Slow network transfer speeds when copying files/folders

ShaunIOW

Active Member
Windows 10 Home version 21H1 (OS build 19043.1165)
Asus RT-AX58U router with external USB3.0 H/D connected
Buffalo LS520D194 NAS
TerraMaster F4-210 4-bay NAS
HP Microserver Gen 8 running TruNAS (latest stable version)
Vodaphone supplied router used only for the Broadband connected to the Asus router by a cable and wireless disabled
TP-Link & Netgear unmanaged 10/100/1000 switches and cat 5e/cat6/cat7 cabling (wireless is only used for phone, tablet, Alexa devices, IP Cameras, printer).
Netgeat GS908E Managed Switch

When I try and transfer files (copy or move) between the NAS drives or to/from the laptop I can only get a transfer rate of 10Mb/s, I used to get up to 110Mb/s but it dropped to the current 10Mb/s and I can't for the life of me see what could be causing it. I've replaced an unmanaged switch with a managed one (and replaced all the cables with new Cat6 patch cables) and that reports the NAS etc are running at 1000Mb with the only device slower being a Hive Hub at 10Mb. I've tried using wrless on the laptop instead of the cable and disabled the ethernet card but it made no difference, streaming over the network isn't a problem even for 4k films.

Any ideas?

Cheers
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Sounds like a lobe in the pathway between source and sink has fallen down to 100mbps operation.

If you have a managed switch, I'd be very surprised if it's UI didn't report the Link Rate of all it's cable lobes. That should aid in determining how each lobe in the topology is performing.

Bear in mind, if you drag/drop or copy/paste from NAS to NAS using a client device, such as your laptop, data will be traveling source-->laptop-->sink which means if anything source-->laptop or laptop-->sink has fallen down to 100mbps, that will affect transfer rates as the data is all being shoveled through the laptop.

If one or other of your NAS have the ability to be "commanded" to copy direct from each other instead of routing through your laptop, that would be A) a useful test (as it takes your laptop out of the copying pathway) and B) an better way to copy between the two in any case (because or "A") especially if you've established both NAS have 1000mbps links.
 

ShaunIOW

Active Member
Sounds like a lobe in the pathway between source and sink has fallen down to 100mbps operation.

If you have a managed switch, I'd be very surprised if it's UI didn't report the Link Rate of all it's cable lobes. That should aid in determining how each lobe in the topology is performing.

Bear in mind, if you drag/drop or copy/paste from NAS to NAS using a client device, such as your laptop, data will be traveling source-->laptop-->sink which means if anything source-->laptop or laptop-->sink has fallen down to 100mbps, that will affect transfer rates as the data is all being shoveled through the laptop.

If one or other of your NAS have the ability to be "commanded" to copy direct from each other instead of routing through your laptop, that would be A) a useful test (as it takes your laptop out of the copying pathway) and B) an better way to copy between the two in any case (because or "A") especially if you've established both NAS have 1000mbps links.

Thanks for the reply.

Yes the switch does show that all the connected devices are running at 1Gb except the Hive Hub, the laptop is only 2 years old and does have a 1Gb NIC,

My network is setup as:

Managed switch connected direct to the router and has the NAS drives and HIve hub connected - all Cat6 cables

Unmanaged switch connected direct to the router on a longer (10m) Cat7 cable to the lounge which has the laptop, TV, Bluray player, Xbox One X, Huma Aura Freeview box connected.

Unmanaged switch on a long (15m) Cat6 cable to the bedroom which has the TV, Amazon Fire 4k Stick and Asus Mesh wireless pod connected.

Connected via wireless (either 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz) are 3x IP cameras, printer, 3x Amazon Echo devices, mobile phone, tablet, Harmony remote hub, Blink sync module and Tapo Smartplug
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
In ethernet networks, the "cat" of the cables makes no practical difference to the "speeds." Ethernet works at fixed rates, it's either 10/100/1000 or nothing - it doesn't work any faster/slower because you give it higher/lower "cat" cables - as long as the cables are high enough cat for gigabit (cat5e or better) and are not defective or in some way mis-wired. If you have a faulty or mis-wired cable, then depending on the fault it's possible for a cable to work OK at 10/100 but not 1000.

Same for cable length - it makes no difference whether a lobe is 10cm or 100m, the Link Rates (speeds) are the same.

Whether a switch is "managed" or "unmanaged" also makes no fundamental difference to the Link Rates - managed switches just give you more facilities to do "extra" stuff and (these days) usually come with a web UI so you can see what they are up to - for example inspect the Link Rates, Duplex modes, VLAN's, Link Aggregation, etc. (for switches that offer such things) and often the error counts on the ports. Don't panic if you see a few errors, that's normal, but if the counts are high are growing consistently, (ie we're looking at trend,) then that may be cause for concern that there's an issue with the connected cable lobe.

