InDesign running slow over VPN

Community Beginner ,
Jun 02, 2020

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Hello everyone,

 

We are a team of 12 graphic designers that all have the same problem. We are using InDesign to build files and we have links on a server reached using a VPN. We get major slowdowns when the VPN is connected and none when it isn't. The problem is that we have to use it, no choice there. 

 

Anyone else have the same problem? Any workaround?

 

Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 02, 2020

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There are so many factors involved, it's hard to pinpoint where the problems lies.

Make sure the designers are not in high-res view mode or in overprint preview.

If the designers are working from home, their internet speed could be a bottleneck.

If they are working wirelessly, that's a LOT slower than being hard-wired into the router.

As more people in the neighborhood go online, speeds often decrease. 

The server speed could be slow, especially with the VPN.

The server's internect connection might not be able to handle all the requests. 

 

Have you considered using low-res versions of the files, and using InDesign's Links folder to switch to the high-res images near the end of the job?

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 02, 2020

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The team is working in 'Typical' image view.

Internet isn't much of an issue. Most have good internet connections, for example, i have a 450/50 connection on speedtests.

Server is top notch too, running at 20% capacity (data transfer wise).

Weird thing is that even if we do a package and work from the desktop, the slow transfer is still felt. That is what bugs me the most. When we do quit the VPN, stuff comes back to normal.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 03, 2020

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Does the slowdown happen with any other software programs (Photoshop, Office, etc.)?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2020

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the internet connection is an issue. reason is that you do not have the same internet speed when you are on the VPN and your VPN connection drops and comesback without you knowing. With cisco ( what i use to get on the VPN) give me notices when my connection drops and comes back.

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New Here ,
Jun 02, 2020

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I'm having a similar problem that I'm trying to troubleshoot. I'm running ID 2020 and Mac OS 10.15.5. For me, the issue starts as soon a I try to open a file. With the VPN activated, opening a local file will invoke the beach ball for about 40 seconds. The document even be blank so it's not that it's looking to link up to files that are on the server. Opening and closing files will invoke the beachball while the VPN is on. 

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 02, 2020

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I have 2 options of VPN to connect to my work servers. One is a utility specific for the NAS to connected directly. The second is a Cisco utility to connect through the firewall. The performance of access including working with Indesign files through either solution is about 50-60% compared to local performance. IMO, this is the expected performance of VPN.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 03, 2020

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This is admittedly a long shot, but try adding your VPN to the Spotlight list of locations to not search (for Macs).

System preferences> Spotlight> Privacy> Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations> +

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 03, 2020

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I think that what is happening may very well be what can be expected when using a company sanctioned VPN. I found this out the hard way. When the current world situation first necessitated working exclusively from home with my own iMac I at first installed a VPN and logged in with the correct company credentials. At this point I did not notice any reduction in speed. After a few weeks, however, my company noticed me on the network and told me that they would have to do a proper company sanctioned install. Once they did this (remotely) I found that I began having the same problems that you are describing. It was awful! Apparently the VPN used by companies also involves installing security protocols which are constanlty running in the background and certainly conflict with running programs like InDesign in any kind of efficient manner. In my case, though, I actually only need the VPN to register time spent doing jobs. Our files are all stored on a web based server that doesn't need the VPN. So, in the morning after booting the computer I simply quit the VPN program altogether and then only launch it at the end of the day to record my time. Full InDesign speed restored! I realize that quitting and relaunching the VPN program altogether (it doesn't seem to be enough to just not connect to it) many times a day in your case may not be an ideal solution for you but it may be the best way to handle it.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 13, 2020

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Hi there, 

 

I hope your issue has been resolved. But if the issue still persists, please let us know so that we can assist you.

 

If any of the above-mentioned solutions have worked for you, kindly mark the answer correct. 

 

Regards,

Sheena

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New Here ,
Jul 21, 2020

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Hi,

I'm just searching about a similar problem involving Indesign 2020 on a Mac and VPN. Our team aren't attempting to work through the VPN connection to the server. We are packaging the files and linking each other to these packages. We then copy off the packages to our local hard drives and work from them there. But what happens is that when you open the Indesign file it is still trying to link everything back to the server through the VPN connection which is obviously very slow. So even though you have the full package locally it isn't linking locally. What I have found is that you have to disconnect the mounted server (not neccessarily the VPN) and then open the file, forcing Indesign to link the files locally. What I would like to know is there any way to force Indesign to do this automatically without breaking the connection?

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Max

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2020

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There are complexities to be found when you're using VPNs to connect to remote locations, whether they're your hardware servers you're connecting to or you're accessing cloud storage. The tunneling/anonymizing/cloaking which provides additional security working with a VPN complicates the "handshake" between your local system and the files that are linked to it remotely. That's no small issue when InDesign is essentially the hopper you pour all these disparate linked elements into for creating polished layout files.

 

You've come across the right steps, but you've tripped over the stumbling block of linked files placed within InDesign documents. By default InDesign moves to link placed files before it even opens a document or template file. InDesign searches for those files in two locations, in order:

 

1. The absolute network address where each file was when it was originally placed in the InDesign document/template file, then ...

2. The relative address of those files within the (package) folder containing the InDesign document you're opening.

 

Location 2 isn't checked until Location 1 links cannot be resolved. Which, of course, becomes more complex when there are obstacles (your VPN) to overcome before you can access the relevant Location 1 for each placed file in the document. If there's a way, eventually, to get to various Location 1(s — the more network locations that have to be found for the linked elements, the more time it'll take for those absolute addresses to be resolved) file location(s), InDesign will chug along until it can connect through those network address(es).

 

Your solution is the best one — download the entire package, disconnect from Location 1, then relink to the files at relative addresses within the (package) folder that's Location 2. It's generally faster than waiting for InDesign to tunnel through the VPN to Location 1, and the more complex the file, the more pronounced the difference will be. Not the best workaround, but the most effective one. And maybe the most efficient one as well.

 

There may be things your network folks can do to reduce the bottleneck, but as long as you're working through VPNs, you can't remove them. Your workflow is about as good as it gets.

 

Randy

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New Here ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Sheena,

I have built training modules using the publish online feature with InDesign 2020. The training needed to be quick and accessible during COVID so I thought this was a good solution. It has been except when people can't access it. The training modules hosted on the Adobe server are now unavailable to everyone in the company. The only way to access it is to disable VPN. As I have links to our internal servers, this is not going to work.

 

This happened on another occasion and I spent the day trying to figure it out before it resolved itself. I don't know if the problem is the Adobe host site, our Cisco VPN, or something else. Please help!

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