How can I make a VPN connection faster and more usable?

I have a VPN connection setup on a Notebook (Sony/Vista Biz). The VPN at host end (office) is configured on cisco 837. The problem is, applications on notebook are running extremely slow to the point that working remotely is highly ineffective. Is this common with VPN's? How can I improve VPN perfomance?
stevenvelIT ConsultantAsked:
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RPPreacherConnect With a Mentor Commented:

A LAN access is 100 Mb/s.
Typical home access is 3-6 Mb/s (at best).

So if your application is 16-33x as slow, it's the bandwidth.  Buy more bandwidth.
stevenvelIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Do you suggest I disable certain features on notebook/VISTA to improve performance?
i.e. Automatic updates? Off-line files?
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