[SOLVED] Expected LAN Speeds

CodenameAter

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Hello, here is a design of my lab network with as much detail as possible and whether my LAN read and write speeds are normal.

MainPC HDD <---USB Wifi Adapter--> DIR-850L Router <---USB Wifi Adapter--> PersonalPC SSD

MainPC Storage: USB 3.0 WD External HDD
PersonalPC Storage: OCZ SSD
Wise Tiger Wifi Adapters Speed = ~430 Mbps (according to Wifi Status)
DIR-850L Router 5GHz speeds = 867Mbps (according to the manual)

LAN read/write speeds: 4-6 MB/s or 32 to 48 Mbps (Used LAN Speed Testing App)

Is this fairly normal or is there something wrong on my LAN? Given HDD and SDD are way faster than ~50 MB/s, router and adapters should be at least 50 MB/s, why are my read/write speeds so slow?

I am looking at getting a NAS, but before I do, I am curious why the speeds are so slow and what speeds I would expect with a LAN on this network?

Thank you!
 
Wifi is hard to troubleshoot there are many thing that cause issues. There are many many devices that can interfere. It take almost nothng to block wifi signals. When you figure you microwave oven puts out 1000 times the power of wifi on the same 2.4g frequency. You can see though the glass but the power allowed to leak out of the microwave is only a tiny fraction of the power your router puts out.

USB on a router is like putting a trailer hitch on a economy car and claiming it can pull a trailer. There is a massive difference in performance compared to a device like a NAS that is designed to server data to a network.
 
Because you are not using what most people call a LAN. It technically is but all your equipment is wifi. In addition you are using 2 wifi signals in the path and they will interfere with each other. At the very best they share what ever bandwidth is available. This is unlike ethernet where every device gets a full dedicated 1gbit up and 1gbit down.

The wifi numbers are massive marketing deception for people who only read the headlines and spend no time learning. They sell to the bigger number if better crowd.

The wifi numbers is not really a speed it is a representation of how the data is encoded. In some magic non standard lab environment where you don't worry about over head and data is only sent 1 direction you might get close. In the real world you get a tiny fraction of those numbers. The number you are seeing are about what is expect in your average house using that type of equipment.

How you house is built and how far you are from the router makes a huge difference. There are the guys who put his laptop next the router will get a far different speed than the guy who is in a room upstairs with doors closed.

If you get a NAS you want it plugged into the router via ethernet so at least 1 part of the connection does not flow over wifi.

If your goal is performance you need to run all on ethernet cables.
 
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CodenameAter

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Thanks for getting back to me Bill001g.

Router and PCs are probably 40 ft away, in a very open area. Since this post, I tried plugging our external HDD into an EA4500 router I had here. Smallnetbuilder.com says read/write is 20 Mbps on the router's USB port and the speeds capped at that, suggesting that was the bottleneck. A newer router with a faster USB port, like an EA9300 (smallnetbuilder.com says read/write, has speeds of ~100 Mbps. Given I also have to buy a new router in the next month, my two options are:

Router Solution: EA9300 (w/ external HDD attached) <---USB Wifi Adapter--> PersonalPC SSD
Cost = $250-$300

NAS Solution: NAS <---Wired Cat 6e---> DIR-850L Router <---USB Wifi Adapter--> PersonalPC SSD
Cost = >$350-$400 (>$300 for NAS + $50-$100 for a new router)

This is all CDN pricing btw, hence why it's so much higher haha.

If I am understanding you correctly, the WIFI adapters will be the bottleneck in both solutions. Or is that only because in the original diagram, one adapter is uploading while the other is downloading, and uploading speeds will be significantly slower? For example, these USB adapters can reach DL speeds of 75 Mbps from my ISP when I use them at home.

Let me know when you have a chance.

Thank you!

Hayden
 
Hard to say wifi is very environment dependent. Could be your neighbors wifi interfering.

A router nas ability is always a add on extra almost none even come close to the performance of a NAS. Then again if you buy a really cheap NAS it can be a issue also.

Not sure why so many people buy NAS when they have limited number of machines. You could just share it out from you main pc. The main pc would then get local access and the remote pc would get performance at least as good as a NAS. Leaving your main pc on in power save mode should be the cheapest option. Maybe I just don't understand I don't use a NAS and just make backups between 2 of my machines figure I won't loose both at the same time.
 

CodenameAter

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My closest neighbour is 500-700 meters away. Next closest is 1 KM and after that, 3 KM... Don't ask me why I know that haha. The lab is in the middle of nowhere.

Not sure why so many people buy NAS when they have limited number of machines. You could just share it out from you main pc.
This is what we used to do. Unfortunately, the cost of running any of our machines all month is $40-$50/month and the university was giving us shit for our hydro bills because we had two powerful PCs running almost 24/7. My personal PC that I work on and the Main PC that hosted the research drive. And no, we cannot move the research drive to my personal computer for a variety of reasons I won't get into.

We are doing a number of things to save power, and I thought having the drive on a router or NAS would save power. Additionally, sometimes the university updates the MainPC and that has messed up some of our links, even when we plug the drive back in again. Hosting the drive on the network creates a stable location that we just have to map the network drive to each computer.

Anyway, I understand the router USB port is an add-on feature, but I am mostly concerned about whether it is reliable for transferring small files or not. So far, the testing has been promising, so perhaps it is what we go with.

Thanks again for your help!
 
Wifi is hard to troubleshoot there are many thing that cause issues. There are many many devices that can interfere. It take almost nothng to block wifi signals. When you figure you microwave oven puts out 1000 times the power of wifi on the same 2.4g frequency. You can see though the glass but the power allowed to leak out of the microwave is only a tiny fraction of the power your router puts out.

USB on a router is like putting a trailer hitch on a economy car and claiming it can pull a trailer. There is a massive difference in performance compared to a device like a NAS that is designed to server data to a network.
 

CodenameAter

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USB on a router is like putting a trailer hitch on a economy car and claiming it can pull a trailer. There is a massive difference in performance compared to a device like a NAS that is designed to server data to a network.
Definitely and this would make sense especially where their NAS is customer-facing. However, I have been using the USB port on the EA4500 and haven't had any issues, except the speed of the port on the router.

To use your analogy, our operation is one of those tiny trailers that can't even fit a couch on it. So perhaps using an economy car with a trailer hitch is all we need haha.

Anyway, thanks again for all the help! I really appreciate it :)
 

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