Slow Data transfer speeds on my Synology DS 411j – Advice gratefully appreciated

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by DBCooper, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. DBCooper

    DBCooper
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Because of the shape/construction of my property a wireless network is not possible to the bedrooms on the upper floor. I have successfully used “Comtrend 9020 Powergrid” adaptors to form a wired solution using the house’s electrical wiring circuit. I have recently purchased a DS 411j DLNA enabled media server. Have located it in the hall on the ground floor and connected it to the ethernet outlets on my “BT HomeHub” router (see diagram attached). The set up does seem to work and I can (intermittently) stream media from the server to the TV/Blu ray player, and also transfer files between the server and PC’s however, the speed is painfully slow (1.5MB/s).
    I have no knowledge of networking and although I have spent a considerable time attempting to find advice on the internet but have found it very confusing and a bit of a minefield attempting to narrow down the problem. My suspicion is that there is a “bottleneck” at the router (due to my incorrect wiring or, and I need something to by-pass the obstruction (Ethernet switch ?). On looking at my network map (see attached) my main PC (Max-PC) is included in addition to a wireless laptop (Adam-PC) and obviously the “BT homehub”. The Synology DS411j –“ Diskstation” as well as my blu ray player and another PC are “discovered” but not included in the network map. I would have thought that they should appear directly on the map.

    Specifications of my system are :-
    Main PC – Windows 7 Ultimate operating system with an NVIDIA nForce 10/100 Mbs Ethernet network adaptor.


    Synology - DS411j NAS – using DSM 3.2 operating system. (the network adaptor setting is “100,full Duplex,MTU 1500”
     

    Attached Files:

  2. next010

    next010
    Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    10,483
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    163
    Ratings:
    +2,036
    The likely bottleneck is probably the homeplugs and your also running a 100Mbps network (fast ethernet) not a 1000Mbps (gigabit ethernet) but the homeplugs are basically 100Mbps so even if you did put giagbit cables network adapters in place the benefit may be zero.

    Regardless it may help & costs little so get a gigabit ethernet switch and plug the switch into the BT Homehub then plug everything else into the switch so nothing else is directly connected to the Homehub.

    As to the homeplugs there is not a whole lot you can do here,
    * is the firmware up to date on the Comtrend 9020 ?
    * you could also try changing the sockets the Homplugs are plugged into this can make a big difference
    * make sure they are not plugged into any power socket extenders/adapters.
    * limit the number of homeplugs if you can, if there is more than one device in a room get a switch and plug everything into the switch then plug the switch into the homeplug.

    You could also try alternate brand homeplugs though this can be expensive if the results are no different I would go for one of the bigger brand names like this Western Digital 4 port switch which is also a homeplug or this D-Link 500Mb kit.
     
  3. cjed

    cjed
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    Highworth, Wiltshire
    Ratings:
    +578
    next010 has covered all the main points - the bottleneck is probably the homeplugs. They're quite sensitive to interference and distance on the mains ring and if you're plugging them into extension sockets and that reduces their throughput significantly.

    I suspect the cheapest way to diagnose the problem is to get a cheap Gigabit Switch, such as the TP-Link 5-Port Gigabit Unmanaged Desktop Switch (TL-SG1005D) - around £14 from Amazon). Then use the switch to locate the NAS locally to the devices you're testing throughput to (PC and media streamer). That is, wire both the NAS and PC into the switch and the switch into the rest of your network, re-run your throughput test in this configuration. Note that both your PC and NAS should report their network configuration as 1000Mbit (Gigabit) when connected like this.

    At least with the PC connected to the NAS like this you'll get the fastest transfer of media files onto the NAS from the PC.

    I have a gigabit wired backbone in my house between my PCs, NASes, ADSL Router and Media streamer. I have other devices that don't need high throughput (additional media streamers, children's PCs etc) and those are connected with either Wi-fi or homeplugs.
     
  4. DBCooper

    DBCooper
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for your unbelievably fast response. Your helpful advice has given me some useful pointers. Since my original post I have connected the NAS directly into the pc and downloaded a large media file and was transferring at just over 6MB/s which is a vast improvement and confirms your suspiscion that the homeplugs may be causing the bottleneck. It is possible for me to cut the homeplugs down to 2 since all of the other devices in the house are, or could be situated within WIFI range. I have ordered a gigabit ethernet switch, so hopefully if it arrives before the weekend I can experiment further. I will let you know how I get on.
     
