Today serveral applicaions exist that allow you to access your computer remotely, and all of them perform very well on LAN. However the performacne drops as you try to work on internet with limited bandwidth.
There are traditional applications like VNC and RDP that need port forwarding and dyndns setup, and there are services like logmein and teamviewer which only need a simple login.
With a windows XP as server ( yes I still run XP, and see no reason to upgrade yet), and a client running on Ubuntu, with internet connections of 8MBPs and 1MBPs, I set out in search of a remote access program that offers the best performance.
With Ubuntu on client side, my first obvious choice was to go with VNC. The Installation on VNC was very easy on windows and there is native support in Ubuntu. However VNC was very slow.
Then I considered logmein, but the lack of an Ubuntu client kept me from trying it. Teamviewer has a Ubuntu client and it’s very easy to use since there is no portforwarding required. It’s Considerably faster than VNC, but not fast enough when scrolling and precision is required. I tried the Free version, but I doubt the paid version would be any faster.
Wanting to go even faster, I tried RDP. On the server side, I only had to enable remote access on WinXP. This was really Fast compared to VNC and Teamviewer. In Free Solutions, RDP is the fastest.
Knowing that performance could still be improved ( remember citrix that could work on 56k dialup) , I tried Radmin. There is no free version, but they had a 30 Days evaluation. There is no client for ubuntu but it was no problem with WINE . Perforamnce wise RADMIN is blazingly fast. in Full screen mode, the experience was similar to a local terminal in 4 bit color. As I increased the color depth the performance dropped a bit which is natural, but for me 4 bit was enough as I wanted the fastest speed possible.
Verdict : RADMIN offers the fastest remote access in Paid solutions ( Single user is US$ 49). While teamviewere and logmein are good solutions for those who don’t want to mess around with port forwarding and dynamic DNS, the improvement in speed while using RDP or RADMIN are worth the trouble.
I still have 6 days left on RADMIN trial. Once it expires, I will have to spend US$ 49 to keep it, but that’s worth the investement, considering the productivity gain with its speed.