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I have two computers, C and W.

  • C connects to the router with a cable
  • W with wifi.
  • Transferring a 355MB file between C and W takes 62 seconds, 5.7 MB/sec. LAN and FTP speed is the same.
  • Copying the same file to my phone from C, running Total Commander for Android on the phone with the LAN plugin takes 456 seconds, 780 kB/sec.
  • If I use the FTP plugin, 96 seconds is enough, 3,7 MB/sec.

Why is standard copy much slower than FTP? Why is FTP transfer 54% faster to W than to the phone? What can I do?

C and W run Win 7, the phone Android 2.3.4.
C uses FileZilla as FTP server.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Every protocol has overhead. The "LAN" copy you're talking about it most likely SMB/CIFS. CIFS is quite prone to being badly configured(and thus slow) and overall has more overhead than FTP.

FTP is a very simplistic protocol. It's hard to get it wrong. CIFS is a complex protocol, most likely the implementation on the phone is either limited or slightly wrong. Not bad enough to cause a failure or anything, but rather just slower

Based on comments:

The speed difference you are seeing between wireless and USB is to be expected. USB 2.0 has a maximum speed of 480Mbit/s or 60Mbyte/s. In comparison, wireless G's maximum speed is 54Mbit/s and even wireless N is either 144Mbit/s or 300Mbit/s depending on configuration. Most phone wireless chipsets have a speed limit built in due to cost-saving(in power or price) measures. For instance, I can't get over 20Mbit/s with my phone which implements wireless G.

Also, one more thing to keep in mind is that usually when you use a USB cable to transfer files, it can take a lot of short cuts. All it has to do is expose the SD card at a block-level, not parsing file systems or worrying about protocols. The speed difference due to this is probably negligible, but I'm sure it's measurable.

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Just a note that Windows uses the SMB (CIFS) protocol for LAN file sharing. Samba is just a FOSS implementation of that protocol - and, as you mentioned, often misconfigured. – Bob Oct 10 '12 at 19:49
@Bob Yes, I couldn't think of the actual protocol name. Edited my answer to use correct term – Earlz Oct 10 '12 at 19:54
SMB does infact have more overhead than most other protocols (NetBios of course being far, far, far, far worse), though it is also important to note that phones also have a much slower read/write speed on the storage medium, a lot less RAM and a much slower CPU, so anything that streams through a phone will be slower than on a PC. – MaQleod Oct 10 '12 at 21:01
@MaQleod of course, but he said that FTP from the phone was significantly faster than SMB.. I was explaining why – Earlz Oct 10 '12 at 21:03
@Earlz, I understand, but his question also addressed the difference in FTP speeds between the PC and his phone, not just the difference between SMB and FTP speeds overall. – MaQleod Oct 10 '12 at 21:05

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