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I have a home network setup with a desktop PC, two laptops and a ubuntu server desktop all connected to a router (DD-WRT). I want to setup the ubuntu server on a separate subdomain (security reasons: I have websites coming into the server) but I also want to have access to the backup drives that I've installed on the server. I know that I can setup a FTP server on Ubuntu, but I'm wondering if I'm going to lose the speed while transferring that way. Anybody know a solution I can use?

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+1 - Good question. I'm sure there's a way using domains and subnets in Windows but I can't quite enumerate it. Also, I'm glad to see you so active here. – JNK Sep 1 '10 at 17:30
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In my experience, it really depends on the build and configuration of the Linux server.

I have seen implementations/builds of Samba that have horrible performance and other builds where it appears to be faster than Windows to Windows.

FTP is probably the most straight forward solution to setup, however, Samba is much more feature rich.

For example, with Samba, you can map the drive, stream video and a lot more - it acts like a standard windows share where as without a third party add-on, FTP is very good for storing and retrieving files, but that is about it.

As for the other points, the router is irrelevant, I am not really sure that has anything to do with this setup and there is no need for different subdomains as you can always use IP or other security settings.

This was a bit complicated, if I have missed anything or you want me to clarify any points, please say!

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What security setting do you suggest? or should i post that as another question? – KronoS Sep 1 '10 at 17:34
@kronoS - depends what you want, both Samba and most FTP servers allow IP blocking, so if this is just for your internal network, you can limit the server programs to only allow connections from your internal network. – William Hilsum Sep 1 '10 at 17:55

FTP should be faster than SMB/CIFS (the protocol Samba implements) if you are just transferring complete files. SMB/CIFS implements a complete filesystem, and that's always going to have more overhead than just sending a bunch of bytes to the other side.

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My experience reflects this. FTP has been faster than SMB/CIFS in all cases I've tested. – Brian Knoblauch Sep 1 '10 at 17:52

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