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Is there a way to have responsive file system access over a network? My internet connection is 50Mb downloads/5Mb uploads, my server connection is 1Gb symmetrical. Ping to server is 50ms on average.

I have been using sshfs for a long time (using ExpanDrive as a client on Windows) and to be honest I am quite tired of it. After about 5 minutes of no activity if I want to access the remote dir everything stops for a bit, sometimes i have to wait for about two minutes. Also, browsing directories or opening a file is really slow. I don't think it is a connection issue or slow computing (both computers have an i7 and >16GB RAM).

So my question is:

  1. Am I missing something? Is there any better way to access remote drives without lags like that?
  2. Is my sshfs not configured correctly?

Quite often when I don't have access to my PC and I need to change something in the projects, I can just install ExpanDrive or Dokan or when I am on Linux just mount sshfs and I am set - don't need to install the whole dev environment, but these terrible lags put me off and I can't find a solution to that.

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You can use Hamachi to create a secure VPN between your server and client machine. From here you can browse the server's shared resources as if it were in your own network. – kobaltz Oct 29 '11 at 0:29
I have instaled Hamachi and created a network. It seems like it is working much better hmm... i'll let you know after few days. Thanks for hint - anyways i haven't heard of it and it sounds like a great idea. – pablox Oct 29 '11 at 1:40
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think the problem is sshfs (or using a remote terminal protocol like SSH as a file access protocol) where every file access needs to be simulated using shell commands which is extrememly inefficient.

You should be able to get much better performance with proper filing protocols like NFS or CIFS. Remember to use a VPN like kobaltz suggested because these filing protocols aren't very secure.

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If i create another VPS server and install FreeNAS on it with NFS share for the server i work on (local) and CIFS for WAN, will it improve ? Few days ago i have created a NFS share a mounted it on my PC (Win 7) and it doesn't lag when you click on the drive, but overall speed is terrible. – pablox Oct 29 '11 at 1:43
If you involve a third host in the process, the whole system may be even slower. If the VPN solution is working, you should try VPN + NFS and see if you get a better response. – Oct 29 '11 at 21:03

Have you tried just using an SFTP client on Windows rather than ExpanDrive? I doubt it's that SSH is slow, it's just that Explorer probably isn't well suited to the task.

Also: Your server's internet connection is 1Gbit?

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