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I am trying to transfer files from a PC at home running Windows Server 2008 R2 to my computer here at college, running Windows 7 Ultimate.

To test this, I tried connecting to my home PC via SMB with Windows Explorer, and am copying a file from there to my school computer's desktop. Everything works, but I am only getting speeds around 256KB/s. Theoretically, it could be faster, seeing as the home computer has tested internet speeds of 45Mbps down and 28Mbps up, and my school has speeds of 49Mbps down and 279Mbps up.

I know that my upload speed at home is not being throttled, as I can upload to a file hosting site such as with much faster speeds, and my download speed at school isn't the issue, as I can download files from various sites at speeds of 4Mbps.

What else can I do to find out what is causing the slow transfer speeds?

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Your school has 450% more upload bandwidth (279Mbps) than download (49Mbps)? Are you sure the school doesn't have any traffic shaping(QoS) in place? They may be limiting SMB traffic specifically. Have you considered approaching the school's IT for some pointers? Have you tried a route trace (tracert <address>), or a path ping (pathping <address>) to see if it's a slow hop in the middle? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 3 '11 at 18:29
SMB is quite a weird protocol, and sometimes runs unbelievably slowly when something goes wrong. It's because it doesn't do version checking. Perhaps try something other than SMB, such as Dropbox or similar. – mauvedeity Nov 3 '11 at 19:52

I wouldn't say the speed is that bad actually as 256KB/s is actually 2Mbps in bandwidth (256 Kilobytes * 8 bits / 1024 bits = 2Megabits).

Presumably this bandwidth you're quoting is shared throughout the school and you're getting about 5% of that bandwidth.

Contention is something you'll not be able to predict. Unless you can test it at a time when you know you're the only person using the connection.

As mentioned above a trace route or path ping will help you identify any slow hops between your home and school, but I'm be guessing there are none that are significantly slow. SMB was never designed for use over a WAN (See info in this Wikipedia article)

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I have yet to bring it to the IT dept. here, as they are not too friendly... I have tried using SFTP and SCP, but I would get similar speeds, which again leads to QoS. Since I get faster speeds when downloading files from websites, do you think it would be worth trying to set up a web server on my home PC to transfer via http? – Michael Dornisch Nov 7 '11 at 3:31
Definitely worth a test, if you get faster speeds over HTTP then they are definitely throttling other protocols in favour of web. In that case you might want to check out WebDAV – chunkyb2002 Nov 7 '11 at 16:30

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