General Discussion: Computer Help Thread

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MrW avatar

2378 posts since 1/8/11

23 Jan 2018 08:16
Been using these with Time Machine on mine and the wife's MBPs, all good.
andymakesglasses avatar

19988 posts since 26/1/06

23 Jan 2018 09:35
I've been using a Toshiba Canvio 5TB for almost 3 years, quick transfers and does the job.

I also use a WD My Cloud 3TB plugged into the router (belt and braces) but the transfer speeds over the network on that are a lot slower than via USB 3 on the Toshiba.
Anto avatar

3427 posts since 19/1/12

23 Jan 2018 21:37
Thanks guys!

Was thinking about Cloud\NAS, but was worried exactly about that Andy…
andymakesglasses avatar

19988 posts since 26/1/06

posted 24 Jan 2018 09:47, edited 24 Jan 2018 09:47
I should have said that the WiFi transfer speeds are dictated by the capabilities of the router. Apparently it is possible to get faster speeds but I haven't looked into it properly yet. There's an in-depth comment on it in an Amazon review:

Mr S on Amazon wrote: I can see a lot of conflicting reviews, as there are with most NAS devices. This is mainly due to variations in people's network setups/speeds.

Put simply, if you're not using the latest technology, you're not going to be able to take full advantage of the My Cloud or any other NAS device. It will work, but slowly. I think a lot of confusion is created by the difference between megaBITS and megaBYTES. Transfer speeds are often quoted in bits rather than bytes, yet file sizes are commonly known in terms of bytes. For example a transfer speed of 100Mbps is not the same as 100MBps. The capital B makes all the difference. 100Mbps (bits) actually translates to a transfer speed of about 12.5MBps.

Now lets talk ethernet. Ethernet is the standard internet cable you plug into the bag of your router to connect to your PC or from the My Cloud to your router. The My Cloud is a gigabit ethernet device. That means it can potentially transfer up to 1000Mbps (megabits), or roughly 125MBps (megabytes). Most older routers are limited to 10/100 ethernet, which is limited to 100Mbps (megabits), or 12.5MBps (megabytes). The difference is obviously huge. At it's peak, that means a 10GB 1080 movie file will transfer in just over 13 minutes on 10/100 ethernet, but barely over 1 minute on gigabit.

I imagine a lot of people are buying the My Cloud expecting the quoted transfer speeds and being hugely disappointed when they're capped at around 12.5MBps. To check, look at the back of the My Cloud. There are 2 lights next to the ethernet port. The top light is the activity light. Ignore that one and look at the bottom light. If it's a dull amber looking colour, that means you're connected via 10/100 and your speed is limited. If it's a brighter yellow/green colour similar to the activity light, then you're gigabit enabled.

So why are you limited to 10/100? The reasons could be:

1. Your router is not capable of gigabit. Only quite recent routers have gigabit ports, and even then usually not all of the ports are gigabit enabled. On my router I have four slower 10/100 ports and only one gigabit port. Obviously, if you plug the My Cloud into a 10/100 port, it's limited to 10/100 speeds.

2. Your cables are no good. Cat 5 is no good. You need a Cat 5e or Cat 6 ethernet cable, or gigabit won't work even if you are connected to a gigabit enabled port. There are also various reports about the quality of cables being a factor. Cheap cables might not give you the required results However the cable included with the My Cloud IS a Cat 5e cable and should work fine with gigabit, having tested it myself.

3. The connection between your router and your receiving end (PC/laptop/tablet/phone) isn't gigabit. You also need a gigabit connection from your router to whatever device you're streaming/transferring to. That means another Cat5e/Cat6 cable running from your router to your device. Problem is a lot of routers (like mine) only have ONE gigabit port. If I connect my router to my PC, I'm stuck with 10/100 speeds, even if gigabit is working fine between the My Cloud and the router. The solution? You have two choices, either buy a router with more gigabit ports, or buy a gigabit switch (not regular, has to be gigabit) to act as a kind of splitter which will give you additional gigabit ports. Google it.

4. The receiving end isn't capable of gigabit. Whatever device you're streaming/sending to has to also be capable of gigabit. That means you have to have your Cat5e/6 cable connected to a gigabit enabled port on your PC motherboard or laptop. Check the device manual and it should state whether or not the ethernet port is gigabit. As always, make sure you're drivers are also up to date.


