Remote Desktop Services is a component of the Microsoft Windows system that is used for the convenience it offers to connect to a remote Windows PC. It uses Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) which is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft, providing a user with a graphical interface to connect to another computer. By default, it works on port 3389.
However, many network administrators/ local IT block it for various reasons. In this case, while you are working on a desktop or laptop which is in a network where RDP or port 3389 is blocked, you will not be able to access your remote system.
Although many people use remote desktop/server/virtual machines which could be on the popular cloud, like, Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, etc. when you are on a desktop/laptop connected to a restricted network, you will not be able to access your remote desktop or resources on any of the clouds or probably your own system at home. Efforts to bypass such restriction is at times next to impossible.
Remote connection to a Windows system has two components. First the protocol itself, i.e., Remote desktop protocol, and second, is the default port it uses, which is 3389.
One of the solutions people opt for is changing the default port 3389 to some other port, also called port forwarding. This works many times but fails if the RDP protocol itself is disabled by the network administrator. Even though the port is changed, the protocol is still RDP.
Another solution some people think of is, either RDWeb or Citrix Storefront. In both cases, instead of connecting to a remote desktop using an RDP client, a browser is used to connect to the remote desktop. There are two problems with this solution:
First, it’s not a true RDP like desktop experience. Instead, applications or software shortcut icons are pinned on a web page. Clicking on the icon launches the app on the local desktop.
Second, when applications are launched, they again use the same RDP protocol to stream the connection from a remote desktop, and hence, does will not work if the protocol itself is blocked.
The most elegant solution to this problem is to use something called a Clientless desktop. As the name suggests, there is no RDP client required for this. Connection established using a browser. So how it is different from RDWeb and Citrix Storefront explained above.
In an RDP session, you can work on a remote desktop just as you would work on the local desktop, like, opening task manager, exploring files and folders using applications, etc. In a Clientless desktop connection, you can connect to the same remote desktop within the browser’s perimeter, but with the same experience as an RDP connection. Below is a short clip showing how the user experience is the same when using an RDP connection and when using a Clientless connection. Since Clientless connection is purely web traffic, i.e., port 80/443, even if port RDP protocol and port 3389 is blocked on the firewall by the network administrator, you can still enjoy the same RDP as experience in a browser window.
Video Demonstrating RDP Connection/Access and Clientless Access in a Browser
Apps4rent Can Help in Providing Access to Remote Desktops to a Restricted Network
Streaming an RDP connection on a browser is a very complicated setup and requires a server to be placed in between which makes this conversion happen. Apps4Rent offers virtual desktops on the cloud which you can connect to, using a browser (Clientless connection) from within any highly restricted network where RDP protocol and port are blocked. In fact, if you would like to access any virtual machine on other clouds like Azure, AWS, or Google cloud, we do offer a service to configure the server which can act as a proxy in between which converts the RDP stream to an HTTP/HTTPS stream on a browser. Since the virtual/remote desktop is on the cloud, it can be accessed from any local PC/laptop, Windows, or Mac, which has internet connectivity. No configuration change is required on your local PC/laptop. Call, chat or email our virtual/remote desktop specialists, available 24/7 for assistance.