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.

  • 3
    I suggest you get a bandwidth monitoring program, and measure it.
    – derobert
    Sep 19, 2009 at 17:24

4 Answers 4


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.


It depends on which version of RDP you are using and what settings you have. Take a look at this 2008 test report by Microsoft.

Table 11 and Chart 11 show the bandwidth consumption (in KBps) between a Remote Desktop Connection client and different server operating systems. The tests were conducted at 16-bit color depth with themes turned off.

enter image description here


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


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

  • RDP was developed by Citrix for Microsoft. Citrix products should have similar performance characteristics. Sep 19, 2009 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, 2010 at 15:20

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