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Slow LANs

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I've attended a lot of LAN parties at friend's houses and have come to a conclusion: File transfer are sooooooooooo slow. We just share files and type their IP address in Windows Explorer to access these files. I wanted to ask of two things: 1. Are there any existing programs out there that have fast file transfers? 2. What programming resources are available on this topic so that I may program my own application for these LAN parties? Thanks.

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Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
What network speed are you running? File tranfers should in fact be quite fast.


We run at 100 Mbps, the fastest average that most of us have and the switch is 100 Mbps as well. Some of us have gigabit but its worthless without a gigabit switch.

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I'm often housing LAN parties here, and file transfers using windows plain built-in file sharing services have always been quite fast. When we still had 100 MBit connections, a CD image took about 12 minutes, with 1 GBit it's now less than 2 Minutes.

What are your average times ?
Is there something special about your network configuration ?
Fixed IPs or DHCP servers ?
Default 192.168.0.x or are you maybe routing between subnets ?

-Markus-

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And are you sure that no one is running 10 mbps cards? Depending on the quality of your switch, it can just toggle the entire switch to 10 mbps, or only the port of the card. Also, Gigabit would be worthless in all situations, unless you have motherboards that could actually keep up with a network connection that fast. Gigabit to the Desktop is a pipe-dream for now.

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Quote:
Original post by intrest86
Also, Gigabit would be worthless in all situations, unless you have motherboards that could actually keep up with a network connection that fast.


While you might not get the full advantage, you can get speeds higher than 100Mbps out of them, so it's still useful if you happen to be able to use it.

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Also if you're all doing it, you might be filling the [likely poor quality] switch's backplane.

Just like an ISP's backbone can't support all of their users using all of their bandwidth, most switch backplanes aren't meant to handle full traffic on every port.

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Quote:

We run at 100 Mbps, the fastest average that most of us have and the switch is 100 Mbps as well. Some of us have gigabit but its worthless without a gigabit switch.



That's very weird if it's true.. XP can use up to 60% of the network connection (according to Task Manager) when transferring between 100-100 Mbps. But when transferring between 1024-1024 Mbps then XP can utilize up to 87%!
These numbers are valid both with a router (100 Mbps) and without a router (direct 100 Mbps RJ45 connection) if that helps the validation.
I don't know all the stats of the transfers of course, but I think Task Manager speaks for itself - I know it's not that accurate compared to other programs, but I also notice a speed increase myself every time, so TM's numbers seems quite valid to me...

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Windows seems to be really slow with NetBIOS transfers until you map network drives. In my experience, browsing latency is significantly decreased and overall throughput markedly increased when working over a mapped drive as opposed to just using UNC paths (e.g. \\192.168.0.47). This seems to happen even when interacting with other OSes (specifically, Samba running on Linux) so it's likely a client-side bottleneck in Windows itself. See if mapping network drives helps you any.

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