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Here is my setup.

  • A Linksys Cisco E3200 wifi router.
  • A MacbookPro running OS X Lion 10.7.4.
  • A Seagate GoFlex 1TB hard drive connected to wifi router via the USB port.

When I try to transfer data from my MBP to the HDD, the data transfer rate is very low. I'm getting around 3MB/s write speed. This is very slow compared to the speed I get when HDD is directly connected to the MBP.

The HDD is NTFS formatted. And the router provides access to HDD using Samba share. So I connect to the HDD using smb://.

What is the limiting factor here affecting the data transfer rate?

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I cannot find anything indicating the USB version of the router in the manual, but I would assume it supports USB 2.0, so the main factor is the wireless transfer speed. That said, 3MBps seems low for what I assume is an 802.11n connection. How is the signal strength? –  Synetech Sep 13 '12 at 5:43
    
Yes the USB port is 2.0 according the specs on Amazon etc. The signal strength is very good, I'm sitting just 5ft away from the router. The security mechanism I've configured is WPA2-Personal, if that makes any difference. –  Ronak Gandhi Sep 13 '12 at 5:51
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Do you get good network speed (like when downloading a file from the Internet)? Try running a speed test to see if your top speed can break the 3MBps barrier you are experiencing. –  Synetech Sep 13 '12 at 6:14
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If you're talking about 3 Megabytes/second and have connected your MBP via Wifi, not ethernet cable, that speed is ok. There are 3 limitations here: 1) the WiFi - even at 802.11n it's hard to get more than 8 Mbyte/s throughput under very good conditions, 2) the smb protocol is quite inefficient, especially with latencies induced by a wireless connection. 3) most routers are not very powerful, so they hardly manage more than 10Mbyte/s to USB drives anyway. Try connecting to the router via cable, that should speed things up considerably. –  Stefan Seidel Sep 13 '12 at 8:10
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@StefanSeidel: That is the answer. Come on, post it as one. –  Deltik Sep 13 '12 at 12:54

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you're talking about 3 Megabytes/second and have connected your MBP via Wifi, not ethernet cable, that speed is ok.

There are 3 limitations here:

  1. the WiFi - even at 802.11n it's hard to get more than 8 Mbyte/s throughput under very good conditions
  2. the smb protocol is quite inefficient, especially with latencies induced by a wireless connection.
  3. most routers are not very powerful, so they hardly manage more than 10Mbyte/s to USB drives anyway.

Try connecting to the router via cable, that should speed things up considerably.

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