I'm having trouble attempting to use Microsoft Outlook's synchronization features over modem-based remote access. The synchronization process is so slow that using Outlook effectively over my dial-up connection is almost impossible. I've reduced to a minimum the files that Outlook needs to synchronize and ensured that the remaining files are as small as possible. Do you know of a solution or an alternative approach?
I synchronize Outlook for offline use only rarely, such as before leaving to get on an airplane, and usually don't synchronize again unless I can access a broadband connection because Outlook's sync speeds over analog connections are too painfully slow for me. As a result, I've given myself over fully to Windows Terminal Services as a remote solution for using Outlook (and just about every other application).
I have a Bluetooth cell phone that can connect to my laptop wirelessly, so using Terminal Services to access Outlook is quite easy for me. I also have a T-Mobile account that I can use at just about any Starbucks coffee shop, so I can get broadband access to my terminal server (and my company's VPN) in many locations throughout the United States. And because AnalogX's TSDropCopy running on my laptop gives me file-copy-and-paste abilities, I can transfer files across this connection.
Microsoft has put a lot of work into Offline Files and synchronization features in Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Outlook. Although those features might work for some users, the features don't meet my need for instant email access and access to my Win2K Professional desktop applications and environment. Certainly, simpler ways than Terminal Services (e.g., Research In Motion's—RIM's—BlackBerry) exist to achieve instant email access, but I frequently need access to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel documents, so I need a solution that provides more than basic email capabilities. For situations such as mine, running Terminal Services over whichever connection I can get is an arrangement that works.