How to Install an SSL Certificate on a Remote Desktop Gateway Server?

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Install SSL On Remote Desktop Server

A Remote Desktop Gateway server is an important technology that enables remote users to connect to internal or private network resources from any internet-connected device. The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is used by RD Gateway to provide secure connections (HTTPS) between remote users and the internal network.

Thankfully, no Virtual Private Server (VPS) configuration is required to allow secure communication through HTTPS. In this short guide, we will lead you through installing SSL on your RD Gateway server.

To successfully install SSL on your Remote Desktop Gateway server, follow the instructions below. Remember that if you have multiple servers or devices, you must repeat this process for each one that requires secure connections.

If you need to generate your certificate or complete the validation process, please refer to our CSR Generation Instructions and disregard the following steps.

Prerequisites to Install SSL on Your Remote Desktop Gateway Server

Here’s what you’ll need:

Server Certificate:

Obtain the certificate for your domain from the Certificate Authority (CA). You might have received it via email. If not, log in to your Account Dashboard and locate your order to download the certificate.

Intermediate Certificates:

These files are vital in allowing connecting devices to recognize the issuing CA. If your certificate was provided in a ZIP folder, it should include the Intermediate certificate(s), also known as a CA Bundle. Otherwise, download the appropriate CA Bundle associated with your certificate.

Private Key:

Locate the private key file, which should either be on your server or in your possession if you used a free generator tool to generate the Certificate Signing Request (CSR). Please note that the private key might only be visible on some platforms like Microsoft IIS. However, the server retains a record of it.

Steps to Generate a CSR

To set up an SSL Certificate for your Remote Desktop Services, generating a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) code and submitting it to the CA is crucial.

Depending on your Remote Desktop Gateway Server version, you can generate the CSR within the corresponding IIS release. Microsoft IIS server is pre-installed on Windows versions.

For example, if you use RDS 2016, you will generate the CSR in IIS 10, which is included in Windows Server 2016. Afterward, you can install the SSL certificate for remote desktop connections.

You can also utilize our CSR Generator for an automated process.

Once you have created the CSR and completed the SSL validation, the CA will send the necessary certificate files to your email.

SSL Installation Process on a Remote Desktop Gateway Server

With the required SSL files, you can proceed with the SSL installation process for RDS. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Ensure you have the following SSL Files:

  • Server Certificate: Extract this SSL certificate (with .cer or .crt extension) from the received ZIP archive and save it on your device.
  • Intermediate Certificates: Retrieve the .ca-bundle file from the ZIP archive.
  • Private Key: Obtain the .key file generated alongside your CSR code.

Step 2: Access the Remote Desktop Gateway Manager by clicking on the Start button.

Step 3: Select Administrative Tools and then Remote Desktop Services.

Step 4: Go to Remote Desktop Gateway Manager, right-click on RD Gateway Server, and select Properties.

RD Gateway Manager Properties

Step 5: Click on the SSL Certificate tab, and then choose Import a certificate on the RD Gateway Certificates (local computer)/personal store.

Step 6: Click Browse and select the location of your SSL certificate.

Step 7: Open the certificate and enter the password you created for your private key.

Step 8: Click Import Certificate, followed by OK.

Step 9: Restart your server to apply the changes.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed an SSL Certificate for Remote Desktop Services (RDS).

Just for verification, you can use free SSL Tools to check the SSL Installation Status.

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