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NAS - Help me work this out!


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#1 aod_

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:16 AM

Bear with me, as there's a lot of detail here to explain...

Background

I've had a NAS drive for some time now but the concept is still quite new to me.

l primarily bought it as a backup solution but it's never worked quite how I imagined or how I want.

Aside from various struggles with backup software my main problem is to do with the transfer bandwith between my local hard drive and the NAS via WIFI.

I wanted to have a robust, flexible, reliable and cost effective backup solution and a NAS seemed to fit the bill.

I need to back up my 750GB data drive and parts of my system drive (desktop, profile etc.).

I have a ZyXel NSA 325 NAS with 2 x 2 TB WD Reds In RAID 1.

Problem

Initially I had the NAS setup as recommended In the setup guide.So, NAS connected directly to router via CAT 5 and data transferred to it from my pc via WIFI.

Although it worked, data transfer was painfully slow (something like 5 MB/s) and the first full backup took nearly 48 hours (maybe more I can't recall).

Thinking this was down to the slow transfer rate of WIFI (54 mbps) I duly connected the NAS directly to the ethernet on my pc via CAT5 - theoretically increasing the bandwidth.

This has sort of worked except I've had intermittent network issues (IP address) which I've since learnt are because doing so forces Windows to use APIPA rather than DHCP.

I''ve been advised I should use my NAS in the 'conventional' way as I had it originally (connected directly to the router).

Questions

Which leads me on to my first question.

As I use WIFI as my primary connection to my router (like most home users) is it the norm to accept the low transfer rate of WIFI and wait multiple hours or days for backups to run, or am I missing a trick?

And my second question.

What can I do?

Is WIFI faster now? Do I need to get a new router and wireless card?

There must be a way around this? I can't believe the majority of consumers would just get on and accept having to wait 10 - 72 hours for backup to run. Even Incremental ones take a while.

I hope someone can shed some light on this as I've been scratching my head for quite sometime now!

Many thanks



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#2 SleepyDude

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:55 AM

Hi,

 

Wifi is usually slower than connecting the computer and the NAS directly to the router especially when you want to transfer a big amount of data.

 

The wireless speed is limited by the router and the wireless card you have, if both don't work using the same type of Wireless signal (standards A/B/G/N) the speed will be limited by the "slower device".

 

I'm connected by wireless with a theoretic max speed of 54 Mbps if I connect to the router using a Ethernet cable the max speed is 100 Mbps in my case, again some routers and network cards can provide 1Gbps (about 1.000 Mbps).


Edited by SleepyDude, 30 March 2014 - 06:55 AM.

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#3 jonuk76

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 11:02 AM

Something to note is that network speeds are quoted in Bits/Kilobits/Megabits/Gigabits etc. per second rather than bytes.  1 byte = 8 bits.  54 Megabits per second is 6.75 Megabytes per second.  Bear in mind this is a theoretical maximum, and you will never achieve the theoretical maximum in the real world.  If you are getting 5 MBps on a wireless transfer over a 54 Mbps connection then it's pretty good going really.

 

You can get faster wireless connections.  Wireless N *theoretically* can support up to 600 Mbps.  However more often than not, I've observed speeds of more like 100 Mbps, perhaps 150 on a good day in real life on my own hardware (with both a Linksys and TP Link Wireless N routers).  600 Mbps requires an ideal connection environment and 4 antenna's... The newest standard is Wireless AC which supports 500 Mbps+.  Both the wireless router and whatever you are connecting to it need to support the higher speed standards in order for them to work.

 

Over a wired connection I get 1 Gbps (theoretical 128 MB per second), because both the router and my PC have Gigabit ethernet ports.


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#4 aod_

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:26 AM

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!

Edited by aod_, 31 March 2014 - 08:27 AM.


#5 SleepyDude

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 04:33 PM

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!

Hi,

 

It all depends on the amount of data to transfer, for day to day copies and internet Wireless is fine, of course to get more speed you need to upgrade the equipment to take advantage of the new standards and speeds. The distance from the router also counts.

 

You talk about media applications don't forget that video streaming for example uses buffer and other techniques to minimize performance issues...

 

I would say that unfortunately many users don't do backups!!!


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#6 smax013

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:31 PM

The wireless speed is limited by the router and the wireless card you have, if both don't work using the same type of Wireless signal (standards A/B/G/N) the speed will be limited by the "slower device".


As well as distance between the computer and the WiFi access point/router and possible interference from physical objects.

