Should I use your Web Portal or RDP Ports to access my remote lab?
Posted by Larry Karnis on 14 October 2014 04:21 PM

Best Choices for Access Our Labs

I just received a lab release for my remote lab access and have both Web Portal and RDP access information. Which method works best?

This is an excellent question that is asked a lot. The answer is... It depends on your situation. Here are some typical situations.

I'm Running a Class with Local Students Only

If all of your students are in the room with you AND you do not have any firewall restrictions that block outbound RDP connections, then we recommend using RDP access. RDP is the better because it it is faster, uses less bandwidth and tolerates changes to network load/latency better than our web portal does.

I'm Running a Class with Remote Students

If even some of your students are remote, then we recommend using Web Portal access at least for the remote students. When you log in to our web portal as the instructor (not a student), you get the ability to actively shadow students. This gives you the ability to watch what students are doing and jump in to help if/when they need it. Since our web portal brokers Console 0, you don't have to worry about RDP sessions being dropped. You and your student both see/use Console 0, so they can see what you do and you can see what they do.

I'm Working On My Own

Then use the non-standard RDP port access. This is the fastest solution with best screen updates.

I Tried RDP And I Can't Connect

If you are behind a locked down firewall then the web-based access method is the only access method that will work for you. If both RDP and Web Portal access are blocked then you are on a customer site with a strongly locked down gateway and we'd need to provision something like WebEx Remote Access to enable your remote lab connection.

Can I Mix and Match RDP and Web Access?

Please note that the extra access method does not mean that the entire class has to use one method or the other.  If RDP works for your in-class students, have them use RDP.  You can reserve the web-based access method for remote students only if that is how you choose to run the class. 

Anything Else I Should Know?

It should be noted that we have experienced issues with the web-based access method when there is a poor internet connection. Symptoms are frequent web portal disconnects requiring you to restart your session and log in again. This can be caused by:

  • A poor quality Internet connection
  • A saturated Internet connection
  • A saturated Wireless Internet link
  • Any Cell Data Internet service
  • High bandwidth consumption by other people sharing the network (especially if they are watching videos, downloading large files or otherwise hogging bandwidth)
  • A congested router or gateway device
  • Infrastructure issues connecting to our servers (located just out side of Toronto Ontario Canada)

One option is to check your Internet speed and latency using When you conduct a test, please pick a target server in the Toronto area.

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