Windows Remote Desktop with CopSSH

There are many services available that will allow you to remotely access your computer. Some of the popular services include Team Viewer or LogMeInRescue. While these work as intended, you can also remote into your machine using the default Windows Remote Desktop Connection and SSH by using CopSSH for Windows. By establishing an SSH connection with your local machine, an encrypted tunnel is created and all traffic that is sent back and forth between the machines are secure. In this tutorial I will explain how to set it up.

CopSSH Installation

CopSSH is installed on the machine you want to connect to. This creates a SSH service that you will be able to connect through. CopSSH is available in both a free and paid version. The paid version includes a GUI, support, 64 bit support and upgrade protection. This article will cover the paid version which I recommend.

  • Begin my running the CopSSH installer.
  • When prompted to create a Service Account, either leave the default or create a new account. A new Windows user account will be created with these credentials. However this account should not be used to establish a connection. A new user will be created later.

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  • After the installation finishes, go to your start menu and open the CopSSH GUI.

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  • Go to the Control Panel of your local machine and create a new user.
  • Then go to the “Users” tab in the CopSSH GUI. Click the “Add” button to create a new user profile that you will connect through. Hit the next arrow and select the user you just created from the second drop-down. Press the forward button and select the features you wish to enable.

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  • Press “Forward” and then ”Apply”

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  • You can configure other options on the “Configuration” and “SFTP” tabs of the GUI. This includes the port communication will come in on.

Configure Firewall

You will need to open the SSH port on the machine you just installed CopSSH on. This will vary depending on your router. Make sure you open the port on both your router firewall and any client firewall you have running.

Configure PuTTY

  • Next, download and open Putty. Putty is a free SSH connection tool.
  • In the Host Name (or IP address) field enter the public IP address of the machine you are connecting to.

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  • In the left hand column, navigate to Connection > SSH > Tunnels
  • In the source port field, enter a non-standard port. In the “Destination” field, enter the name of the computer you are connecting to and the RDC port(3389 is default). For example “remotemachine:3389”. Then click the “Add” button.

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  • Then click “Open” to establish a connection.
  • You will be prompted for a username and password. Enter the credentials for the user you created.
  • Next launch Windows Remote Desktop Connection, press the down arrow button and enter “localhost:” and the port you created in Putty. For example: “localhost:1234” into the “Computer” field. Enter the username of the user you created on the remote machine.
  • You will be prompted for a password. Enter the password of the user on the remote machine.
  • You should now have a remote desktop connection into the remote machine.

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