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Thread: Comcast and Remote Desktop
01-17-2004 09:55 AM #1
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Comcast and Remote Desktop
OK, I read through the old threads on this subject from last year and see that the reason I can't get Terminal Services to work with my home LAN is probably the Comcast firewall: a block on one of the ports in their cable-connection modem. I also notice that myipaddress.com reports a different (network) ip address than ipconfig or other local methods and that tying to connect directly to my network ip address still doesn't work, again implicating the Comcast firewall. HOWEVER, I have no trouble seeing my campus computer (XP Pro) on my home computer with Remote Desktop (nor with my i700 using Terminal Services: THANKS i700 and forum for helping me figure out how to do this)! So apparently the Comcast firewall doesn't block me from calling out of my home LAN.
I realize that remote desktop to my home computer may be less crucial than my work computer or impractical to use often, but you know how it is. You just want to see if it is possible, right? So to try a related test, I want to try calling up my home computer from my office computer, but I don't know what domain to use. I find that to call my work computer, I need the computer name and the domain name (byu.edu) separated by a dot, just like with telnet in unix, etc., even though I can interconnect computers in my home LAN with just the computer name (also like with my unix workstation LAN at work via /etc/hosts). I realize (now that I am home) that I could use the numerical IP address I got from myipaddress.com and would probably still get blocked by the Comcast firewall like I am on the i700, but my question is this:
In my Control Panel (Windows XP Pro) > System > Computer Name there is mention of joining a domain. How does one get an IP domain for a home LAN? (Maybe the answer could yet lead to calling the home LAN computers with the i700... I know, wishful thinking).
01-17-2004 10:30 AM #2
In order to join a local domain, your computer needs to have a server acting as either an NT 4.0 Domain Controller or an Active Directory root server on your local network. It IS possible to join a domain via dial up networking, but not very efficient. The chances are that you are set up as your own workgroup which doesn't require any domain membership - it is just a bunch of computers on a network.
So, to answer your question... it may be possible to join a domain, but you will need to have a system admin add your PC to the domain and you will need to use your domain ID and password, but not likely that the school or work will allow you to do that. More importantly, it isn't necessary.
That should not affect your ability to connect to your PC from your i700. Are you using a router at home behind your Comcast cable modem? If so, you may need to set up some port forwarding so the home network can see the inbound requests. Your router actually manages many sets of IP addresses - one from Comcast to the internet, and those of any other IP devices that attach to the router. In many cases, the router is designed to prevent someone coming in and connecting via a Terminal Services connection as protection from an unwanted intruder. Comcast should allow all TCP/UDP port requests to go to the cable modem... the router manages the requests and responses to and from the internet.
Just some things to consider... HTH.
01-17-2004 12:53 PM #3
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Very helpful. Thanks!
I guess I was thinking that there might be some domain servers available to home users, like a commercial service or something. Anybody know?
Yes I have a D-Link wireless(/wired) router connected to the cable modem. I'll try looking into how to administrate it. I have the manual here somewhere. Nobody needs to waste their time on this for me, but if someone has recent experience and can easily guide me, advice is welcome.
01-17-2004 01:15 PM #4
I'll check it out as soon as I get my i700... I have a similar setup at home.John
01-20-2004 03:37 PM #5
I have Comcast cable broadband at home too, and I can access the terminal server at my work (via wireless or wired, using i700 or desktop PC). So I am reasonable sure your problem is not a "Comcast firewall" issue.
For "connecting to home PC from work" without using any 3rd party software that may violate your company's IT policy - you need to set up the NAT on your home wireless router, so that it maps your public IP address (the one Comcast assigns to your line, aka the one you would get from myipaddress.com) to your computer's local IP address (the one that your wireless router assigns to your device, usually by DHCP). Then from your office, try accessing your home PC using your public (Comcast) IP address - this should work provided that your company's firewall is not blocking it.
It definitely would not work using your home PC's computer name, since there is no DNS server to resolve for that name - UNLESS of course you can get a VPN tunnel to stay connected all day while you're at work... (Ignore this paragraph if this is too much for you, I'm just thinking too much as usual.)
Also, note that although your Comcast IP address may stay the same for a few months at a time, they don't guarentee it to be static. What that means is that once in a while you may get a different public IP address at home - usually after some sort of outage. Check that first if the work -> home connection suddenly stops working.
01-20-2004 08:44 PM #6
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Visit www.no-ip.com. They provide dynamic DNS for free.
That means that Comcast/SBC provides broadband using DHCP. Then, your home computer, using no-ip's software, updates the no-ip.com database with your new (or still the same) IP address. The software is great - can run as an app or as a service, meaning you don't even have to be logged in.
No, I don't work for no-ip, I'm just an extremely pleased customer.
How to set it up:
1. Install no-ip's software and get a domain name.
2. Tell your router to forward port 3391 to your local IP address (192.168.*.*). Note: you must have your local machine on a static IP. E.g. if you are using linksys, your local machine must be IP: 192.168.1.[2-99]
3. From remote desktop, open remote desktop connection and connect to "<yourchosenname>.no-ip.com".