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Parallels Mobile: Solving slow or unstable connection problems

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac

Symptoms

When using Parallels Mobile app to connect from my mobile device to my Mac or VM, the connection is slow and sometimes even disappears.

Cause

The following factors may affect connection quality for both mobile device and remote Mac:
  • The Wi-Fi or 3G signal strength: if a network's signal is weak it may result in an increased number of retransmits required to deliver a portion of data. Seek a place with a good signal strength. If possible, use ethernet cable to connect your Mac to the network;
  • The network bandwidth: some network providers may set limits for incoming or outgoing network speed; you may experience low network bandwidth in such public areas as railway stations, airports, restaurant, hotels, etc. Limited bandwidth for incoming connection affects the mobile device the most, whereas the outgoing bandwidth limits affects the Mac with PD running on it;
  • The current network workload in a specific network segment: the more data are transferred in the current network segment, or the more devices that are connected to the network, the lower transmission speed may be. This is especially relevant for WiFi networks;
  • Mobile device's or remote Mac's networking subsystem workload:  you may experience low networking performance if your mobile device or/and your remote Mac is performing a heavy network activity in background (such as downloading files, or streaming online video); 
  • Remote Mac's performance: any heavy job running on your Mac (gaming, playing video, database indexing, etc.) may result in low system performance, that may result in reducing the data transmittion speed;
  • Screen resolution set inside VM/host: the higher resolution is set inside VM or on the host, the more details the image has, and thus the more data must be transferred from the VM or the host to the mobile device;

Troubleshooting

  • Check the connection speed in the network segments your mobile device and your Mac are connected to. You may use the Speed Test utility for the mobile device, which is available in the App Store for free; To check the network bandwidth on your Mac please use this on-line solution;
  • Check the network connection quality. On the Mac use a ping command in Terminal. On the mobile device use the Network Ping Lite utility, which is available for free in the App Store. Ping one of the public web servers, such as www.google.com. Pings must be transmitted within acceptable time frames, without package losses.

Resolution

In case you experience delayed data delivery to your mobile device or broken connections, please try the following:
  • Use an ethernet cable to connect your remote Mac to the network, if possible;
  • Choose a place with a strong network signal if you're using your mobile device out of the home or office;
  • Avoid usage the Parallels Mobile in public places where providers may set limits for networking connection's speed;
  • Report bad network quality to your network admin if you discovered package delays or losses using ping from your mobile device or/and Mac (see Troubleshooting section above);
  • If you're on a 3G network or on a low speed Wi-Fi, reduce the Image quality (use the Image Quality slider inside the VM screen dialog). Try to set the reduced quality black & white Image (the leftmost position of the slider);
  • Avoid heavy networking duty (such as playing video, streaming online content or downloading/uploading files ) in background on your Mac or/and moble when using the Parallels Mobile app;
  • Shut down unnecessary resource-consuming applications on your Mac or VM.

In case you experience delayed data delivery, but the connection does not break, please try these steps:
  • Reduce the screen resolution inside VM or the host. Turn off the Aero theme in a Windows VM;
  • Try to reduce the VM/host image quality using the Image Quality slider inside the VM/host screen dialog;
  • If possible try to enable direct connection to your Mac's IP. To do so, you will need to allow access to your Mac's IP on port 64000 through the firewall/NAT; ask your network administrator for assistance. On the PD side you must have the option "Connect Parallels Mobile directly to my Mac" set to ON in the Parallels Desktop > Preferences > Menu dialog. Although enabling direct access to your Mac is not mandatory, you may achieve much better transmission speed due to a reduced number of hops the data should pass to reach your mobile device.
Note: Access to Mac via Parallels Mobile application is possible only for Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac users.



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