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Connecting a TS client to a different port

How do I configure a Terminal Services client to connect to a port other than 3389? The reason for wanting to do this is that I am going through a Network Address Translation (NAT) box -- 3389 is forwarded to one specific server. If I want to be able to connect to any other server, I need to assign a different port number on the NAT box and configure my client to use that port number. The NAT box will reinstate the normal 3389 port number when it forwards the connection, so there is no need to change the port on which the server listens.

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The answer depends on the version of RDP you're running. If you're using the client that comes with Win2k, you can export the .CNS file and edit it with Notepad to change the port from 3389 to whatever is appropriate. If you're using the Remote Desktop Connection, open the saved .RDP file in Notepad and edit the entry for the connection server to SERVERNAME:####, where "####" is the new port number. (You can also just direct users to type the port number after the name of the server they're connecting to, but editing the .RDP file is simpler and less prone to error.) If you do this, consider making the .RDP files read-only so that users cannot accidentally overwrite the server-port combination.

This was first published in September 2003

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