Enable UDP for RDP Gateway Essentials 2012 R2

Logo1A question via twitter prompted me to remember that Essentials 2012 (and R2) supports the use of UDP transport, just like any other Remote Desktop Gateway.

One of the things i do on the systems i manage is install the tools for RDP Gateway as soon as i have finished with the OS install. Saves you having to go looking for it later, which you would do now as we are going to look at it.

It is easy to install the tools if you do not already have them, as i posted just the other day.

You can use a DISM command, or even PowerShell.

dism /online /Enable-Feature:Gateway-UI

Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-RDS-Gateway


Once you have this installed, you can open up the tool and have a look at the server properties.

On the Transport Settings tab you see we have two ports configured, HTTPS and UDP. There is a great post here on the awesome work that Microsoft did on optimization of RemoteFX and RDP using UDP. We are not looking at RemoteFX here, but if you had an RDS Session Host Server on your Essentials network, that may become relevant.


Before we go any further lets just take a look at our RDP connection quality, using our little status indicator in the top of an RDP window. (this may only be present if you have the latest RDP Client)


Clicking here we can see what RDP makes of our connection.


We may see an improvement here, over this wan link if we enable UDP. (Wan link tested was a 8mbps down, 512kbps up, Windows 8 2GB RAM)

So, if you are happy to leave it on the default port of 3391 all you need to is open up that port on your router, in addition to the other usual ports and when you connect into a Windows client that supports UDP you can view the toolbar at the top of the screen which gives an indication of connection quality, and should show you if you are using UDP.


If using UDP is still not boosting the performance for you, you may then want to go in and look at changing settings like Color depth or something like that, but hopefully this will give you a good starting point.

Whilst this is not ‘news’, it is something often forgotten and overlooked.

About Robert Pearman
Robert Pearman is a UK based Small Business Server enthusiast. He has been working within the SMB IT Industry for what feels like forever. Robert likes Piña colada and taking walks in the rain, on occasion he also enjoys writing about Small Business Technology like Windows Server Essentials or more recently writing PowerShell Scripts. If you're in trouble, and you can find him, maybe you can ask him a question.

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