Speeding Up Windows Vista Networking
Paul Watson, PC Technician Saturday, May 30th 2009
As is often the case, technologies that are designed to make tasks faster sometimes end up slowing things down. Remote Differential Compression (RDC) seems to be one of these technologies, but fortunately, it can be disabled. RDC is designed to manage the efficient transfer of large amounts of data between computers. RDC is actually designed to minimize the amount of data that needs to be transferred via the network for files that may get transferred multiple times. Unfortunately, if both computers don’t use RDC or if there are large changes to the data files between transfers, having the service turned on can actually reduce data transfer speeds.
To turn RDC off (it’s turned on by default), open the Control Panel and choose Uninstall A Program from the Program option. From the Tasks pane on the left side of the window, choose Turn Windows features on or off. Scroll down to Remote Differential Compression and deselect it by clicking on it. Select OK.
Turning this feature off isn’t going to be the difference between night and day, but it should make Windows Vista perform better on certain types of tasks, file copying and transferring being the primary one.
Another configuration change that may speed up your network performance is disabling TCP/IP auto-tuning. You’ll want to look at this adjustment if you have consistently poor performance when accessing the Internet or using Internet applications like e-mail or Web browsers. “Poor performance” includes Web pages that don’t load or seem to get stuck when loading, email messages that don’t download, or slow message and Web page retrieval.
Disabling TCP/IP auto-tuning may or may not solve your problem, but it’s worth a try and turning it off will only cause Windows to revert to a standard operating mode. (In case you haven’t guessed, TCP/IP auto-tuning is another non-standard implementation!) You’ll need administrator privileges on your computer to disable auto-tuning. As the administrator, enter the following string:
netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled
As I said, disabling autotuning may or may not solve your problem, but this is one of those “no harm done” efforts, and it’s certainly worth a try if nothing else has worked.
To re-enable TCP/IP auto-tuning, from the administrator’s account enter
netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=normal
Photo Credit: Thomas Merton, via Flickr