Intro (pure, unadulterated delight at the performance characteristics of Winflector)
The Winflector software comes from OTC. The company has brought products such as Mediator and Terminal to the market, which while very niche, have a very potent characteristic – they are insanely frugal and run well on ancient computers. This experience has carried over to Winflector, making it probably the fastest and least resource intensive remote access software available on the market, requiring the very least bandwidth and maintaining acceptable responsiveness over high latency connections.
This is one of the reasons Winflector Expert got created. When we first saw the extreme crispness and speed over a connection that turned MS Terminal Services into a funny mosaic, we knew this product was legit. An empirical article giving a whole experimental setup for comparative analyses and the numbers is in the works.
The writer of this article, Chris, has a personal love for software that is lighting fast. Creation of such code is becoming a lost art, with the products getting more bloated and slower. Winflector is an application coded with the classic philosophy of extreme efficiency in mind. Enough with the praise though, let’s get practical.
When to optimize
Winflector on default config runs very well on modern connections. If you’re running it on local network with Ethernet links or some high quality Wi-Fi equipment, you don’t ever need to worry about this, it will be blazingly fast without any further configuration.
If, however, your connections are high-delay or low-bandwidth, such as:
- Satellite link (high bandwidth, but terrible delays)
- Dial-up modems (low bandwidth, moderate delays)
- Wireless networks, especially over phone networks (GPRS, EDGE, and so on)
- Any network experiencing loads at or close to its maximum capacity
You might want to improve your experience and squeeze out as much as you can out of your network setup. Of course, if you find your current configuration too laggy, jerky or slow, go ahead and follow this guide.
How to configure Winflector for optimum network performance
Everything is done on the client, and you can use command-line parameters for this.
Client > Transmission tab
- Compression – 6 is default. You can set it to 9 but it generally yields little improvement at a significant CPU load cost. If every byte counts, however, go ahead
Client > Options tab
Here we can get a lot of play, with powerful effects.
- Use 16-bit color depth – Reduces bandwidth requirement, but makes the more colorful apps look old-school.
- Cursor optimization – Updates cursor only periodically, reducing the amount of highlighting and so on. Reduces traffic on some applications A LOT, at a slight decrease of responsiveness perception.
- Dragging optimization – Faster window dragging for less network traffic. Again, might feel slightly less responsive.
Three important settings that are optimized for performance from the get go, but need to be inspected:
- Allow ClearType(TM) fonts [UNCHECKED] – The CT fonts cause huge bandwidth usage, and you almost never need them for remote work. It’s off by default.
- Optimize for drawing smoothness [UNCHECKED] – Increases update frequency for dynamic content, causes a large increase in network traffic. Off by default.
- Menus handling on server [UNCHECKED] – Processes the menus on the server instead of on the client. Causes both a decrease in responsiveness and increase in traffic. Off by default.
Client > Printers tab
- Printing via EMF – If your printouts work right with EMF, use it. It reduces loading significantly and is enabled by default.
That’s it. After applying these suggestions, Winflector will be good to go, even on the slower connections.
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