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I have netdisk (WD My Book World), and I noticed that copying occurs very slowly when I am connected to my Asus DSL-N11 modem/router through WiFi, only 1,6 mbps. When connected by wire, speed reaches 10 mbps. What can be wrong?

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4 Answers

A quick google search brought up a number of people with similar complaints. Here's a thread from THG where one person even posts a response (purportedly) from a WD rep:

Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support.

Our internal testing and what we've seen from other customers show that the MyBook World's will transfer speed is 24-40Mbps (3-5 MBps) on a local network. The drive does not move data quicker because that is the maximum throughput that the enclosure's CPU can handle.

Sincerely, Jeremy H. Western Digital Service and Support

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There could be many factors. The first thing I would check is the WiFi access point's settings and check if the transmission rate is limited to something low (3-4 mbps). If it is, those speeds minus the wireless overhead would add up correctly. Also take into account other people on the network.

One tool you may want to play around with is iperf. See what type of statistics you get running it in different circumstances. I guarantee your netdisk is not directly related.

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Are the speeds it is getting over WiFi slower than the speeds any of your other devices get? If you have a laptop with wireless, put it in the same location as your netdisk and see if it gets any better transfer speeds. I would suspect that there is something about where you have the device that is causing poor performance. It could be interference from another device (microwave oven, cell phones, neighbor's wireless router, cordless phone, etc.), it could be due to the architecture (material or design of the walls), or any of a variety of factors. Have you configured your WiFi to operate on the channel that will give you optimum performance given the neighboring access points' channels? All of these are factors which can affect performance.

In the end, I would say that if it's as easy or even almost as easy to just use the wired connection, you will get much more consistent performance WiFi is very variable, whereas with a wired connection you should always be getting pretty consistent speeds. For a storage device, a wired connection is definitely preferable.

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Check the MTU size you get on wired versus wireless.

ipconfig /all from the command prompt.

You're probably only getting little packets over wireless.

And the latency is higher.

Both smaller MTU and more latency will cause a CIFS/SMB (Windows) file share to run notably slower.

You might be able to turn on bigger MTU on the wireless link if you go digging.

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