10/24/11
3:34 pm

Forum Question: Which Setup Will Result In Faster File Transfer?

I just bought a new external HD. I plugged it into the USB port on my Time Capsule. Using my MBA on my wireless network, I’m dragging and dropping files from my Time Capsule to my external HD, but they seem to be transferring awfully slow for being connected via USB 2.0. I’m wondering are the files moving directly from my Time Capsule over the USB cable to my external HD? Or because the transfer is being orchestrated by the MBA, are the files actually traveling from the TC over wifi through my MBA and then back to my external HD? If the latter is true, I would think it would be faster to connect my MBA directly to the external.
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Cameron

Comments: 4 Responses to “Which Setup Will Result In Faster File Transfer?”

    10/24/11 @ 3:40 pm

    The bottleneck is not the USB connection. It is wifi. Wifi is a much much slower connection than USB.
    Plugging the drive directly into your MacBook Air will be much faster than transferring over wifi.

    Cameron
    10/24/11 @ 3:42 pm

    So even though the file is moving from the TC to the external drive which are directly connected to each other via USB, the file is not traveling over the USB cable but over wifi?

      10/24/11 @ 3:48 pm

      Oh, I see. You are transferring from the TC to the drive attached to it. Yes, so what is happening is the data is being copied from your TC drive, through your Mac, to the other drive. So it is going over wifi. Twice. Drives don’t have the capability to transfer files to each other. They just store data and send it to a computer.
      You should get better speed with the drive plugged into your MBA as you’ll only be going over wifi once.

        Cameron
        10/24/11 @ 3:49 pm

        Okay, thanks.

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