I have a windows desktop which stores all my movies, songs and pictures.

I have a mac laptop which I would like to access these files.

I don't want to utilize the FTP or SCP protocol because I don't want them to be downloaded to my mac. I want to access them as if they are a network mounted disk.

So I tried using the native SMB protocol (available in Finder -> Go -> Connect to server). I tried dragging a file and dropping it onto my MAC's desktop. Surprisingly, I am only able to transfer at a very slow rate of about 1mb/s.

Assuming network connectivity is not a problem, has anyone experienced incredible slowness with SMB?

Are there alternative protocols for me to use in this case between PC and MAC?

  • Why not use SFTP? It uses port 22 (SSH) which is regarded as a safe means for file transfer.
    – jmreicha
    Nov 5, 2013 at 21:56
  • @jmreicha You cannot stream videos with SFTP. Jan 7, 2014 at 19:23

3 Answers 3


In Mavericks, try using a cifs:// connection rather than SMB. The new SMB2 implementation has a bug.

  • +1 this can be marked as an answer. Thank you very much sir, you saved my nerves.. Aug 24, 2014 at 3:52
  • Holy crap is that better. Like entirely resolves what I've been starting to resent OS X over. Effin epic. Thank you so much! Feb 5, 2016 at 17:14
  • 7 years later and this answer is still relevant. Steaming 4k video over LAN from Win10 -> Catalina was a slideshow on smb://. Thank you!
    – Scott
    Jul 11, 2020 at 19:33

I was having trouble with SMB in Mavericks as well, and I eventually decided to update my windows 8 pcs wifi driver, and it fixed both the terrible speed and dropping connection issues, you should look into that.


If you just want to see a movie or something, try streaming it with VLC:


Alternatively, if you have apache installed, simply serve the folder. Then you can use the ip and address to play it in VLC. This way you are not downloading anything. You can probably also see the movie through the browser.

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