It's possible a managed switch might sustain higher throughput, though that's generally because they are higher spec. rather than because there is some magic voodoo about being "managed" that makes them faster, though for some time now even cheap and cheerful "desktop" switches have been capable of sustained gigabit throughput on all ports simultaneously.

In packet switching ethernt LAN's, all lobes negotiate their Link Rate, Duplex modes etc. independently of all others - there's no sense that everything has to fall down to some "lowest common denominator."

In switched ethernet infrastructure, traffic will usually take the shortest path (fewest "hops") between source and sink stations - there's no requirement for it all to transit "via the router" or any other node on the network.

So with issues like this, if link lamps aren't revealing any slow link, then the "game" is (miserable a chore as it is,) is to create the smallest network possible between source and sink device, test that, then if it's working, gradually add back in everything else until you find what is culpable.

So ideally, the first test would be to copy from NAS to NAS direct across you managed switch (as you know that they are running 1000mbps) without going via your laptop and see if that works. Next connect your laptop to the same switch, test copying to/from each NAS to/from laptop. Then test NAS to NAS via your laptop. Then retreat further and further away (such as connecting to your router and your other switches) and see when the performance drop off occurs.

You might sketch out the topology on a piece of paper so you can "tick off" each lobe as you test it.
 
Last edited:

ShaunIOW

Active Member
In ethernet networks, the "cat" of the cables makes no practical difference to the "speeds." Ethernet works at fixed rates, it's either 10/100/1000 or nothing - it doesn't work any faster/slower because you give it higher/lower "cat" cables - as long as the cables are high enough cat for gigabit (cat5e or better) and are not defective or in some way mis-wired. If you have a faulty or mis-wired cable, then depending on the fault it's possible for a cable to work OK at 10/100 but not 1000.

Same for cable length - it makes no difference whether a lobe is 10cm or 100m, the Link Rates (speeds) are the same.

Whether a switch is "managed" or "unmanaged" also makes no fundamental difference to the Link Rates - managed switches just give you more facilities to do "extra" stuff and (these days) usually come with a web UI so you can see what they are up to - for example inspect the Link Rates, Duplex modes, VLAN's, Link Aggregation, etc. (for switches that offer such things) and often the error counts on the ports. Don't panic if you see a few errors, that's normal, but if the counts are high are growing consistently, (ie we're looking at trend,) then that may be cause for concern that there's an issue with the connected cable lobe.

It's possible a managed switch might sustain higher throughput, though that's generally because they are higher spec. rather than because there is some magic voodoo about being "managed" that makes them faster, though for some time now even cheap and cheerful "desktop" switches have been capable of sustained gigabit throughput on all ports simultaneously.

In packet switching ethernt LAN's, all lobes negotiate their Link Rate, Duplex modes etc. independently of all others - there's no sense that everything has to fall down to some "lowest common denominator."

In switched ethernet infrastructure, traffic will usually take the shortest path (fewest "hops") between source and sink stations - there's no requirement for it all to transit "via the router" or any other node on the network.

So with issues like this, if link lamps aren't revealing any slow link, then the "game" is (miserable a chore as it is,) is to create the smallest network possible between source and sink device, test that, then if it's working, gradually add back in everything else until you find what is culpable.

So ideally, the first test would be to copy from NAS to NAS direct across you managed switch (as you know that they are running 1000mbps) without going via your laptop and see if that works. Next connect your laptop to the same switch, test copying to/from each NAS to/from laptop. Then test NAS to NAS via your laptop. Then retreat further and further away (such as connecting to your router and your other switches) and see when the performance drop off occurs.

You might sketch out the topology on a piece of paper so you can "tick off" each lobe as you test it.

I've had a look in the laptop system settings and copied this:


Link speed (Receive/Transmit):100/100 (Mbps)

Link-local IPv6 address:fe80::3c00:5e53:ecf2:fe02%17

IPv4 address:192.168.2.57

IPv4 DNS servers:8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4

Manufacturer:Realtek

Description:Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller

Driver version:10.32.1206.2018

Physical address (MAC):

So it looks like my laptop is stuck on 100mb/s, but its a 1Gb network card and I can't find anyway of changing the speed - I checked in the card properties and made sure 1Gb duplex as enabled.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Link speed (Receive/Transmit):100/100 (Mbps)

As the saying goes - "well there's your problem." :D

Maybe a driver update has knobbled it. It may be worth checking if there's a newer driver available, or a older one you can revert back to if it's updated recently.

If you haven't already done so, a test with a "known good" patch-cord between laptop and switch in case you have a bad cable. A squint into the laptop ethernet port might be worth a few minutes effort to see if there's any obvious dirt in there or a pin has gotten bent or broken.

