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We are running a Win2K3 Server box, and I'm a remote employee that connects via VPN. I've been frustrated for some time by the connection speed over the VPN (the office HQ has a decent speed and I have a biz class connection here), and decided to do some checking today.

This morning, I was dialed in and looked at the networking tab of the task manager, and I see that the adapter for the RAS Server (the box has 4 Gigabit adapters) has a speed that seems far too low.

The speed for the RAS Server link hovers between 300 - 600 Kbps. The local connection (and others) all say 1 Gbps.

Can I set this to a higher speed? Is this information accurate?

Thanks for the input.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The remote access connections will connect as fast as possible given the network between the two endpoints. If your connection is slow, a network link somewhere between you and them is the cause.

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+1 - The "series of tubes" analogy is probably appropriate here... >smile< The "tube" coming out of the server has a very, very large "diameter". The effective "diameter" of the "tube" between your server and your PC, as a result of "constriction" by the various interstitial networks, is much, much less. – Evan Anderson Jun 11 '10 at 15:26
Thanks for the info! – Ducain Jun 11 '10 at 15:33

While you have a "business class" Internet connection, it's likely a typical 5:1 down/up ratio so you're not pushing packets any faster than 750Kbps-2Mbps "theoretically".

Add in the encryption/decryption overhead, saturation/latency/competing services at either end, and 300-600Kbps sounds about right.

I too do a lot of remote work and find by minimizing the amount of traffic I need to send and receive (by using "remote-friendly" tools like ssh, Remote Desktop, Citrix, etc.) helps out immensely by cutting down the chatter to only keyboard/video/mouse I/O besides session traffic.

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Good deal - the comments about my upload speed here ring true. – Ducain Jun 11 '10 at 15:35

As Chris S says, there are many links that can cause the issue. One other is the nature of TCP/IP. Many applications are very chatty and send many, many packets back and forth. Each round trip takes time and often it is simple handshake and other overhead. We had a SharePoint site that was very slow even between sites with good connections (10Mbps synchronous and 3Mbps Sync) Looking at traffic we could see the many back and forth trips. So bottom line is we could not fix this with a bigger pipe as the limit was not pipe size but time for all the back and forth.

We deployed Riverbed Steelhead WAN accelerators and it made a huge difference. I know they make something for mobile users that I have seen demonstrated that has the same performance gains. One of the things it does it cut out the many trips. Not sure if is suitable but very interesting and effective technology. Cut performance complaints from several a day to zero once installed.

More here Steelhead Mobile

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