Set up remote desktop on Vista?

I recently made a successful remote desktop connection between a Vista machine and a XP machine, so I wanted to post it, just in case someone else was trying to do the same. This was done using the built in remote desktop feature on Windows XP and Vista.

Let’s set the parameters first. Suppose you have two machines; one at your work which has Windows XP Pro loaded, [we will call it the Remote Machine] and the other machine being your new Toshiba notebook with Windows Vista Ultimate on it [we will call it the host machine]. Variable – You have a Wireless router on both the remote and host network.

Step 1. On the host machine, set a user account with log in password. Assign administrator group rights to this account. If you already have an account in the remote machine, make sure you are a member of the administrator group.

Step 2. Assign a static IP to the remote machine. eg.- [please make sure the IP is within the DHCP server’s range in the router]

Step 3. Log in to your wireless router, and create a port forwarding rule in the port forward table of the router, to the static IP that you have assigned to your remote machine. [see the eg. ip above] Windows remote desktop uses port 3389, and TCP packets. Do not forget to save your changes in the router 🙂

Step 4. On the remote machine, go to system properties and turn on remote desktop. Click on the radio button and save.

Step 5. On the remote machine, if you have windows firewall on, or any other firewall on, make sure you put remote desktop in the exceptions list of the fire wall. Save changes.

Step 6. Check the public IP of your network. Easiest way is by going to the URL Note down the public IP of your network. You will need this and log in ID and PW of this remote machine. Do not shut down or log off your remote machine.

Step 7. Go to your host computer, [on a different network. like say when you get home from work] and type mstsc on the run command.

Step 8. On the remote desktop connection console, type the public IP of the computer in the computer field. Click the Options button and type the user ID and the PW in the required field. Hit connect and if you are prompted with any warning signal, just ignore them. You should now be able to connect to the remote machine from your laptop.