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Very slow transfer speeds across LAN using ethernet over power

Discussion in 'Networking' started by dannyyoung, Oct 6, 2010.

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  1. dannyyoung

    dannyyoung Thread Starter

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    Hi everyone

    I've just upgraded my hard drive to 1TB, and am now in the process of copying my iTunes library from my NAS to my local disk (the whole purpose of me upgrading the drive was to do this, as iTunes performs very slowly over the LAN).

    My router is downstairs at home, linked to the PC in question upstairs using Netgear Ethernet over Power adapters. I have just started the transfer of around 65GB but I am only getting transfer speeds of 137KB per second - which is going to take an absolute age! Surely the transfer speed should be faster than this, the Netgear units support speeds of 85MB as I understand it.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can check and improve the connection speed here, or increase the transfer rate for this specific project?

    EDIT: I am wondering if it would be quicker to use a USB wireless dongle and try that connection? How can I definitively test one against the other to see which is fastest?

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to power-line networking. :D

    Wireless will be slow, but not that slow!

    Truthfully, I'd be seriously considering carrying the NAS and/or computer to a wired connection to the router and transferring all the data. Wireless will take a LOOOOONG time, just not as long as those power=line adapters are taking. :)
     
  3. dannyyoung

    dannyyoung Thread Starter

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    Thanks JohnWill, it may be the only way to get this resolved, it's been transferring for about 12 hours now and only about 5% done!

    Are there any tools that I can run to check the speed, to see if I make any changes and improve things (like trying different sockets etc). I guess a tool or simple process that will check the speed of the connection between the router and the pc?
     
  4. dannyyoung

    dannyyoung Thread Starter

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    Well stupidly I had the power line adapter downstairs plugged into a power strip, so put it straight in the wall and got up to 500KB transfer speed - an improvement. Then I realized this will still take around 2 days to transfer all the data, so I moved the PC downstairs next to the router and cabled it up, and now I have speeds of 7.6MB and it will be done in a couple of hours. Here's a question though - why am I not getting LAN speeds of 100MB?
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    This is pretty typical for power line networking. Although they claim high speeds, that's under ideal conditions, and the conditions on a typical electrical connection are never ideal. :D

    I have two different sets of these that occupy the "junk" shelf in my closet from my failed experiments with them. I wired the whole house at considerably effort to solve that issue. :)
     
  6. hiperboreus

    hiperboreus

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  7. Masta Squidge

    Masta Squidge

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    Do you have gigabit ethernet? Or just 10/100. 100 megaBIT is 12.5 megaBYTES. Often you will not see 100% of this speed on your network, unless you have optimal hardware and configurations. I noticed that with my wireless router, which is 10/100, I only get transfer speeds of about 8 MB/s. Which is partly due to there being 50 feet of ethernet between each computer and the router.

    If you however have gigabit ethernet, the speed translates to 125 megaBYTES per second. Which is much, much faster.

    Also note that even though some devices are labled as gigabit ethernet, they still dont support the full bandwidth. I was looking at routers one day and ran across a belkin model that claimed gigabit speeds, but with an asterisk noted that actual max speed was 85 MB/s.. rather than 125 like a true gigabit lan.

    I purchased a netgear model that claimed full bandwidth. My actual transfer speed between my PC and my PS3 was over 100 MB/s. Of course the cable is only 2 feet long, but that does nothing but help that case.

    I was notably impressed to say the least, when 140 MB of music took under two seconds to transfer.
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Masta Squidge, this has nothing to do with the speed of his NIC's, it's the power-line network adapters that are the bottleneck.
     
  9. Masta Squidge

    Masta Squidge

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    @John.

    This is quite clearly referring to his speeds after he connected them via ethernet. As he stated prior to this that he has done so and is seeing speeds of 7.6 MB/s. Which is in line with 100 Mb ethernet.

    I was answering his second question, not the one in the original post.

    Some people get confused over the 10/100/1000 numbers and wonder why they are only seeing a "fraction of the claimed speed".

