Why is ICA that much faster than RDP ? What is the technological differences between the two?

Questions by smriti0001

Showing Answers 1 - 11 of 11 Answers

Syed Nazar

  • Nov 19th, 2009

ICA also has several features that RDP just doesn't support yet. ICA enables application publishing -- where the application is on one server but is available across the cluster -- session shadowing, anonymous users, audio support, and drive, printer and port mapping ICA is also built into Internet Explorer and is available as a free plug-in for Netscape. RDP doesn't permit applications to run in a browser


  • Jan 23rd, 2010

ICA is a protocol developed by Citrix.
RDP is developed by Microsoft.

Each performs the same virtualization channels to the end user clients.

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  • Oct 11th, 2011

ICA worksat low bandwidth but RDP doesn't work at low bandwidth
Encryption is possible in ICA,it is not present in RDP
Keybord and mouse inputs will be present in ICA
Session Reliability will be there in ICA,it is not in the RDP

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  • Oct 12th, 2011

1. RDP works only under TCP/IP, while ICA works on many protocols.
2. RDP doesn't permit applications to run in a browser, while works for ICA
3. Session Reliability will be there in ICA,it is not in the RDP
4. Encryption is possible in ICA,it is not present in RDP
5. ICA also supports non windows like DOS, UNIX, MACOS, mobiles

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  • Oct 20th, 2011


ICA- Independent Computing Architecture (Citrix Protocol) 1494
RDP- Remort Desktop Protocol (Microsoft protocol) 3389

RDP supprots only desktop or server console.
ICA supprots published applicaion, Desktop, Content, and it will work under 10kb- 20kb

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  • Aug 8th, 2012

ICA is a citrix communication protocol used to exchange data in a server
environment. RDP is a windows terminal service protocol. ICA works on even
low bandwidth connection at a minimum of 14.4kbps. ICA is much faster than
RDP. RDP works only with TCP/IP protocol but ICA works with TCP/IP,IPX/
SPX ,Netbeui etc.


  • Jul 26th, 2013

RDP: transfer complete frame and bandwidth depends on screen resolution,

ICA: create virtual channels(video,audio,print,keyboard& mouse updates) and transfers only screen updates
and bandwidth will less as keyboard and mouse click will be 10-15% of frame

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  • Sep 11th, 2015

ICA uses channeling technique in its ICA protocol. That is, it has a different bandwidth for every different variety of data. Receiver has the same number of channels as the sender has and on each channel the data is sent by TCP. Hence is faster as data sent is distributed into its own classification. Can form over 32 channels per session differentiating the data being sent in it.

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  • Oct 11th, 2015

ICA is lighter than RDP as only mouse movements and keystrokes are sent to server. RDP on the other hand moves the complete screen to the client machine.

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A Dey

  • Jul 24th, 2017

Diff 1: RDP uses port 3389 and XenApp-ICA protocol uses Port 1494.
Diff 2: RDP was developed by Microsoft and ICA is a Citrix Proprietary protocol.
Diff 3:RDP works on TCP/IP protocol exclusively, whereas Citrix ICA works with many other protocols such as TCP/IP, UDP etc.
Diff 4: RDP doesn’t allow advanced encryption, whereas Citrix ICA allows multi-level or infact multiple encryption techniques, this makes ICA superior than RDP and to make it perform better over low bandwidth connection with more security.

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