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Windows 7: Two (related?) Issues: Transfer Speeds VERY Slow

03 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Two (related?) Issues: Transfer Speeds VERY Slow

Hello everyone, first time post here. I will make every attempt to make it brief.

A 500GB external drive failed on me and I needed to restore all the files (mainly JPEGs) from Backblaze.

I was in the process of downloading the 143 GB compressed file to my Win7 machine and saw that my download speed was only 2.5Mbps. According to Verizon FIOS my internet speed should be 10/2. I added the Firefox plugin "Internet Download Manager" to try to speed things up.

If you do the math, the download would take well over 15 hrs. In the middle, there was a connection problem and I needed to start ALL over. Besides upgrading the FIOS speed, is there anything I can do on my computer's end to speed up the download? Hardware, software, tweak, plug-in, etc??

In another possibly related issue, I was transferring a very large 40 GB file from my external HD connected to my Win Vista machine to my Win7 machine's internal HD and it also had a transfer speed of about 2.5Mbps.

The external HD on the Vista machine is connected by USB 2.0 and the network is through my Verizon FIOS wireless N router. The Win7 machine has a brand new DELL network card.

How can I fix or speed up these two problems.

Thanks so much for your suggestions.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2010   #2
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X

The slow speed sounds like some sort of hard drive speed issue to me, but I'm probably wrong.

Regardless, here's a few ways to speed up your internet speeds.

1) Use a download manager that supports pausing and resuming downloads. This allows you to resume a "broken" download on most servers. My favorite download manager for Windows is Flashget 1.9. I don't particularly like the new version (3.5), but you might want to try that as well.
FlashGet(快车)-Best Download Manager

2) Make sure that your download manager knows to use multiple connections. This simply causes the download manager to download multiple parts of the same file at the same time. It can speed up certain connections. This is automatically enabled in most download managers.

From what I've seen, USB 2.0 speeds when not using a system cache tend to average around 22-25 MB/s on my computer. In other words, you should be able to transfer a 1GB file in a bit less than a minute. Extrapolating onwards, you'll have over 60 GB in an hour and so on.

Downloads using a 10/2 internet connection such as your own should average to around 1.25 MB/s. In other words you should be able to download about 75MB a minute and 4.5 GB an hour. 150GB will take about 33 hours to download. If your download said 15 hours, you're downloading at approximately 2.5MB/s.

Keep in mind that your rated line speed is measured in Megabits per second and your actual download speed that you see is rated in Megabytes per second.

As a last note, you should know that most online file backup solution tend to have low download speeds. This is the one part of these services that tends to suck. While it's a great place to store your files in case of file loss, when you want to download the backups it will take much longer to download them than it would if you used a commercial file storage solution such as Rapidshare, Megaupload, Filefactory or Hotfile.

More info on the speeds and math involved:

Line Speeds from your ISP are rated in bits.

The download speed you see in your download manager/browser is rated in bytes.

There are 8 bits in a byte.

To learn how long it will take to download something:

First take your line speed (10/2) and convert the first number (10) from megabytes to megabits. To do this, simply divide that number by 8.

10 / 8 = 1.25 Megabytes/second

Once you have your download speed in megabytes, divide the total size of the file (in megabytes) by that number. If downloading a 143 GB file:

143,000 / 1.25 = 114,400 seconds

That number is the number of seconds it will take to download the file, divide it by 60 to get minutes and so on if you need hours.

114400 / 60 = 1906 minutes
1906 / 60 = 31.7 hours

This gives you a final answer of approximately 31.7 hours to download the 143GB file using a 10/2 line. This is approximate due to the fact that there are actually 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte (Dividing by 1000 is easier) and line speeds tend to vary more than they are constant.

As a general approximation, you can divide or multiply each level of bits and bytes by 1000 to get to the next level, the actual number is nearer to 1024.

~1000 Bytes in a Kilobyte
~1000 Kilobytes in a Megabyte
~1000 Megabytes in a Gigabyte
~1000 Gigabytes in a Terabyte

and so on...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

I've used Free Download Manager, it's open source and it doesn't come with any 'spyware' Free Download Manager - absolutely free download accelerator and manager

FlahGet used to be advertisement-supported ..
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Thanks for the Flashget suggestion. As I said, I am using Internet Download Manager with Firefox.

The problem is that Backblaze downloads do not support resume. I emailed with their tech support and they are aware of that and are trying to correct that.

Do you think I can use Flashget and IDM together or should I disable IDM?

Should I use Flashget 3.3 or 1.9.6? Best Download Manager - FlashGet

In addition, what may be the reason my large file transfers from the Win Vista machine (wired to the router) to Win 7 machine (wireless) are so slow?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2010   #5
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X

You won't be able to use both programs to download the same file so you might as well pick one and stick with it. I don't see that they'd cause any problems being installed at the same time but you never know.

Personally, I use 1.9.6 but that's mostly because I use an extension called "Flashgot" which works with Flashget and I'm used to the style of 1.9.6. Either version will work and 3.5 is probably more user friendly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Two (related?) Issues: Transfer Speeds VERY Slow

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