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Securing communications between Web browser and Microsoft Terminal Server

How can I secure the direct communication between a Web browser on the Internet and a Microsoft Terminal Server that is behind a firewall?

After installing the Web based component for the Microsoft Advance Terminal Services on an IIS server that is behind a firewall, I enabled SSL on the server to secure the initial communications from any Web browser on the Internet. However, the subsequent communication from the Web brower is directly to the Terminal Server and is no longer secured by SSL. I would like my users to securely connect to the Terminal Server using any Web browser they can get access to while traveling.

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My guess is that your firewall is blocking port 3389, which is for the Remote Desktop Protocol. As for encryption, Terminal Services does not actually use SSL. If you read the documentation available at Microsoft's Web site, it describes both the required port and a description of how it does encryption.

This was first published in October 2001

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