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Tracking down reason for lag

My neighbor and I vpn into the same workplace and we are seeing very different lag times with Windows remote desktop (he has more lag than me).  I will try to lay out everything I know and maybe you guys can help direct me where to look to alleviate the lag we have.

•      I have cable internet
•      My neighbor has wireless internet (wireless to his house)
•      When I go the various bandwidth testing websites I am getting 350 up/650 down (when VPN’d using)
•      I get 350 up/1024 down at bandwidth testing sites when at my neighbors house (with my same laptop from home) while VPN’d
•      Using Cisco vpn software (required by work)
•      I am behind a wireless router assigning private ips (192.168..)
•      Neighbor is behind a wireless router assigning private IPs as well
•      I always have a pretty good response time with remote desktop when I am at home (almost instantaneous)
•      I usually have bad response time (5 to 10 secs to register a mouse click) when I am at neighbor's but sometimes it is decent (<0.5 sec).  Screen refresh rate isn’t very good either.
•      I am always connecting to the same server with remote desktop
•      At times when my neighbor is experiencing a lot of lag things are always fine at my house (connection is always fine from my house).

What I think is strange is that his connection tests as better than mine but his connection through remote desktop is a lot worse.  Are there better tests I can do?

Settings on the computer can be ruled out i think because i am using the same exact laptop (with no configuration change) for all my tests.

Does anyone have any ideas on what could be causing this behavior and how can I test/verify those ideas?
Avatar of dooleydog

it could be the cable modem, or cable router hardware.

For my Cable service, they have upgraded service a few times, and they have sent out notifications to unplug the Cable Modem, wait a minute or two, and then plug in. Speed was immediately increased.

If that does not totally fix it, you might look into firmware updates for the cable modem and cable router.

How does it work when you are wired to the connection? any change?

Good Luck,

Download the latest version of the Remote Desktop Client:

Experiment with the settings for Cache and so on, I have experinced better berformance when disabling cache...
His wireless connection may have more latency than your cable connection. Trying pinging various places on each connection and compare the response times.
Avatar of dave4dl


Thanks for the suggestions

When i ping things from my neighbor's it is *at least* as fast as my ping from home (usually quite a bit faster).  The same version of remote desktop (actually the very same computer) is working well from my house but not from my neighbors.  We cannot ping the server at work we are RDing to because ping is disabled on that computer.

We have tried wired and not wired with no change to any behavior.

Obviously ping is not a good instrument for measuring the cause of this delay, so is there any other tool i should be using?

I will upgrade the firmware to see if that makes a difference and write back the result.

What is the rest of his PC like compared to yours?  If he is running a PII-350 and you are running a P4-2.0, then there will be obvious differences in response time.  How much ram does he  have compared to you?  What other applications run on his machine, versus what other applications run on yours?  Is his computer infested with spyware, taking up valuable bandwidth constantly, while your's isn't?  

Avatar of MKNight_Bossking

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Avatar of dave4dl


Thanks for your suggestions guys.

cbromeley, I am using exactly the same laptop to test in both locations so the client specs are not the issue.

MKNight, traceroute is disabled to the work server we use (while we are using our vpn tunnel).  We can trace to other places on the web but the trace or ping from neighbors house is always faster than from mine (also through vpn).  Is there a better tool i could be using than tracert to find the problem?