First of all, thanks everyone for the help so far and especially smax013
- thanks for taking the time to read through, understand and answer my questions fully!
I really appreciate it and you're a credit to this great forum.
Ok thanks all. I am aware of bits vs bytes etc but was struggling to understand if what I was doing was either way out of date or normal, but maybe my expectations were way above what is achievable (for average consumer technology).
It sounds as if wifi is not the most efficient connection to use to my NAS, and I guess I'll need to go back to using a cable connection between my pc and router.
Does this kind of thing get mentioned much, as im a bit staggered that with the huge increase in wifi connected devices in the home and growing media connections, backing up is ever prevalent?
Im not sure what most people use these days - maybe cloud backups - but I get the impression those who use a NAS don't complaint about this problem.
I generally have high expectations of technology; perhaps that's the issue!
As noted by others, WiFi is starting to get as "speedy" as a wired connectionbut you will need/want at least 802.11n if not even 802.11ac equipment.
What is best to use is also highly a function of the amount of data you need to backup. If you are backing up 750 GB (the size of your data drive) for the first time, then I would argue you want to use your fastest possible option for that first backup. This would be Gigabit ethernetassuming your computer, your router, all your ethernet cables, and your NAS all support Gigabitor if you want to connect the NAS directly to the computer then just the computer, the NAS, and the crossover cable need to be Gigabit compatible. From looking up the specs of your NAS device, it does have a Gigabit portso it will really come down to your computer and maybe the router (if you don't want to connect directly). FWIW, up until recently, most consumer routers generally did NOT have Gigabit ports.
I intially thought that Ethernet would be the best option for the first full backup, and it is - it did work pretty well when I first set it up this way (mid 2013) I think it took a few hours or so - much better than over WLAN. I continued to use it this way (NAS connected directly to PC ethernet), and ran incremental backups for about 6 months. I worked ok, apart from issues with the IP address. Windows would pretty much refuse to find the NAS with a static IP, and when changing to dynamic, it would be a bit unreliable, and also cause issues with my backup software not finding the NAS. This turned out to be because the NAS is not getting an IP from the DHCP on the router, and instead being assigned an APIPA address by Windows. Another realm of networking that i didn't really want to spend to much time learning about! (It should just 'work', right?)
It was this issue that led to the advice (on the Zyxel forum) to use the NAS conventionally, connected to the router and not the PC. So back to square 1! Or will a cross-over cable fix this? I know they're for connecting 2 devices directly via ethernet, but can't remember why it's important.
If you computer does not have a Gigabit ethernet port, then you likely are better off with 802.11n or 802.11ac. Since you did not mention any details of your PC, it is possible that it already has at least an 802.11n WiFi card included. Or it could be that your router is already an 802.11n router. Without details of the PC or router, we cannot saybut since you said you only had 802.11g "speeds (aka 54 Mbps), then either the computer or router or both are limited to 802.11g. So, if you computer is limited to a 100 Mbps ethernet port, then you may need to upgrade the WiFi card and/or the router (note that if your router is 802.11n, but does not have Gigabit ports, then you would still need to upgrade it to get full advantage of 802.11n "speeds" other wise the 100 Mbps ports of the router will be the bottleneck).
Upon checking, I've discovered the following:
Main ADSL router / Wireless AP - EchoLife HG532 Home Gateway - 802.11n
Wifi Repeater - TP-Link TL-WA701ND - 802.11n
Ethernet port in PC - Asus P5K Premium/WiFi-AP Black Pearl - Gigabit
WiFi on Motherboard - Asus P5K Premium/WiFi-AP Black Pearl - 802.11g
(driver issues so don't use)
PCI Wiresless card - Belkin Wireless G Network Card - 802.11g (bottleneck 1)
30m CAT5 UTP cable - (connectes Wifi Repeater to Main ADSL router) - Not sure if Gigabit (possible bottlneck 2)
So looks like I either upgrade my Wireless card in my PC, and / or the the CAT5 cable (will have to re-rout this round the house though
) - how do I tell if the cable if gigabit capable. It's probably about 10 years old.
Also, the reason I don't connect the Wifi repeater to the Main ADSL router via Wifi, is that it's just plain unreliable and doesn't work well / difficult to set up. I used to use the CAT5 directly into my PC for internet access, however now I use this to connect to the Wifi repeater, and my PC connects to WiFi.
FWIW, my main computer is connected to my NAS device by way of ethernet because all my devices have Gigabit. This is a laptop, but I actually only really use it as a "desktop" these days. This works well as it has a 1.5 TB data drive in addition to the 250 GB boot drive. For my other laptop (that I actually use as a laptop), I use WiFi to backup to my NAS, but then it has 802.11n and my routers is 802.11nand it only has a 256 GB drive in it, so it is backing up MUCH less data, especially after the initial backup.
If you are backing up a lot of data each day (even with incremental backups), then you really should try to get it setup using Gigabit ethernet if you can. If you cannot, then definitely upgrade the WiFi setup. To put things in perspective, a USB 2.0 drive should backup at "speeds" of 300 to 400 Mbps. In theory, 802.11n can potentially match (or exceed) that, while Gigabit ethernet should exceed it (and in theory exceed even Firewire 800 drives). The only way to in theory backup faster is with USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt.
Thanks for the info, it's interesting to learn how others have this kind of thing set up.
I think I may need to upgrade the CAT5 cable, but need to verify this (not sure how), and as mentioned there are some 802.11G involved, so need to get those looked into.
And I give you a gold star for backing up. Frankly, you are likely ahead of 90% to 95% of the computer users out there.
Edit: I forgot to mentionit also helps to set the backups to automatically run at night while you are sleeping. That is what I do.
Thank you! I shall were it proudly!
I work in IT, so am accutely aware of the perils of not backing up (and have learnt the hard way) - ironically, now I have a backup solution set up, that is supposedly straight forward, I find myself in this prediciment, which is part of the reason some people don't bother - e.g it's expensive and difficult. But worth it IMO. You can't put a price on the data that you could loose, and the expense and time of recovering it, can end upmore than the hassle of getting a backup plan working inthe first place.
Finally - I have my backups run on a daily schedule, so the automation isn't a problem. Although I do have an issue with Incremental backups taking a large amount of space every day. My 2TB drives are nearly full from 1 full backup and 2 months of incrementals! Even when not making many changes. But that's for a different thread...