    I usually just tell less tech savvy people that the actual speeds are "one number lower than the fastest one because the hardware is not all matching" rather than explaining the entire thing. Most of the time they don't understand it, or get mad that the box is "lying to them" lol. That usally falls in line too. gigabit ethernet runs at "100" (ish) MB/s. 100 Mb runs at "10" (ish) MB/s. Give or take. It works well on the older generation. You know, the ones who cant work a VCR. And it isnt really lying since they ARE getting the claimed speeds.

    Since this happens so often, this is why I brought it up.
     
  10. dannyyoung

    dannyyoung Thread Starter

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    Thanks both of you. I wasn't aware of the numbers around 100MB Ethernet, but I guess my transfer rate when the pc is cabled to the router are about right then. I am not using gigabit ethernet at home. I guess the real pain is the powerline network - 500kbps transfer rates are ok, but I want to use the pc upstairs as a media centre pc with my xbox downstairs, and was planning to use the powerline network for that, but I don't think that will work. Anyway the data transfer is now done and the pc is back up in my studio.

    I guess the other option would be to physically cable this but I don't want cable trailing all around the house...

    Another point is that I want to backup from the upstairs studio pc to the NAS box, which again would be going over the powerline as things are currently set up... I guess that is going to take forever as well?
     
  11. Masta Squidge

    Masta Squidge

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    Danny, you can purchase an inexpensive gigabit ethernet switch, and if you have any experience poking holes in your floor you can very easily wire your whole house for gigabit ethernet.

    I live with my uncle, and as such it is a rather crowded household. 4 bedrooms, each requiring internet. Initially we bought a cheap wireless router for using my netbook and whatnot. Then once more computers made their way into the house they needed to hook them up and wireless was not the "cheap" way to do it.

    I then ran a cable in the basement to each bedroom. Tucked up into the ceiling the wires are all neatly fastened in place and run to a small 4 jack panel in the wall where the router is located. 4 short patch cables later and each room has a cat 5e jack connected to a 4 port router.

    This is all well and good but I do far more PC work than they do, and have a ton of music and movies and whatnot. Recently I bought a gigabit switch. I could very easily replace the router with the switch, as our modem functions as a 2 port router to begin with.

    Anyways the point is that gigabit and wiring your house are probably just as inexpensive as the EoP setup you purchased.

    500 feet of cat 5e cable can be had from a local networking company at cost if you make nice with them. Jacks are also not very expensive, and if you get the right kind all you need is a pair of pliers to snap the plastic covers over the wires.
     
  12. dannyyoung

    dannyyoung Thread Starter

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    This sounds interesting, although we rent our property and I guess I would need to ask permission before lifting up floorboards and running cable.

    My router is a 4-port Belkin N300, it cost around £40, if I replaced it with GB what router could I look at? Also I guess all the other pc's and laptops would need GB cards too?
     
  13. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    In a rental property, I doubt it's practical to start running cable all over the place, and I SURE wouldn't do it without permission from the owner! To do the job right is going to take some effort.

    I have run cable to most of the rooms in my house after the fact, but I own the house, and I have direct access to the attic and basement over or under all the rooms. All my wiring is properly concealed within the walls.

    With a good 802.11n connection, you can transfer files at 6-7mbytes/sec, though it can easily fall to half that if the connection isn't 5x5. I have gigabit all around and three wireless routers to cover the whole house, that's about 5000 sq/ft on three floors.
     
  14. Masta Squidge

    Masta Squidge

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    if you do not already have gigabit ethernet in your computers this would be rather expensive anyways.

    But then again if your computers are not compatible with wireless N it would be very expensive also. Assuming you can centralize the terminations into a small closet or something, many property owners would be happy to have this upgrade. Something like this can add a few thousand dollars to the value of the property, and allow them to charge slightly more for following tenants.

    As he said though, to do it right takes some work.
     
  15. dannyyoung

    dannyyoung Thread Starter

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    I have another question, which could solve this problem. I have my wireless router plugged in downstairs to the main telephone socket. I need fast connectivity in my studio upstairs, where there is a second telephone socket (for the same line). Could I plug a second router into that socket to service the studio only, having both routers running at the same time?

    If not, would it be feasible to have a second router installed upstairs in the studio, and power off the downstairs router when I need connectivity in the studio (i.e. using only the studio router)?
     
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