Windows Home Server 2011: RDP from the External Web Login

After playing about with Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 (Which incidentally cost less than a bog-standard Windows 7 license!) I noticed a problem that Remote Desktop is not enabled for external network access.

Three ways of solving this:

1) VPN

You can create a VPN into your network from your router or indeed by using any other VPN software to get you into your own network. Then RDP to the local hostname/IP.

2) Port forwarding on your router

Forward port 3389 from your external facing router to the local hostname/IP of your WHS2011 server and then RDP externally to your internet IP address. If you don’t have a static IP or can’t remember numbers you can use a service like No-IP Free to get yourself an easy domain name to remember to map over to your server.

3) Enable External RDP in the registry (AKA: THE PROPER WAY)

Assuming you have already got your (or alternative) address set up … Open regedit on your server. Navigate to HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows Server/RDP and locate “EnableServerRemoteDesktop”. Change the value of this from 0 to 1.

[Edit: 9/9/2013] If the above DWORD doesn’t exist, you can simply create it. [/Edit]

Now log in and connect externally as normal. You’ll now have full RDP access instead of just the standard WHS2011 Dashboard.

Kudos to DJMatty’s Blog for this one.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.