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PCstats Q & A - Taming your firewall part XVIII - PCstats Q & A - Taming your firewall part XVIII
Mon, April 19 2004 | 10:23PM | PermaLink Feedback?

Our first Q & A of the week comes from wchan3 via the PCstats forums . If you are looking for help, try our reader feedback page too.

Q: I've read your "remote access to computers " article. I like it very much, but I don't think you've addressed anything related to a server computer that is behind a router. What do I do if I have a router and I want to access my computer at home behind a router from 1000 miles away?

A: A router firewall will block remote access programs just as it will block any other unsolicited data attempting to come into the server. The key then is to determine which ports your remote access program uses and either open those ports in the firewall or create a 'virtual server' rule. A virtual server rule tells the router firewall to forward any data received on a certain port directly to a specific computer inside your network. For example, the VNC server program uses port 5800 by default, so creating a rule which forwarded data received on port 5800 to port 5800 on your internal server would allow VNC to work unhindered by the firewall.

Virtual server rules can be easily created using the internal interface of most home routers. Generally you need to provide an outside port number, the IP address of the PC inside the network that will receive the forwarded data, and which port that PC should receive the data on. For a more detailed guide to creating virtual server rules, see our Beginner's guide to firewall setup and configuration. As stated, VNC uses port 5800 by default (though other versions of the software may vary) and Microsoft's remote desktop software uses port 3389.

Original URL, circa 2004:

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