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Router Storage... what's faster/better to use USB Stick or WD HD (both usb 3.0)

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[OP]
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Dec 8, 2001
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Router Storage... what's faster/better to use USB Stick or WD HD (both usb 3.0)

I have an ASUS RT-AC3200 and I'm using a 64gb Lexar 633x micro card with a USB 3.0 adapter as my storage media. Would I be better off using a portable HD like the WD Passport (USB 3.0) instead?

The reason why I'm asking is when wirelessly transferring files from my Notebook to the router storage, I'm only getting a transfer rate of about 6 mbps. The Notebook wifi is also the AC standard.

Thanks in advance for your input.
18 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 3, 2004
1116 posts
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The wifi seems to be the bottleneck, fix that first.

Both the 633x and WD Passport are capable of speeds far greater than 6mbps. With flash memory like your micro sd card or USB you have to worry about write endurance. HDD will have an edge on capacity and endurance.
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Jul 27, 2009
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Get both. USB flash drive and WD HDD. One for home storage the other for easy and convenient access.
[OP]
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Dec 8, 2001
871 posts
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Ancaster
rupert wrote: The wifi seems to be the bottleneck, fix that first.

Both the 633x and WD Passport are capable of speeds far greater than 6mbps. With flash memory like your micro sd card or USB you have to worry about write endurance. HDD will have an edge on capacity and endurance.
Thanks... Do you have any tips on how I would begin to explore what could be causing the bottleneck?

I know that on my wired PC, the transfer rate to the same drive is ~25-30mbps.
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Jul 27, 2009
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The bottle neck might not be your router but your laptop. Test the laptop wifi speed from far away and right next to the router. If it's still bad you might need to buy an USB wifi adapter or replace the wifi card if possible.
[OP]
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Dec 8, 2001
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Thanks for the tip. I updated the router firmware and tilted it a bit and that seems to have helped considerably.

Unfortunately the router is tucked in the corner of the basement which is definitely contributing to the bottleneck, but I'm getting 25-30mbps transfer rates over wifi now with this tweak.
Deal Addict
Mar 3, 2004
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When you are saying mbps, do you mean megabytes or megabits? If you are reading the transfer rate from windows explorer, it would be megabytes, and 25-30 megabytes/s is probably hitting maximum wireless would support in the real world.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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Let me guess: NTFS?
$10 days your router is the bottleneck
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 8, 2001
871 posts
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rupert wrote: When you are saying mbps, do you mean megabytes or megabits? If you are reading the transfer rate from windows explorer, it would be megabytes, and 25-30 megabytes/s is probably hitting maximum wireless would support in the real world.
Megabytes
[OP]
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Dec 8, 2001
871 posts
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death_hawk wrote: Let me guess: NTFS?
$10 days your router is the bottleneck
I'm using a 64gb micro sd card formatted to Fat32 (Lexar 633x with USB 3.0 adapter). Is Fat 32 the correct "format" for this application or should I be using exFat or something else?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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Busiu wrote: I'm using a 64gb micro sd card formatted to Fat32 (Lexar 633x with USB 3.0 adapter). Is Fat 32 the correct "format" for this application or should I be using exFat or something else?
You should be using something like EXT3.
I'd bet some more money saying that you'll get an increase in speed.
Probably not an acceptable increase in speed since consumer routers were never really designed for file transfers in mind but you'll see something better than NTFS since it doesn't have to be "translated".
[OP]
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Dec 8, 2001
871 posts
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death_hawk wrote: You should be using something like EXT3.
I'd bet some more money saying that you'll get an increase in speed.
Probably not an acceptable increase in speed since consumer routers were never really designed for file transfers in mind but you'll see something better than NTFS since it doesn't have to be "translated".
Thanks for the advice. I'll play around with that. Is there any advantage with going to EXT4?
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Aug 22, 2006
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Busiu wrote: Thanks for the advice. I'll play around with that. Is there any advantage with going to EXT4?
EXT4 is better assuming you can read it.
EXT3 is safer as in more devices can read it.
But I'd be seriously surprised if your device couldn't read EXT4, especially if there's a custom firmware.
Deal Guru
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Jun 27, 2004
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Busiu wrote: The reason why I'm asking is when wirelessly transferring files from my Notebook to the router storage, I'm only getting a transfer rate of about 6 mbps.
The obvious thing to try would be to see what the speeds are like when using a wired connection.
[OP]
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Dec 8, 2001
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death_hawk wrote: EXT4 is better assuming you can read it.
EXT3 is safer as in more devices can read it.
But I'd be seriously surprised if your device couldn't read EXT4, especially if there's a custom firmware.
One more Q? for you.

So EXT4 works on my router and the drive is accessible to my Nexus player, Windows 10 PC & Android Tablet but for some reason not my Samsung Smart TV. Would there be a reason why the TV is unable to access the content on the drive?

I also noticed that on Fat32 the wifi transfer rates are stable ~25 Mbps whereas on the EXT4 it fluctuates considerably between 11-30 ~Mbps, although I have only tested it once because it was getting late.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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Did your Samsung work before the switch to a different file system?
And please do your testing on wired. Wireless introduces its own set of issues.
Sr. Member
Sep 11, 2011
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Toronto
Have you tried an actual USB key, and not that adapter? I have a similar one and find I cant get over 15 MB/sec even while using USB3.0. They also get really hot and I'm sure that might slow it down too.
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Dec 3, 2003
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To give you an idea of what the router should be at least capable of have a look at this review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2478141,00.asp

To test file-transfer performance, we conducted read/write tests using a drive connected to the router's USB 3.0 port and a 1.5GB folder containing a mix of video, audio, and office document files. The RT-AC3200's read and write times came in at a middling 29.5MBps and 23.2MBps, respectively. This pales in comparison to the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1900 (WRT1900AC), which delivered read/write speeds of 80MBps and 66MBps, respectively.
Definition: Than
A conjunction used to introduce the second element of an unequal comparison: She had better grammar than I.
[OP]
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Dec 8, 2001
871 posts
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Just want to thank all of you for your input. I managed to format the drive to EXT4 and have all of my devices including the Samsung TV working. I'm getting the ~25MBps transfer speeds that Vacillator quoted in the above post.

The issue with the TV was that somewhere between the formatting of the drive to EXT4 and setup of the drive on my router, a sub folder was created that was named differently from the original and the TV wasn't linking to it.

Thanks Again!

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