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What is RDP port and how to change that?

The rise of remote desktops, efficiency, and collaboration solutions has been spurred by the number of people working from home observed during the epidemic. 

Security Tutorials Dec 22, 22 by Nisal N 7 min Read
What is RDP port and how to change that?

TrustRadius estimates that during the pandemic, remote desktop traffic climbed by 16X, with a weekly rise of 1,587% just from March to April 2020.  This tendency will probably remain significant even when organizations begin operations; therefore, we'll be looking at ways to secure remote system access. 

Microsoft's exclusive Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) has a graphical user interface. You can connect to and access other devices through the Internet remotely.

RDP is the foundation for creating virtualized solutions, giving your business and its client flexibility, extensibility, and cost-effectiveness. RDP is a Windows operating system component and is used frequently due to its numerous advantages.

How does RDP work?

To connect to the host computer, the client (your computer) must first transmit a signal to the host computer on the listening port 3389. The host then requests login information, verifies it against its database of previously established remote desktop users, and grants authorization as necessary.

The listening port transmits your keystrokes and mouse movements to the host computer after you log in, and it also collects and displays data from the host computer on your computer. 

It almost gives the impression that you are working on it while seated in front of a faraway computer. The listening port's back-and-forth communication is the cause of everything.

However, remember that a host only permits one remote connection at a time, and the remote connection is lost if someone attempts to use the host computer or access it from another device.

What is RDP port?

The remote desktop protocol, which runs Remote Desktop Services on all current versions of Windows, resides on port 3389. If Remote Desktop is enabled on your computer, port 3389 is now open and accepting connections.

This port is a low-hanging fruit for script kids and bots seeking an easy target because it is both generally known and capable of being exploited to assault accounts.

Why change the RDP port number?

Microsoft uses port 3389 for all external communications. Hackers frequently use a technique of automated password guessing to connect to distant computers using the 3389 listening port. 

Such attacks, like the one Microsoft has just discovered, are known as brute force and password-spraying attacks. Without a doubt, this serious security flaw puts your remote system in danger.

Many administrators decide to change the Remote Desktop RDP Port number from 3389 to any other available port to get around this vulnerability, which makes it more challenging for hackers to figure out the listening port.

In addition to defending against hackers, administrators change the RDP port number to get around firewalls. Some systems' firewalls are set up to prevent incoming and outgoing messages from and to port 3389, respectively, for security concerns. 

The purpose of this approach is less to block remote access and more to stop hackers from entering the system through the port.

How to change Remote Desktop RDP Port 

Now that you know the benefits of changing the remote desktop port number let's look at how to do it on Windows 10.

Change the RDP port using Windows Registry.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on using the Windows Registry to alter the port number:

  • For the Run dialogue box to appear, press Windows + R. To launch the registry editor, type Regedit.
  • Access HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp by using the arrow keys.
  • Search for the port number.
  • Select "Edit" > "Modify."
  • Click OK after entering the new port number.
  • Shut down the registration.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Verify your ability to connect to a distant computer.

Set up your distant system's firewall to permit connections to the new port number if it employs one.

Change Remote Desktop RDP Port using PowerShell.

Alternately, if you're confident with PowerShell, proceed as follows to change the RDP port on Windows 10. To determine which port is used by the remote desktop service, use the command below:

Get-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal
Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp' -name "PortNumber"

Run the PowerShell command below, and make sure to utilize the new port specified:

Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal
Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp' -name "PortNumber" -Value 3390
New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName 'RDPPORTLatest' -Profile 'Public'
-Direction Inbound -Action Allow -Protocol TCP -LocalPort 3390

Never forget to utilize the new port number for Remote Desktop Connections in the future. Don't forget to set up the firewall (if necessary) to permit connections to that particular remote desktop firewall port.

Change the Firewall's RDP listening port.

You must modify your firewall's configuration if you use one to permit connections to the new RDP port. To do this, a new inbound rule must be created. You won't be able to connect to your server any longer if you don't do this and your remote server changes its RDP port.

First, go to System and Security by opening Control Panel. Click on Windows Defender Firewall and find the Advanced Settings option. After selecting it, click on Inbound Rules and select New Rule from the Action Pane. 

Once you have selected the TCP radio button and the Port radio button for Rule Type, be sure to enter the correct port number into the Specific local ports input area.

Select the Allow Connection radio button after clicking on the Next button. Make sure the three checkboxes for Domain, Public, and Private are checked by selecting the Profile option on the right. To save your changes and move forward, click Next.

Give your rule a name in the Name Action Pane. A description is helpful if someone else needs to adjust later, but it's not required. To finish changing the port, click Finish.

The newly established rule will now be applied. Double-clicking it will allow you to evaluate and, if necessary, change the settings. Your modifications have been made and will go into effect right away. There is no need to restart the system.

Conclusion

In summary, listening ports are used for all communication between the two devices when using RDP to connect to them remotely. Mainly, distant connections, by default, use port 3389.

However, because hackers can connect to remote devices via brute force assaults through the default port, many administrators and security professionals change the RDP port number to make it more difficult for hackers to control remote equipment. 

The modification is occasionally required to get around firewalls as well. 

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Nisal N

Computers has always fascinated me since I was a kid and here we are. I love travelling for 2 reasons: the first one to see a new part of the world and second (the most important one) to experience the rich culture hidden among the country and people. I'm pretty good at cooking but very poor when it comes to baking.

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