We implement an InGaAs/InP single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) for single-photon detection with the fastest gating frequency reported so far, of 2.23GHz, which approaches the limit given by the bandwidth of the SPAD - 2.5 GHz. We propose a useful way to characterize the afterpulsing distribution for rapid gating that allows for easy comparison with conventional gating regimes. We compare the performance of this rapid gating scheme with free-running detector and superconducting single-photon detector (SSPD) for the coherent one-way quantum key distribution (QKD) protocol. The rapid gating system is well suited for both high-rate and long-distance QKD applications, in which Mbps key rates can be achieved for distances less than 40km with 50 ns deadtime and the maximum distance is limited to ~190km with 5 μs deadtime. These results illustrate that the afterpulsing is no longer a limiting factor for QKD.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.