Enable Remote Desktop – TP-LINK AC1900 Archer C9

As the number of devices and bandwidth needs in my household increased so to did the frequency of reboots and number of issues for my Netgear N600 router. The router had served us well but wasn’t keeping up with my Comcast and WiFi device capabilities and needed to be power cycled every few days for WiFi, or every few hours for Mac OSX. Time to upgrade!

I settled on the mid priced TP-LINK AC1900 – Archer C9 and it has served us very well with a Motorola Arris Surfboard Modem. The C9 supports all our OSX, iOS, WP, Amazon, Windows 7, 8 & 10… with WiFi speeds over 100kb on our 126kb Comcast connection.  The device also has an excellent admin interface but I couldn’t figure out how to add what I and Netgear call “Port Forwarding” to enable remote access to my home PC from anywhere using RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). Through trial and error (and some cursing at the TP Support Website) I found you need to configure a “virtual server” in order to allow remote connections to my Desktop. Here’s the steps:

TP-Link website with guide user guide – TP-LINK AC1900 – Archer C9

Optional prep step – To enhance security you can change the RDP port from 3389 to any number of your choosing.

How to enable Remote Desktop access with the TP-Link AC9100:

  1. Log into your TP LINK Router –
  2. Navigate to: Advanced > NAT Forwarding > Virtual Servers
  3. Click Add (see graphic 1 below for all settings)
    1. Service Type: RDP (manually enter)
    2. External port: 3389 
    3. Internal IP: enter the IP address of the computer you want to remote to
      How? – use Ipconfig
    4. Internal Port: 3389
    5. Protocol: All
    6. Click OK
  4. Done – possibly power cycle the router to ensure changes are loaded into memory.

Test your Remote Desktop Connection (without leaving your desk)

  1. Ensure Remote Desktop is enabled on your computer –  How to enable Remote Desktop in Windows
  2. Test your Router and computer to ensure the port is open – http://canyouseeme.org/
    1. Your IP – Auto Detects your Public IP Address
    2. Port To Check: 3389  <- manually enter the RDP port number
  3. If step #2 returns “Success! I can see your service on Port 3389” you’re done!
  4. Test the connection – from an iPad, any mobile device or another computer in your home/office
    1. Mobile – Install a Remote Desktop app like Microsoft Remote Desktop
    2. Macs – Install Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac
    3. Windows – use Remote Desktop Connection that’s installed on all Windows versions
    4. Connect to your Public IP address
      1. Find your address via http://canyouseeme.org/ or http://whatismyipaddress.com/
    5. After logging in you should see your remote computers desktop!


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