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Here is my setup :

I have a tiny atom based PC with a SATA PCI Card.
1TB WD Hard-disk.
It's running windows XP and simple file sharing
PC is connected to my router with RJ45 cable.
Router is TP-LINK model TL-WR841N.
My main desktop is connected to the router also with
a (very long) network cable.

File transfer speed it slowish, when I'm browsing pictures
on the file server its way too slow. (I work with high MegaPixel photos)

When I copy files I get around 9mb/s transfer.
Is this slow or as expected ?
What can I do to improve file read speeds ?

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closed as off topic by Warner, John Gardeniers, Jeff Atwood Oct 16 '10 at 3:49

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How long is the cable and what are the speeds of the NIC cards on your computer and NAS? –  DKNUCKLES Oct 14 '10 at 18:14
    
I really doubt that the length of the cable, assuming that both ends are terminated well, is an issue. But really long isn't a helpful description. CAT5 is good up to 100m. I doubt your cable is anywhere near that long. –  3dinfluence Oct 14 '10 at 18:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Looking at the specs for that router the LAN ports are only 100mbit. So yes 9MB/s is normal.

If you need faster access then you'll need to move to Gigbit. For Gigabit you'll need a Gigabit Switch and all computers that need Gigibit speeds will have to have a Gigabit NIC. You'll also need at least Cat 5E cables. But unless your cables are really old they are most likely Cat 5e.

At that point speeds should be a bit better but with a single hard drive I wouldn't expect more than 20-30MB/s. To go faster than that you'll need multiple drives in a RAID array or a SSD drive. Gigabit in theory will go 125MB/s but I would consider 80-100MB/s normal.

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Assuming both you an Shachar mean 9MBps, yes this is normal. If he's getting 9mb off a 100mb connection though, that's not exactly normal. –  Chris S Oct 14 '10 at 18:29
    
Thank you! So if I get this right: Get a Gigabit switch, connect desktop and fileserver to switch, connect switch to existing router (so they will have internet). Equip both with Gigabit network cards. IS this correct ? Can you recommend a good switch ? –  ShacharWeis Oct 14 '10 at 18:31
    
Any un-managed (desktop) gigabit switch should suffice. You should be able to pick up a decent one for $35 - $40 –  DKNUCKLES Oct 14 '10 at 18:38
    
@Chris S thanks I did mean 9MB. I've edited my answer to correct that. –  3dinfluence Oct 15 '10 at 14:05
    
Plus every decent motherboard of the last 5 years at least alrady has gbit ethernet - so you most likely do not neet gb ethernet cards. –  TomTom Oct 15 '10 at 14:12

Also, check your cable. Make sure it's a cat5 or cat6 cable. Older 10MB cables will work, but will transfer data pretty slow.

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The cable was actually made by my house owner, he has a spool and a cable-press-thingy to make network cables. How can I tell if it's a Cat5 or Cat6 ? Do I count the threads inside ? Thanks –  ShacharWeis Oct 15 '10 at 12:58
    
Make sure they used all 8 wires, and while your colors may vary, make sure the pin-to-pin connections match either A or B on this diagram: pcmobilehelp.com/support/cat5WiringDiagram.htm (see how orange is split between pins 3 & 7) –  Pete Shack Oct 15 '10 at 13:22
    
Somewhere on the sheathing should be an indication to the wire specs. The number of wires uses and pin outs aren't really going to help you determine it. The spec has more to do with the number of twists per foot and shielding involved. Worst case if you can't find any marking on the cable juts give it a shot. Once you get a GigE switch and you verify that your computer has a GigE NIC keep an eye on what speed it connects at and keep an eye out for a high transmit or receive error rates. –  3dinfluence Oct 15 '10 at 14:03

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