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We are using Windows 2008 R2 and connecting to it from Windows 7 boxes. The RDP is faster than before but we want to know if there are any other solutions that will make it faster.

Due to licensing issues we have some software that multiple people need to access (not all at the same time) and the only way I can find is to install it on a server and give RDP access to the users.

Is there a faster remote desktop tool than RDP?

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This question sounds suspiciously like you're asking us to help you circumvent a licensing issue. Why not properly license your users? – GregD Jan 1 '11 at 2:14
"The RDP is faster than before". Before what? How can we give you idea on what else to try when you haven't told us what you've already tried? – John Gardeniers Jan 1 '11 at 6:53

Ignoring potential licensing issues, I'll speak to the issue of accelerating RDP hopefully to the benefit of future readers.

Yes, you can speed up RDP in several ways. First, use RDP's own options to remove desktop background, font smoothing, menu animations and etc. Check the "Experience" tab of mstsc.exe. Also, choose the "display" tab and step it down to 15-bit color if you can. I'm not sure if that is acceptable for the application you're using.

You could then use QoS on the network devices that the RDP is traversing to make sure that it has higher priority.

You could also look into hacking the "InteractiveDisplay" option in the registry. Be warned, you could cause some network issues. I'll let you research that option on your own.

If that's not enough, you can use third part acceleration tools. Search for "protocol accelaration" and "RDP" together. Expand Networks makes something that might interest you as does Ericom.

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Thank you for the Ericom recommendation. I'm testing it out now. – ewwhite Jan 1 '11 at 5:17

In addition to Ericom, who makes an excellent product, consider migrating your Terminal Server farm to Windows 2012 RDS. Windows 2012 features version 8 of the RDP protocol, which utilizes adaptive, optimized delivery of graphics, video etc and combines UDP with TCP for transport. The throughput and responsiveness in general is much better than previous Windows versions.

For more on RDP 8, please read this Wikipedia article:

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