Chronically slow word across broadband VPN

  tiggertwo 16:55 15 Aug 05

We have 5 users at single remote site using new XP Pro workstations [with all updates and patches installed] across 500adsl VPN connection to a Windows2000 server. They also use this set up to access specialist industry specific software which runs as fast as if they were local to the server.

However when they attempt to use Word2003 accessing files on the remote server the air turns blue. We have run some tests as follows:
1. For our main office with 10 users all Word2003 functionality - with their files also al saved on the server - is fine effectively instantaneous for all actions
2. For the remote site the following are typical timings:
a. Open their local copy of Word2003: instantaneous
b. Select open file [icon or file-open command] which opens their space on the remote server: 6 secs until list completed [typically contains about 30 to 50 smallish files]
c. Open a specific word document of 25k size (to the time regain mouse/cursor control): 12 secs
d. Close and save the file to moment regain cursor control: 40++ secs

Have asked our VPN provider to monitor traffic and they tell us there is no bottleneck issue, which the speed of the specialist software seems to confirm. We decided to allow the remote site to save word documents locally to a (currently) spare XP pro workstation and created a shared folder for them all to use there. If then redo the above tests the following results apply:
a. instantaneous opening Word2003 as would expect
b. Select open file and wait for directory file list: 3-4 secs
c. Open specific word file of about 25k size, to time regain cursor control: 3-4 secs
d. close and save the word file to this spare local PC shared directory: 3-4 secs

Whilst these speeds are not instantaneous they are a lot better than the times above across the VPN. My understanding however is that times should be no more than a few seconds for each action unless we had loads of files in a single directory or very large files being used which we do not.

All suggestions on actions we could take or things we could investigate to overcome this issue gratefully received.

One final point which may be relevant: we previously had old windows95 workstations using word97 throughout the organsisation, but with same newer server we have now and there was a speed issue with word at the remote site then. Our hardware supplier and associated VPN supplier both recommeneded we replace the ageing w95 PCs and at same time purchase word2003 in order to alleviate the speed problem...and this HAS been the case with the specialist industry software which was also much slower before - although never as slow as Word.

  VoG II 17:59 15 Aug 05

This contribution won't help you but I am bookmarking it as I have similar problems.

I communicate with a remote server via a SonicWall VPN connection. Transferring files between my local hard drive and the server is fast enough. But if I try to open a Word document directly from a remote shared drive 'nothing happens' and eventually I get Word Not Responding. If I copy a Word document from a remote shared drive to the local My Documents (which takes a few seconds), Word opens it 'instantly'.

I am using Word 2000 and Windows XP.

  VoG II 21:15 19 Aug 05


Doesn't anybody have any idea?

  keith-236785 21:57 19 Aug 05

has either of you tried with "real VNC"

it might just be an idea to try a different prog, our it staff use real VNC for the 60+ computers on our site to allow them to dial in and take controll, saves em coming out at 3 am on a sunday night (we run 24/7) so you can understand that one lol

as real VNC is free then you both have nothing to lose except a small amount of time setting it up. (which im sure won't tax either of you)

i cant really help anymore as my own experience is my home network of two pc's both on xp pro connected through a router to NTL broadband (and also networked for file and printer sharing)

good luck both.

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