#7 smax013

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:53 PM

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 connection…but 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 ethernet…assuming your computer, your router, all your ethernet cables, and your NAS all support Gigabit…or 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 port…so 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.

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 say…but 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).

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 802.11n…and 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.

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 mention…it also helps to set the backups to automatically run at night while you are sleeping. That is what I do.

Edited by smax013, 31 March 2014 - 06:54 PM.


#8 aod_

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 06:57 AM

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...

#9 jonuk76

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:24 AM

CAT 5 cable is limited to 100 Mbps (Fast Ethernet) while CAT 5e cable (which most "CAT 5" sold today is) will allow Gigabit connections.  CAT 6 is certified for Gigabit speeds over a 100m run and if it comes down to having to replace cable in the wall I guess it's probably worth the small price premium over CAT 5e cable.

 

I've had a problem with wireless blackspots and needed to have a decent connection to a set top box, which happened to be in a bad spot.  I didn't fancy the hassle of running Ethernet cable through the walls so I decided to try Ethernet over AC power (Power-Line).  It works pretty well, and is another option available.  I used some Zyxel kit, I think an older version of this.


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#10 smax013

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:40 AM

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.


Always glad to help when I can.
 

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 had the NAS directly connected to your computer's ethernet port (i.e. NAS <==> ethernet cable <===> computer) and NOT connected to your router AND it was working, they you were getting some sort of crossover happening…i.e. either you were using a crossover cable or one of the devices is able to automatically "crossover" the signals without a crossover cable (I know Macs have been able to do this for years, so it would not surprise me if Windows computers or other ethernet devices have started doing it as well). Without the "crossover" effect, it would not have worked at all.

This of crossover as like a telephone. A telephone in essence has "crossover" wires…when you talk into the mic on your phone, the person you are talking to hears it on their phones speaker and vice versa. A "normal" ethernet cable does not produce this kind of effect (unless the ethernet adapter can auto-detect the need to crossover and perform the crossover), so doing a direct connection between an NAS and computer with no crossover would be like you speaking into your mic and having that sound sent to mic of the person you are talking to. The "crossover" in a direct connection between two ethernet devices allow the "mic to connect to the speaker", so to speak.

Does that makes sense?

The APIPA is likely because you have it directly connected to your computer, if that is the case. Since you are not connecting the NAS to the router (which would have had a DNS "server" likely running to assign IP addresses), Windows needed a way to make the connection work and give the NAS a local IP address from the COMPUTER. This is essentially because you are in essence setting up two networks…you main network that the computer connects to so that you can get to the Internet (i.e. the connection of the computer to the router/WiFi) and a little mini network between the computer and the NAS. As I understand it, APIPA is a Windows function to establish a local network connection in such situations. So, it is likely this is a function of the direct connection between the NAS and the computer.

 

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.


First, as another poster noted, Cat5 is not was not technically designed for Gigabit speeds, HOWEVER, if can achieve Gigabit speeds if the connectors at the end are done right and the distance is not too long. My guess is that the Cat5 cable may not be a bottleneck for your purposes unless the all the wires are not connected at the end connectors. If you want to be sure, then you can go to Cat5e or Cat6 cables.

The second this is that your first bottleneck is like the router. It seems according to what little information I could find about that router that is only has 100 Mbps switch ports. So, if you connect the NAS to the router, then even if you get the WiFi network operating as a 802.11n network, you will still be limited to 100 Mbps due to the router ethernet ports.

So, if you want to use WiFi and gain the most throughput out of WiFi, then you will need a new 802.11n adapter for the computer and a new router with Gigabit ports…and maybe Cat5e or Cat6 cables (although it is likely your Cat5 cables might be OK). Doing those upgrades will then limit you to the 802.11n throughput whatever that ends up being.



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.


Backups do not necessarily need to be difficult or expensive. External USB hard drives are rather cheap. And it is not hard at all to drag copy important files from one drive to another drive. While that is a minimal backup approach (I would argue something more is better like what you are doing), it is not hard or expensive to do. So, I personally don't really buy that as an excuse for not backing up…but that is just my pet peeve, so to speak.

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...


Is it an incremental backup or a differential backup? While they are similar, there are still different. A differential backup will eat up more space faster than a true incremental backup. This info might help explain the difference:

http://www.acronis.com/en-us/resource/solutions/backup/2005/incremental-backups.html

The other issue is the size of files you are dealing with. If it is large video files, for example, one little change to that large file means backing up that large file for the incremental backup.

