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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Thanked 49 Times in 46 Posts

    Easy file-copy speed test for your home network

    Here's an easy way to test how long it takes to copy files. This works great for testing any of the following:

    Any SSD, Hard drive, or USB drive to any SSD, Hard drive, or USB drive in/on the same computer.

    Same as above on different computers over your home network- wired or wireless.

    Step 1. Create a fake file using command line (cmd.exe). Click Start and type RUN. A box opens. In the box type CMD. In the results list right-click on cmd and select Run as Administrator. The command line window will open. (Alternatively, you can press the Windows key + R to get the RUN box to appear, then proceed.)

    In the command line window create a 1GB fake file by typing the following then hit the Enter key: fsutil file createnew fakefile.txt 1073741824
    Or, you can create a 10GB fake file simply by adding a zero (0) to the end of the number string for the 1GB size fake file. If you want to test the speed difference of, say, USB 2 versus USB 3 connection on your computer then the larger file will show the most dramatic difference in time taken.

    In the command line window it will tell you the location of the newly created fake file. On my Windows 7 pc it placed the file the Windows/System 32 folder. I moved it from there to my Public/Documents folder so i could easily access it from every other computer or device on our home network.

    You can see the transfer speed in the little progress window on the screen of the computer that's receiving the file. You can also use the stopwatch on your phone to time the file transfer.

    We used this to test a couple of things on our home network. Our computers all have SSDs. The first test was from the living room PC (via a 500Mbps Netgear AV5001 powerline adapter) to the router, then via 6 ft. ethernet cable to a home office PC. (Easy method is on the "receiving" computer access and click on Network/Living room/Users/Public/Public Documents and select fakefile.txt. Just click and drag the fake file to the desktop of the receiving computer and drop it onto the desktop. Click "Start" on your stopwatch if desired. I just watched the transfer speed indicator which showed around 9MB/sec. (it actually varies from 8.8MB/s to 9.2MB/s). This is using the old-fashoined Windows Home Networking instead of Windows HomeGroup which could only achieve about 6.2MB/s with our Win 7 and Win 8 computers. The other test was to transfer the same file from Living room to a laptop in the bedroom which was connected wirelessly on the 5.0GHz band. Here it managed to reach 9.8MB/s with occasional peaks of 10.1MB/s. This showed us that 5.0GHz wireless operating two rooms away from the router is faster than using the powerline adapters. Interesting result! For us, these tests show that we can send up to three HDTV signals from the router to the Living room to record TV shows while still using the internet or share files and not have any glitches in the TV recordings.

    You could also use this sort of test to check your USB flash drive or external hard drive, etc. Lots of uses, really.

    One thing worth pointing out is that when using powerline adapters be sure to unplug any phone charging cords from the wall even if you aren't using them. Our Apple charging cords in the same room as the router and the main powerline adapter caused enough interference (even though phones were NOT connected to the charging cords) to significantly reduce the data throughput speed of the powerline adapter.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Forever West
    Thanked 268 Times in 257 Posts
    Double-posted in General.

  3. #3
    Administrator jwitalka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Thanked 824 Times in 739 Posts
    Deleted the dupe in the Windows General Forum.


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