I think this is where most people here are coming unstuck. If you're accessing your My Cloud wirelessly, you're more likely to have problems. Connect by ethernet, using the guidelines above, and you should be fine. If you DO want to use wireless regardless, bear in mind that unless you have "ac" wireless, you're not going to get gigabit-type speeds. Regular wi-fi is a/b/g/n (usually n) which is similarly limited to 10/100 speeds (12.5MBps). This means, first of all, you need to have an ac router. Secondly, your receiving device needs to have ac. Only the very latest phones/tablets are ac capable. For example, an ipad air 1 doesn't have ac. An ipad air 2 does. Most wireless cards in laptops are NOT ac. You may need to buy a new wireless card e.g. Intel 7260.

Once you're set up with a wireless ac device connecting to an ac capable router, expect vastly improved speeds but still not as fast as a hard wired gigabit ethernet connection. If I'm about 6 feet away from the router I get about 11-12MBps (megabytes) using NON-ac wireless. With ac wireless I get 40-50MBps. It's a huge difference.

In summary, the read speeds you can expect are roughly:

1. Ethernet gigabit wired - 75MBps
2. Ethernet 10/100 wired - 12.5MBps
3. Wireless non-ac - 8-12MBps
4. Wireless ac - 20-50MBps depending on how close you are to the router

If you want to compare these speeds to e.g. a USB 3.0 drive, these usually top out at about 100 to 125MBps, so if you're getting the top speeds over your network the My Cloud can make external storage pretty much redundant.

Short version - a USB 3.0 hard drive is quick and easy.
MrW avatar

2378 posts since 1/8/11

24 Jan 2018 10:12
Anto wrote: Was thinking about Cloud\NAS, but was worried exactly about that Andy…

I used to use a QNAP NAS with 2x1tb RAID 1 for backup thinking I was safe. QNAP glitched out in a powercut, lost maybe 30% of the data on there despite trying pretty much every available data recovery software. Mirroring is good but can also mean both disks are affected in some instances.

Got my data saved on multiple drives now but will probably go cloud when I get myself set up again.

Anto avatar

3427 posts since 19/1/12

24 Jan 2018 22:11
Thanks Andy, that's very interesting as disappointing…

Got quite excited when I found out my router ticked all the boxes with ac wi-fi protocol and gigabit ports but, as I wanted to go wireless, my receiving MBP lacks the ac wi-fi card…end of the game Sad Far too away from the router to wire it…

I reckon you suggestion is the best in the end Shocked
andymakesglasses avatar

19988 posts since 26/1/06

posted 25 Jan 2018 08:50, edited 25 Jan 2018 08:50
I haven't actually got around to doing it yet but my plan was to do the initial (large) Time Machine backup with the My Cloud drive plugged directly into my Mac, then move it to the router and do subsequent smaller backups (where the speed is less of an issue) via wireless.

In reality so far I just back up to the USB 3.0 drive from time to time.
Anto avatar

3427 posts since 19/1/12

25 Jan 2018 21:46
Yeah that might be an option too. Will look a bit more into them to see if i can convince myself going that way instead of the easy one…
Razorlight123 avatar

4149 posts since 13/1/10

posted 16 Feb 2018 10:53, edited 16 Feb 2018 10:53
Any of you guys used Google Drive Filestream -

You're able to see all your files on a virtual drive linked to your Google Drive, and it downloads & saves on demand rather than fully downloading them onto your drive to sync.

Although it's only available for businesses (or if you have G-Suite subscription), There are many encrypted alternatives, such as Stablebit Clouddirve - that work across various cloud based providers…

You can also use Drivepool that duplicates a folder from your PC into your cloud drive


ExpanDrive is what I'm looking for, clouddrive is good, if you're essentially looking to encrypt files on your cloud provider, but not easily accessible across the providers apps.
shego avatar

1505 posts since 11/12/07

29 Jul 2018 19:01
VPN recommendations? for torrenting etc.
sofashionmuchamaze avatar

640 posts since 12/12/13

29 Jul 2018 20:00
Private Internet Access is the best combination of privacy and convenience imo. You can find some deals if you google a bit.