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I am wondering how much bandwidth in terms of bytes sent/received is consumed by a typical remote desktop session. I need to know this because our ISP enforces a cap on monthly bandwidth usage (i.e. the total amount data in GB that can sent or received in a month). So just wondering like how much KBs or MBs are transferred per hour in an average RDP session.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 19 '09 at 15:03

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I suggest you get a bandwidth monitoring program, and measure it. –  derobert Sep 19 '09 at 17:24

4 Answers 4

up vote 18 down vote accepted

With the recent advancements to the Task Manager, incorporating Resource Monitor, you can easily see the bandwidth usage from Terminal Services.

In short, it all depends on the settings you have used and what you're doing in the remote session. More actions require more repaints. Below are two shots I've taken while in an RDP session to a Windows 2008 R2 server.

The first screenshot, only Resource Monitor open (~3.6KBps):

enter image description here

The second, a YouTube video streaming (~951KBps):

enter image description here

Hourly bandwidth consumption at rates like these can vary from ~12M to 3.4G+. Unless you are watching video over RDP, the higher end of the ladder is highly unlikely. For normal activity at 1024x768 resolution with standard settings I'd estimate about ~25M per hour.

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Thanks. I mostly do text editing and server configuration through RDP. YouTube is a no-no! –  Salman A Jul 7 '11 at 6:27
    
You're most welcome :) –  John T Jul 7 '11 at 13:35

RDP uses around 80kbps (or more if printing or sound is included)

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Depending on your settings (color-depth, etc...) anywhere between 2-10 Kbps. RDP is actually quite efficient.

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RDP was developed by Citrix for Microsoft. Citrix products should have similar performance characteristics. –  Ryan Michela Sep 19 '09 at 4:19
    
MS originally licensed the RDP technology from Citrix back in the Windows 2000 days, but both companies have been expanding and improving it on their own. I'm not sure how much "cross-pollination" exists between the two, but my understanding of the situation is that Citrix is measurably more efficient than RDP. –  afrazier Apr 27 '10 at 15:20

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