Remote Assistance Network Considerations

Setting up a Remote Assistance session is relatively easy when both parties have a public IP address given by an Internet Service provider. In this scenario, the computers connect directly to one another, sending and receiving data on TCP port 3389. Furthermore, the Windows Firewall in Service Pack 2 automatically opens up this port whenever a Remote Assistance connection is requested.

However, this configuration is not applicable to many home or small office settings, where networked computers are "hidden" behind SOHO routers. In other words, it's not quite as easy as it sounds for many users because computers behind these routers use private IP addresses.

To check whether you're using a private address, type IPCONFIG at the Command Prompt. If you see an IP address that starts with 192.168…, you have a private address. The public IP address from your ISP has been assigned to the router, and when you send a request for a Web page to the Internet, the Web server sends the page to the public IP address. The router is then responsible for passing on that Web page to the requesting computer.

With such a configuration, the Remote Assistance traffic does not know where to go. But all is not lost. You can still get Remote Assistance to work if you perform the following:

  • Have the Novice email the Expert a Remote Assistance invitation. Edit the file contained in the email.

  • Under the RCTICKET attribute is the private IP address, which begins with 192.168…

  • Replace the private address with the Novice's public IP address, which he or she can find by going to This is a great little site that shows you what public IP address is being used by your router. (There are many other Web sites like this; that one's easy to remember.)

  • Finally, get them to make sure that they've got port 3389 open on their firewall and forwarded to the errant computer. Again, this will differ depending on router brand. Some configuration utilities let you do this with a check box.

Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
ISBN: 013167983X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 275
Authors: Brian Culp © 2008-2017.
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