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By default, the Remote Desktop service in Windows XP uses port 3389. Because this is a known port, hackers could try to intercept packets going to that port. You can make Remote Desktop more secure by changing the port it uses, but be aware that Remote Assistance may not work correctly if you do this. Also, you can’t use a different port to connect to Remote Desktop from a Macintosh computer, because the Macintosh RDC client only supports port 3389. If you do decide to change the port, here’s how:

  1. On the XP computer that you want to access via Remote Desktop, open your favorite registry editor.
  2. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlTerminalServerWinStationsRDP-Tcp
  3. Double click the PortNumber subkey, click the Edit menu and select Modify.
  4. Click Decimal.
  5. In the value field, type the number of the port that you want to use instead of 3389.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Close the registry editor.

Now you’ll need to configure the RDC client to use the new port. Here’s how:

  1. On the client computer, click Start | All Programs | Accessories | Communications | Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. In the Computer field, type the name or IP address of the XP computer you configured above, then type a colon and the port number (for example, MyComputer:3390.
  3. Click Connect.

Good luck!

Deb Shinder


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