  5. DBCooper

    DBCooper
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks cjed, I have ordered a switch and will experiment at the weekend and let you know how I got on. Where my own (Main PC) is located is at the furthest extremity of my oddly shaped property and obviously the mains wiring. This has an advantage insofar as I get a bit of peace and quiet away from the rest of the family when needs arise, but as you state, is obviously not helping my network. Having the PC connected to the NAS will solve a big problem by increasing the speed of file transfer between the two. My only difficulty now will be streaming media from my NAS to the TV in the lounge.
    Your own setup with the gigabit wired backbone sounds like the ideal solution for me as I have 4 kids with a variety of Ipads, netbooks, Xbox etc most of which can be connected through WIFI. It is my own setup that needs the high throughput. I will see how I get on with the switch.
    Your own setup has given me food for thought and it may be possible to copy your own arrangement. If I decide to go down this route (which is begining to sound attractive), am I correct in thinking I would only need to upgrade my network card in my PC to a gigabit ethernet card, new gigabit switch (already on order) and run "CAT5" ethernet cable between my own PC/NAS/router/homehub/blu-ray/HDTV?
     
  6. cjed

    cjed
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    Highworth, Wiltshire
    Ratings:
    +578
    Yes, that's pretty much it. You may not have to upgrade the network card in the PC depending upon how old it is. Most modern (< 5 years old) PCs will already have Gigabit Ethernet built in. You should also use Cat 5e ethernet cables for Gigabit connections (almost all cable now available is Cat 5e anyway).

    Some more detail on my setup:

    "Study" upstairs : PCs, NASes, Printers, WiFi ADSL Router and homeplug, all connected by an 8 port Gigabit switch (printers and homeplug are connected via the Router which has a 4 port switch built in).

    2 other upstairs rooms each with a homeplug (media player and PC).

    Cat 5e cable running from 8 port GB switch upstairs to another 5 port GB switch in downstairs reception room 1 which also has another PC connected.

    This switch has another Cat 5e cable going to the TV/Media/HiFi unit in the Living Room where there's yet another 5 port GB switch to which are connected a Dune Media player, a Squeezebox Touch, a Humax Freesat box and an HTPC. I'll probably upgrade this switch to an 8 port to allow connection of a TV and Blu-ray player as well (these are not currently connected to the network).

    This gives me a "wired" house with just 2 relatively short (< 20m) cables and 3 inexpensive switches and provides a Gigabit backbone (although a lot of the connected devices are only 100mbit, only the PCs and NASes are currently Gigabit).
     
  7. Keiron

    Keiron
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    3,321
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Stockport
    Ratings:
    +112
    For DBCooper, I do hope you get sorted. I got a DS410j for xmas and I'm suffering terrible problems with speed and opening ports.

    I have a gigabit motherboard, but still only get abour 14MB/s maximum, even though everything is hardwired (through a gigabit switch). I have ordered a gigabit network card which I'll stick into the motherboard, If that doesn't work then I'm minded just to accept I get slow transfers and get on with my life! (Once all my 3.5TB has been transferred over, I don't really have a need for fast transfers).

    If I may ask a question since you mention you have a BT Homehub and iPads. Have you managed to open port 5005 on your Homehub? This is needed to enable you to access files over the internet. You should be able to use the EZ Wizard on the Synology DSM interface but it doesn't work for me. I get an error message relating to not being able to retrieve the external IP address. I also have TP Link router and get the same message.

    This equipment is not for the technically challenged!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  8. cjed

    cjed
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    Highworth, Wiltshire
    Ratings:
    +578
    Measuring data transfer rates to/from a NAS is a tricky undertaking. As well as the actual network connections, the performance of the other transferring device, the configuration of the NAS, the data transfer protocol (FTP, SMB or NFS) and structure of the test data (one huge file, several medium files, many small fies) can all significantly affect the measured speed.

    If you get 14 mbytes/second that's still around twice the maximum throughput you could get with a 100mbit network, and comfortably enough to support full HD streaming from the NAS to several devices.

    I have a Netgear NV+ 4 bay NAS configured with 4 HDs in RAID 5 and an LG N2B1 2 bay NAS configured in RAID 1, and to a reasonable spec Windows 7 PC with 7200rpm SATA drive and connecting using SMB I get around 10-12mbytes/sec from the Netgear and 17-20mbytes/sec from the LG using a test set of few GB of files averaging 300MB/file.

    I've tested other (newer) NAS devices to the same PC on the same network backbone with the same test data and seen speeds of around 40-45mbytes/sec so I know that it's not my network infrastructure or PC that's the limiting factor.
     
  9. Keiron

    Keiron
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    3,321
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Stockport
    Ratings:
    +112
    Thanks cjed, so what is the limiting factor in your set up? Is it the NAS?
     
  10. cjed

    cjed
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    Highworth, Wiltshire
    Ratings:
    +578
    Oh, it's certainly the NASes - the Netgear NV+ is very solidly built, but quite an old design. The LG unit is very quiet but underpowered. I'm looking at updating to either a more powerful NAS (perhaps an Atom powered unit) or perhaps an HP microserver running Windows Home Server software.
     
  11. NX3

    NX3
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,492
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +8
    I built a atom powered NAS, its really simple. Buy a case, cheap intel atom mobo, memory, install ubuntu or freenas. It seemed a lot more daunting that it actually was. I get speeds of 30 megabytes per second to 50+ depend on the files and what else the box is doing.
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice