How to Force the Use of SSL as a Transport Layer for Remote Desktop


Windows Remote Desktop software allows an authorized user to remotely operate your computer as though she were in front of the computer. Although Remote Desktop sessions are encrypted by default, Windows Server allows you to force the security to be of the SSL type, in order to standardize traffic on your network, authenticate your server's identity, or simply to ensure consistency across all platforms. You can force Remote Desktop to use SSL by choosing it as your security layer type in the Terminal Services configuration window.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows Server 2008
  • Click "Start" > "Administrative Tools" > "Terminal services configuration."

  • Right-click "RDP-Tcp" and then click "Properties."

  • Click the drop-down dialog next to "Security layer" and change it to "SSL."

  • Ensure your encryption level is "High" so that all communications are encrypted.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you use SSL, you can also install your SSL certificate. Click "Edit" > "Choose already installed SSL" and then browse the list of Internet Information Services certificates. If a certificate for your domain is not already installed, you can click "Browse" and navigate to the ".cer" file that contains the certificate for the domain.

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