How to fix Vista's network bottlenecks

As much as I enjoy using Vista, I've definitely noticed that in some networking activities, it definitely seems to struggle. Particularly compared with Windows XP.

For the most part it's not a problem – I just assumed that Vista's beefy network stack was responsible, and made a mental note to fix it at some point. And then forgot.

But recently I encountered a really frustrating problem. Using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect from a Vista Enterprise machine to a Windows 2003 server, the performance was so woeful that I was starting to worry whether there was a problem with the server.

As it happens, my fears about the server were unfounded, but the thought that Vista's networking stack was to blame turned out to be correct. The Next Generation TCP/IP stack in Windows Vista supports something called Receive Window Auto-Tuning. This is nothing to do with the RDP "window" you see on the screen, but rather a TCP buffer which TCP/IP clients use to ensure smooth transmission.

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