configuration.

 

Step 5: Verify the New Port Configuration

Test the Remote Desktop Connection: Attempt to connect to the remote computer via the Remote Desktop feature on Windows using the new port by specifying it in your RDP client following the address (e.g., 192.168.1.1:33091).

Confirm the Port is Listening: To check that the new port is active and ready for remote desktop connections, use the command ‘netstat -an | find “33091”‘ in the command prompt, which should indicate if the port is listening.

 

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Enhancing Security Beyond Changing the Port

While changing the RDP port is beneficial, it should be part of a broader security strategy. Implementing a VPN can provide an encrypted tunnel for RDP traffic, further securing remote access.

Additionally, using comprehensive remote desktop solutions like V2 Cloud can offer enhanced security features, easy management, and better performance for remote desktops.

It’s also crucial to configure the Windows Firewall to allow the new port, enhancing the security of your Remote Desktop Service. This step is essential for secure remote access, reducing the risk of port scanners and vulnerabilities while facilitating remote work through secure cloud desktops.

 

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