#11 aod_

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:43 AM

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.


Always glad to help when I can.


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 had the NAS directly connected to your computer's ethernet port (i.e. NAS <==> ethernet cable <===> computer) and NOT connected to your router AND it was working, they you were getting some sort of crossover happeningi.e. either you were using a crossover cable or one of the devices is able to automatically "crossover" the signals without a crossover cable (I know Macs have been able to do this for years, so it would not surprise me if Windows computers or other ethernet devices have started doing it as well). Without the "crossover" effect, it would not have worked at all.

This of crossover as like a telephone. A telephone in essence has "crossover" wireswhen you talk into the mic on your phone, the person you are talking to hears it on their phones speaker and vice versa. A "normal" ethernet cable does not produce this kind of effect (unless the ethernet adapter can auto-detect the need to crossover and perform the crossover), so doing a direct connection between an NAS and computer with no crossover would be like you speaking into your mic and having that sound sent to mic of the person you are talking to. The "crossover" in a direct connection between two ethernet devices allow the "mic to connect to the speaker", so to speak.

Does that makes sense?

The APIPA is likely because you have it directly connected to your computer, if that is the case. Since you are not connecting the NAS to the router (which would have had a DNS "server" likely running to assign IP addresses), Windows needed a way to make the connection work and give the NAS a local IP address from the COMPUTER. This is essentially because you are in essence setting up two networksyou main network that the computer connects to so that you can get to the Internet (i.e. the connection of the computer to the router/WiFi) and a little mini network between the computer and the NAS. As I understand it, APIPA is a Windows function to establish a local network connection in such situations. So, it is likely this is a function of the direct connection between the NAS and the computer.


Yup the NAS was connected directly to the PC ethernet port, via a supplied network cable, (NAS <==> ethernet cable <===> computer) and in no way was connected to the router.
So what you say about a seperate 'mini network' makes sense. For whatever reason it conflicts with something in my main network connection and produces intermittent connections / only works with a dynamic APIPA address, not static. There's probably a way around this, but like I say, it'll take lots of reading to understand it and configure it, unless anyone can advise!


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.


First, as another poster noted, Cat5 is not was not technically designed for Gigabit speeds, HOWEVER, if can achieve Gigabit speeds if the connectors at the end are done right and the distance is not too long. My guess is that the Cat5 cable may not be a bottleneck for your purposes unless the all the wires are not connected at the end connectors. If you want to be sure, then you can go to Cat5e or Cat6 cables.

The second this is that your first bottleneck is like the router. It seems according to what little information I could find about that router that is only has 100 Mbps switch ports. So, if you connect the NAS to the router, then even if you get the WiFi network operating as a 802.11n network, you will still be limited to 100 Mbps due to the router ethernet ports.

So, if you want to use WiFi and gain the most throughput out of WiFi, then you will need a new 802.11n adapter for the computer and a new router with Gigabit portsand maybe Cat5e or Cat6 cables (although it is likely your Cat5 cables might be OK). Doing those upgrades will then limit you to the 802.11n throughput whatever that ends up being.


OK - I'll check the connectors, although it's pretty old / and possibly cheap (can't remember) cable, and there's something like 30m of it.

Interesting to hear about what you found out about the router! I'm partly suprised it's not got gigabit ports, as I thought it was 'standard' these days but on the flip side, I'm not suprised as it's a 'cheap' router supplied for free by our ISP - even though they said it's thier 'best one'!

I'll have a think about the set up, but thinking a new router is probabaly going to happen soon anyway...


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.



Backups do not necessarily need to be difficult or expensive. External USB hard drives are rather cheap. And it is not hard at all to drag copy important files from one drive to another drive. While that is a minimal backup approach (I would argue something more is better like what you are doing), it is not hard or expensive to do. So, I personally don't really buy that as an excuse for not backing upbut that is just my pet peeve, so to speak.



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...



Is it an incremental backup or a differential backup? While they are similar, there are still different. A differential backup will eat up more space faster than a true incremental backup. This info might help explain the difference:

http://www.acronis.com/en-us/resource/solutions/backup/2005/incremental-backups.html

The other issue is the size of files you are dealing with. If it is large video files, for example, one little change to that large file means backing up that large file for the incremental backup.




It's an incremental backup, but as many files I work on are graphics (photoshop) or audio, then they tend to be quite big, so this makes sense. However confusingly, even if I don't do anything (e.g bootup, logon, but do nothing), it still backs up a few hundred MB a day. I think I'll change this to weekly.






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