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USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

lukemcinnes
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-11-2016

USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

Hello - I have a hard drive connected to my router which I use as my library for Plex. It works pretty well. The only issue is that transferring files onto the hard drive via the network seems pretty slow. I am curious as to what transfer speeds I should expect. Since recently resetting my router to factory settings the transfer rate is maxing out at 1.7 MB/s. How does this sound to people?

51 REPLIES 51
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

That would depend on the interface type of the USB be it Type 1, 2 or 3. Do you know which one it is and what version your router supports?

lukemcinnes
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-11-2016

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

It is attached via a USB A connection.

I assume that it is USB 2.0 as the Help section doesn't call out whether it is 2.0 or 3.0 and the slot itself isn't blue.

 

Below is all the information provided on the Help section of the Plusnet Hub One.

 

--------------------

 

 

The USB-A (master) socket enables sharing of devices on your homenetwork. The network map shows devices that are connected. The Plusnet Hub supports the following file systems:

  • FAT16
  • FAT32
  • NTFS

 

The USB-A socket is capable of providing 500mA of current to a USB device.  It can also support up to 4 USB sticks via an external USB hub.

 

Compatible USB devices

Your Plusnet Hub isn't guaranteed to work with all type of USB devices on the market. Mass storage devices are supported, but most other devices like USB network printers or cameras are not supported.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

OK @lukemcinnes assuming a USB 2 interface then the specification says that the theoretical max is 60 MB/s so based on what you posted above then you have a problem.

What sort of speed do you get if you plug it directly in to your PC?

If it runs flat out then good you'd expect that, if it doesn't then I'd be questioning the device myself.

The next thing to test would be to plug it into another PC on the LAN, share it then do a speed test with that. If they're consistent then you know it's the USB interface on the Router. However, if it degrades to the previous speed then its the router as a whole (assuming you don't have a switch / hub).

Optimatts
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 442
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Registered: ‎25-09-2018

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

Hi @lukemcinnes

 

And thanks for your response @Anonymous, Our router is USB 2.0. Generally there are multiple factors in the connection.

 

As a guideline, USB 2.0 has a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 60MB/s. However USB 2.0 has 10-15 percent overhead bringing it down to more along the lines of 40MB/s. Some USB 2.0 flash drives are limited by the connection, but many are even slower because they use slow memory controllers--you'll be lucky to get 33MB/s reads and 15MB/s writes out of most USB 2.0 flash drives.

 

Naturally its not just a standard USB flash drive you're using so I would recommend the steps above that @Anonymous suggested.

 

lukemcinnes
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-11-2016

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

Hello - so tested a separate USB drive on my laptop and was getting transfer speeds ~95MB/s.

Plugged into the router and tried to copy the same file over and it is copying at ~2MB/s.

I would expect to lose some transfer speed given that I am transferring via the network and not directly but not as much as this?

 

On your second diagnostic - do you mean try a transfer from another PC or laptop on the LAN? Or connect the USB directly to a new PC or laptop?

lukemcinnes
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-11-2016

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

I think it is worth mentioning that I have tried this with 2 hard drives and 2 separate flash drives. In all cases - the transfer speeds are as expected on the PC, but drop significantly (none of them higher than 2MB/s) when transferring over the network

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

@lukemcinnes - For my second test I was meaning that you connect the USB drive to another PC. You then share this drive via the Network and mount it remotely on another PC. You then conduct your speed test. You know you can transfer at much higher rates directly so any loss is down to the network. If both of these devices are connected to the Router then the first thing I would do is check my network setting and configuration.

Based on your last post the implication is that the losses are being introduced by the network, so how is it configured and what does it comprise?

Baldrick1
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 5,989
Thanks: 2,648
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Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

I was about to respond when @Anonymous got in first with the same question as I was about to ask. Are you connected to the router over wireless or Ethernet cable? If it's wireless can you do an Internet speed test and get faster than 14Mbps? This would at least show that a wireless connection can manage 1.7 MBps.

If it's wireless have you tried using an Ethernet cable instead?

lukemcinnes
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-11-2016

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

Hello, thanks for your reply and your time to help me out.

Actually, I don't have any special setup. I have the Plusnet One Hub Router in the hallway with a DSL line connected. Most of my devices connect wirelessly to the network. I have an Ethernet connection for my office phone and my Philips Hue controller - both of which I have disconnected for these speed tests. So essentially - the only thing I have plugged into the router is my USB drive.

To access the drive, I enabled SMB 1.0 (unsecure I know) and I can open my files via explorer under the network drives. The hard drive itself contains my media which another PC acts as Plex Media server and accesses the drive to stream to my TV or other devices.

I have just tried your suggestion. Added the drive to a separate laptop, shared it and then tried the transfer via another machine. There is certainly a slight bump in transfer speed but it's maxing @ 3.5MB/s instead of 2MB/s which I suppose is negligible?

lukemcinnes
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-11-2016

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

Baldrick - good suggestion. I just ran a speed test on Ookla which comes out at 51 down and 17 up so surely not a bandwidth issue. There must be something I am missing,,,

 

lukemcinnes
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-11-2016

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

I have also tried moving the laptop directly in front of the router to see if it is something to do with signal strength but this has not had any impact on transfer speeds.

DS
Champion
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Registered: ‎06-01-2017

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

Just thinking out loud here.....

Did you buy the USB from a trusted seller?

Or an evilbay cheap one?

I would, if it were me, transfer the contents to a safe location, format the drive, look for and install H2testw.

Do some research on what to expect, then run it, select UK and test the actual drive.

There are some very good (but bad) drives out there that can cause all sorts of issues.

Then, if it's good, put the contents back on it and go from there

(can't really think of a reason why it's slow in the hub tbh, never used the USB on it)

lukemcinnes
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-11-2016

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

So I don’t think the issue is with the drives themselves. This is an issue which occurs across 2 different flash drives and 2 different hard drives, all purchased from reputable shops or outlets over different periods.
DS
Champion
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Registered: ‎06-01-2017

Re: USB Connected Hard Drive - Transfer Speeds

It could well be that you're right of course Smiley

I was only 'thinking out loud' as I've experienced oddities myself with certain, in my case back then, el-cheapo drives. Windows PCs and laptops were reporting xyz yet other devices were reporting zyx. I sent the said drives back and these were replaced (with some cash back too) and again the same issue arose.

I did some research, found the 'tester' I've mentioned and was able to prove the said drives were completely fake. The read/write transfer speed was way out and the storage was seriously over exaggerated.

My lesson was learned and have used that tester ever since Wink