Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have XP Home with SP3 at home. I would like to enable the Remote Desktop on my home computer so I can connect from my work. The question is

How secure is Windows Remote Desktop Connection?

If a have very long impossible to guess password on my home computer can it be safe...

What is the most trusted/secure (preferably free) remote desktop program for windows?

If XP Home doesn't support RDC how about XP Pro SP3? I have an XP Professional machine also.

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

Win XP Home does not support RDP server so you can't connect to it that way. There are many services/programs you can use like VNC or LogMeIn. The problem with things like VNC is that you have to leave an inbound hole through your firewall (same for RDP and you are advised to change the default port it uses) and this is a security issue.

For other programs like LogMeIn, your computer establishes a constant outbound connection to a service site and you connect to the site and then the site connects you. It would appear to be a great deal more secure since you aren't leaving holes in the firewall for people to try and break into. The problem is that these are usually pay services.

share|improve this answer
    
With UltraVNC you can use DSM Plugin to avoid security issues: only clients with the same key file choosen for the server can connect to it. –  Toc Nov 20 '09 at 23:20
2  
LogMeIn has a free version of its product which uses AES-256 by default. You can't connect your local hard drive (amongst other limitations), though, so if you need a file off of your home computer, you'll have to e-mail it to yourself or upload it somewhere for you to grab it at work. –  RoyalKnight Nov 21 '09 at 3:19
add comment

Windows XP Pro does indeed support RDP (as a server!) and this is what I used to successfully remote into my desktop for a few years now.

A strong password to access your PC is a must of course as you'll be effectively exposing that port to the outside world. Man in the middle attacks where someone is sniffing data going back and forth between you and the remote session is prevented by encryption.

See this article for more detailed information

share|improve this answer
1  
"Encryption" alone doesn't protect against man in the middle attacks: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-in-the-middle_attack –  Suppressingfire Nov 21 '09 at 2:49
    
(Encryption does protect against basic eavesdropping, but that's not what a MitM attack is all about) –  Suppressingfire Nov 21 '09 at 2:50
add comment
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm not familiar with your situation at work, you may not be at liberty to install any remote control software, so, if you're stuck with RDP you can indeed use it with Windows XP Home.

While Windows XP Home does not support RDP by default, it is not entirely impossible:

Install and Enable Remote Desktop in Windows XP Home Edition

Note: after this you will not be able to apply any new service packs (in the unlikely event that MS will release XP SP4 :)

If you you can use any software you want at work, i recommend Teamviewer. Install Teamviewer Host on your home computer and use Teamviewer Portable (from a USB Stick if necessary) to access your computer from work (or anywhere else).

Teamviewer is free for personal use.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Windows XP Home doesn't support Remote Desktop, but it does support Remote Assistance.

See this article for detailed instructions on its use :
"How to use remote assistance in Windows XP".

Remote Assistance is similar to Remote Desktop, only available in Windows XP Professional, but while Remote Desktop allows to connect to a host-computer without any user action on the host system, Remote Assistance requires you to be present to accept the incoming connection.

In this way and to answer your question:
Remote Assistance is much more secure than Remote Desktop, since it requires your permission to proceed.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.