Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

Definition of Remote Desktop Protocol in the Network Encyclopedia.

What is Remote Desktop Protocol?

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a protocol used by the Microsoft Windows Server family that lets clients communicate with Terminal Services over a network.

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is based on the T.120 protocol of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a standard multichannel conferencing protocol that was also used in Microsoft NetMeeting conferencing software.

RDP is a multichannel-capable protocol that can use separate virtual channels for carrying serial device communication and presentation data sent from the server and encrypted client mouse and keyboard data sent from the client.

RDP supports up to 64,000 separate channels for data transmission and supports multipoint transmission.

Latest versions of Remote Desktop Protocol

The 8.1 version was released with Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. A RDP 8.1 client update exists for Windows 7 SP1 as well, but unlike the RDP 8.0 update for Windows 7, it does not add a RDP 8.1 server component to Windows 7. Furthermore, if RDP 8.0 server function is desired on Windows 7, the KB 2592687 (RDP 8.0 client and server components) update must be installed before installing the RDP 8.1 update.

remote desktop connection

Support for session shadowing was added back in RDP version 8.1. This version also fixes some visual glitches with Microsoft Office 2013 when running as a RemoteApp.

Version 8.1 of the RDP also enables a “restricted admin” mode. Logging into this mode only requires knowledge of the hashed password, rather than of its plaintext, therefore making a pass the hash attack possible. Microsoft has released an 82-page document explaining how to mitigate this type of attack.

Version 10.0 of the RDP includes the following new features: AutoSize zoom (useful for HiDPI clients). In addition graphics compression improvements were included utilizing H.264/AVC.


RDP is sometimes referred to as the Remote Display Protocol. It was formerly known as the T.SHARE protocol.


Articles posted after being checked by editors.

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