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83 posts

Master Geek


# 177840 15-Aug-2015 22:20
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I have some questions, mainly based around a need for accessing additional file storage available on my home network, accessible from multiple computers.

Current home network setup is:

> a Vodafone Station (SHG1500) router, ADSL2+. Current internet status (are these specific to internet, or include home network wifi?):

 

 

Downlink speed 15.16 MBit/s

 

Uplink speed 0.63 MBit/s

 

 
> Samsung Ultrabook, running Win10, about 10 metres from router, accessed by in-built Wifi adapter. Great machine but very limited disk space on SSD, hence need for external/network options.

 

 

> Desktop PC, a few years old (AMD Dual Core; USB 2.0 only, not 3.0), running Win10, connected to router by plug-in D-Link Wireless USB adapter as I don't have a network cable that will reach the router (12 metres cable required, although only about 5 metres away). D-Link wireless adapter is 2.4ghz only. PC has a recent SSD internal.

> External Hard Drive: Western Digital 1TB 'Elements' connected to Desktop via USB2.0. A few years old (I think it's this : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002QEBMB4/ref=twister_B002YK5OX2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 )

> Additional: Chromecast connected to non-smart HDTV, smartphones (LG G3 & Samsung S3)

> Other: house is large single storey with double brick internal walls. Both Desktop & Ultrabook have a couple of walls between them and router.



General network performance: Internet via Wifi from all devices is decent - occasional drop-outs etc, but nothing too major.


I've just bought a fancy new camera, so transferring a lot of jpeg files (avg 8MB each) via USB 2.0 to the External HDD on the Desktop PC. I want to be able to access, and edit etc, these photos from the Ultrabook, via the Windows Homegroup. However, this is practically impossible as transferring or opening each image takes ages (i.e. can take minutes).

I know that accessing files like this over Wifi is never going to offer great performance, however i'm also certain it shouldn't be this bad. I'm trying to establish if there's a bottleneck, but it seems to be a network issue.

Accessing images etc that are on the Desktop's SSD while using the Ultrabook is slightly quicker than accessing images on the External HDD, but still too slow.

Initially I had the External HDD connected directly via USB to the Vodafone Station - however that was actually even slower still to access.


I guess after all that - my main question is that if I connect my Desktop to the Station router via Ethernet cable, would you expect quicker file access from the wifi Ultrabook than if they were both connected via wifi?

Sorry for not being more concise but I'm exhausted from trying to ascertain what I can do to improve this - any feedback, ideas, etc are greatly appreciated  - thanks.

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Uber Geek

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  # 1367209 15-Aug-2015 22:38
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You are ideally wanting some kind of storage device connected by ethernet to the Vodafone Station (the router). I would relegate the current USB2.0 external hdd to be a backup drive, and buy something like a WD MyCloud, connected directly to the router and use that to save your media files to.  If you have more requirements in the future you can replace or expand this solution with a 'proper' NAS such as Synology DiskStation.

In my house, transferring a large-ish file wirelessly between two PCs that are both on wifi-n can be fairly slow, but transferring wirelessly from the MyCloud is pretty seamless.  So yes, for your main question it would be much quicker to access from ultrabook if you could connect the desktop to the router via ethernet.

The performance when attaching the external HDD to the router via the USB option has never been good in my experience.

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Biddle Corp
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  # 1367264 16-Aug-2015 08:32
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Wireless is a half duplex medium. If you're transferring files from one device to another over WiFi it's maxing out the upload on one device and download on another. There is nothing wrong, it's merely WiFi working as designed. Ethernet on the other hand is full duplex.

WiFi is a complementary offering to cabled Ethernet, it is not a replacement.



 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 1367269 16-Aug-2015 09:10
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jonb: You are ideally wanting some kind of storage device connected by ethernet to the Vodafone Station (the router). I would relegate the current USB2.0 external hdd to be a backup drive, and buy something like a WD MyCloud, connected directly to the router and use that to save your media files to.  If you have more requirements in the future you can replace or expand this solution with a 'proper' NAS such as Synology DiskStation.


Agree with this, but I would probably go for the more sophisticated NAS straight away- the base models are fairly affordable. I use an older model Synology Diskstation in this setup, which is reasonably quick to access over wifi for looking at photos etc.  Ethernet is obviously a lot faster, but I would generally only bother plugging the laptop into the network for large tasks, for example if I needed to restore a full backup. 



83 posts

Master Geek


  # 1368998 19-Aug-2015 07:49
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Great feedback from you all, thank you very much.

 

 

 

I've decided, as an interim solution, to relegate the USB2.0 Ext HDD to a genuine backup drive on my desktop PC. I've been meaning to have a proper backup for ages so glad I've finally done that.

 

Instead, I've managed to delete 300GB of crud (old versions of Windows, programs/games I haven't used in years, etc) off the HDD in my desktop. And it's solely going to be a storage drive for photos, videos, music etc. It seems a bit quicker to access these files this way from my Ultrabook over the wifi network. Meanwhile, the SSD on my desktop retains Win10 and any critical programs.

Backup software will backup all photos and documents etc regularly to the external drive.


 

sBiddle, I think you're suggesting that if I connected my Desktop to my router via ethernet cat5 cable, and the ultrabook remained on wifi, that I should still see an improvement in home network speeds because they won't be competing over wireless?

 


Froob, a proper NAS would be the ultimate however probably going to be more a mid-term solution. I'll see how my new setup goes first.

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