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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Synology Diskstation File copy speed: solution

I noticed there were a lot of people hoping to figure out why their file copy speeds were 10mb/sec or slower... I had exactly the same issue initially.

I found the solution buried away in the support forums. It bears repeating, and it's unfortunate this is not in the manual somewhere.

The short answer is to plug the Diskstation's network cable directly into your computer.

Doing this assumes a few things:

- You have finished setting up your Diskstation. It should already have an IP address on your network, a disk installed and formatted, etc.

- You need to have a gigabit NIC in your computer, and your computer needs to have an IP address on the same network the Diskstation is connected to.

Unplug your Diskstation from your networking hardware, and plug its network cable directly into your computer's NIC.

Don't worry, you can't break anything by doing this. The gigabit specifications are *supposed to* include the capability to do this- that is, plug directly into another gigabit device and talk to that device without a piece of networking hardware or special crossover cable. Whether your specific NIC was actually constructed to this specification I have no way of knowing, but in theory it is possible your NIC, though gigabit, is not capable (in which case this solution would not work.)

You should be able to access the Diskstation from this computer just like you were, previously, accessing it across the network.

File copy speed varies by what you are copying, and I don't know exactly what the difference is, large files seem to go more quickly. I have seen transfer rates peak as high as 64mb/sec. I have seen consistent speeds of 45mb/sec, and I have also seen it drop way, way down to 10mb/sec or slower. I have also seen Windows 7 completely lie about time remaining, so, I would ignore that. I copied across about 600GB, it consistently reported "About one day remaining", and about six hours in, it suddenly dropped down to "About an hour"... etc.

I also saw pretty decent file copy speeds when copying items off of a USB Western Digital My Passport drive, through my PC, and over to the Diskstation.

As a backup solution, the less-than-rocket speeds really aren't the end of the world. I just need to get a copy of my data over there so it's backed up, and then it can be accessed from other computers on the network and remotely- but I am not going to be moving gigabytes back and forth from it on a regular basis. It's an excellent solution for me in this respect. So far it is working well.