Remote Desktop to Vista on alternate port

I installed Vista Ultimate on my home machine. Why? I had installed RC2 almost 8 months ago, and it stopped working last week. 🙂

Now, I have an interesting setup to allow me to Remote Desktop to sevetral of my home PCs through my one firewall (usually from work). I use No-Ip (the free version) to publish my dynamic ip publicly. I then have my wonderful SOHO Netgear Firewall setup to port forward to different machines — so from my one IP, I expose multiple RDP connections.

My older and less fancy router would allow me to directly route from one public port to a machine’s different private port; this router just allows me to expose a port. So, I had to change my mechanism: I alter the port remote desktop listens on for each machine! It was easy on XP, but on Vista…

It turns out that the Firewall rules for Windows Vista are hardcoded for port 3389. So even if you change the port in the registry so that your RDP listening port is another value, the Firewall RDP rules only exist for 3389 — and that port value can’t be edited. Sure, you can add a new rule, but that offended by sensibilities.

So, instead, I went through my registry and hopefully got all the appropriate values, scanning for “3389”, and now I’m going to restart my system and see if it worked. I’ll grumble later if it doesn’t.

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