Some NIC drivers have settings whereby we can force the Speed and Duplex modes, but it's really rare these days to have to do so as (at least for ethernet) "auto" everything usually works out pretty well.

Whilst that's all worthwhile addressing, I would also recommend you have a look at your NAS's and see if they have the facilities to remote control them to directly copy between each other. It would be best practise to do so when doing bulk data moves (and will be absolutely the fastest way to do it,) so acquiring the knowledge of whether and how to do that with your particular mix of kit would be a good use of your time, I suggest.

It's the way we would do it "in business" if we were doing any big data migrations or husbandry - we would almost never drag data via a workstation unless there was a good reason to do so or there was no other way to do it. Not least because often our workstation PC's are in different room/city/country (delete as applicatble) from the server farms! 😉
 

ShaunIOW

Active Member
As the saying goes - "well there's your problem." :D

Maybe a driver update has knobbled it. It may be worth checking if there's a newer driver available, or a older one you can revert back to if it's updated recently.

If you haven't already done so, a test with a "known good" patch-cord between laptop and switch in case you have a bad cable. A squint into the laptop ethernet port might be worth a few minutes effort to see if there's any obvious dirt in there or a pin has gotten bent or broken.

Some NIC drivers have settings whereby we can force the Speed and Duplex modes, but it's really rare these days to have to do so as (at least for ethernet) "auto" everything usually works out pretty well.

Whilst that's all worthwhile addressing, I would also recommend you have a look at your NAS's and see if they have the facilities to remote control them to directly copy between each other. It would be best practise to do so when doing bulk data moves (and will be absolutely the fastest way to do it,) so acquiring the knowledge of whether and how to do that with your particular mix of kit would be a good use of your time, I suggest.

It's the way we would do it "in business" if we were doing any big data migrations or husbandry - we would almost never drag data via a workstation unless there was a good reason to do so or there was no other way to do it. Not least because often our workstation PC's are in different room/city/country (delete as applicatble) from the server farms! 😉

Cheers.

I checked to see if there were newer drivers on the Asus website for the laptop and the newest were Sept 2020, I tried them anyway but no difference.

I found a network cable long enough to reach from the managed switch to my laptop and tried that and the speed went up to about 70Mb/s and the switch reports it's running at 1.0 Gbps and so does the network card in the laptop, so I've run the cable from the laptop to the unmanaged switch where the laptop was connected and I'm getting 55-65Mbps now, so it does look like it was the cable.

Unfortunately I cannot find a way to copy from NAS to NAS directly, I had a look through all the settings, although I'm going to replace TruNAS on the Microserver with something else so maybe there will be the option then.

Thanks for all your help.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If it's looking like you have a bad cable lobe, have a look at the termination in sockets either end of that lobe. A lot cabling faults are down to termination issues and it's relatively easy to check as you just have to pop the faceplates off and inspect them round the back for any mis-wires or wires that have worked loose. Link below is to my favourite DIY cabling site which has lots of pictures of the cables and connectors and the pin outs. Sometimes a "re-punch" of the wires coaxes them back into life, though you really need an IDC "punch down" tool to do it properly....

 

ShaunIOW

Active Member
If it's looking like you have a bad cable lobe, have a look at the termination in sockets either end. A lot cabling faults are down to termination issues and it's relatively easy to check as you just have to pop the faceplates off a inspect them round the back for any mis-wires or wires that have worked loose. Link below is to my favourite DIY cabling site which has lots of pictures of the cables and connectors and the pin outs. Sometimes a "re-punch" of the wires coaxes them back into life, though you really need an IDC "punch down" tool to do it properly....


Thanks I'll have a look, although that might be too fiddly with my arthritic hands, switching cables was hard enough. I did notice on the unmanaged switch that all the lights were green except the one the laptop cable was plugged in to, but which turned green with the new cable, so I'm wondering if some of my other network issues like occasional buffering and lag were down to that one faulty cable affecting other things as well.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Quite a few switches use a colour change to indicate the link rate (speed) of the ports, though there's no consistency as to what colour means what, so you'd have to check a manual for the switch to see what is says. They are usually on the Internet somewhere. Green for gigabit, orange for 10/100 (and flashing when traffic is passing) is not unusual, but check a manual to be sure - sometimes it's marked on the labeling printed on the device.

A network lobe running slowly would not have affected anything else - it would only have any bearing on traffic transitting that cable lobe. It's just like the road network - the A1234 my be running with a speed restriction today, but that has no effect on all the other roads. The speed restriction only affects traffic that's actually passing down the A1234 (though if it was super busy you can get knock on effects, but that's unlikely in a small, lightly loaded SOHO network.)
 

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