I found myself embroiled in a discussion on TenForums.com recently, wherein I dug into 802.11n sufficiently to confirm my recollection that newer implementations are dual band. That is, they can communicate wirelessly at either 2.4 or 5 GHz, depending on configuration. After this discussion, I checked my Lenovo X220 Tablet, which sits next to my desk. It was running on the 2.4 GHz band, so I switched it over to 5 GHz instead. Promptly thereafter, I also couldn’t reconnect using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). The Incoming Connections troubleshooter on the laptop failed, too, so I found myself puzzling over a solution. Then, I remembered that toggle remote connections restores RDP access at least some of the time. I tried it, and it worked!
To toggle you must turn off remote access, then turn it back on again.
I’ve encountered this situation working with Remote Desktop before. It happens when switching from one wireless network to another (as I experienced this morning). It doesn’t happen when switching from wireless to wired, or back again (as I just confirmed on my test PC). It appears to stem from connection settings inside the RDP configuration, which can maintain only one wireless connection to a PC at a time. For some reason, changing wireless networks kills the connection. It gets reset when you turn remote connections off (don’t allow) then turn them back on again (allow). Apparently, this rebuilds connection settings for the current wireless network.
Benefits of Toggle Remote Connections Restores RDP Access
I could easily switch from 2.4 to 5 GHz because my laptops are in the same office as my WAP. Thus, I don’t ordinarily have to worry about distance affecting bandwidth between them. For me, the benefit of the switch shows clearly in this screen cap from the Time Warner speed test:
For a wireless connection, this is a pretty snappy download speed (upload is throttled to a putative 20 Mbps).
It’s not as fast as a wired connection. That tops out at 350-ish Mbps on my LAN, on Time Warner’s 300up/20down plan. But it ain’t bad, either. I’m glad I made the switch, and remembered how to restore RDP to working order, too!