Why is the file transfer to my NAS slow?

NAS is slow

Our homes have changed a lot in recent years in terms of network equipment. At first we only connected laptops or desktops. Then came the smartphones and tablets that we use to view multimedia content, communicate or view web pages. Then came the Smart TVs and recently home automation and IoT devices have begun to be added. Also on some occasions we already find ourselves with NAS servers, to store the files of our memories, multimedia or work, and also to set up our own private cloud at home. The problem is that sometimes we find that sending data is slow. In this article we are going to explain why my NAS is slow when transferring files and some possible solutions.

How does a NAS server work?

A NAS server comes from the acronym in English Network Attached Storage. In this case we find a computer that acts as a server that, through storage technology, is dedicated to sharing storage capacity with personal computers or clients, generally through a TCP/IP network and using different protocols. such as Samba, FTP, FTPES and even with SFTP to have the security of SSH when transferring files on the local network and over the Internet.

Today we have at our disposal a large number of NAS servers from different manufacturers. However, we can also set up our own server using operating systems designed for this purpose.

Operating systems for NAS servers are mainly based on Linux or FreeBSD. Its main characteristics are that they have by default a large amount of software to act as a server and also a very intuitive graphical user interface via web. This usually makes setting it up not too complicated. It can also happen that sometimes your NAS server works very slow, this means that the transfer of files does not work as fast as expected. Let’s first see who originates the causes and then we will see some possible solutions.

Items why the NAS is slow when passing files

When a NAS is slow to transfer files, the source of the problem may be in several places. The normal thing is that it is in one of these elements:

  • The NAS server itself.
  • On the client PC or other device that we are using.
  • On the router or switch.
  • Ethernet network cabling.

On the other hand, here are all the specifications that you should have if you are interested in buying a NAS for home. If one with these characteristics is not chosen, we will soon see that it falls short or that it does not meet our expectations from the beginning. Then it would not be surprising if we find that the NAS is slow because we have not chosen the right one.

What to check if the NAS is running slow

In the previous section, we discussed the elements that can cause the NAS to run slowly. In this case we will start with a Client PC connected by network cable. The first thing we would have to check would be the speed at which our Ethernet network adapter is connected. In Windows 10 it would be in Start Menu, Setting, Network and Internet, Ethernet and click on the button Properties. Then we would see a screen like this:

Currently, most network equipment is Gigabit Ethernet, so if it does not put a speed of 1000 Mbps or higher, we have already found the problem that the NAS is slow. Then the problem could be with the network cable or the Ethernet adapter does not have the correct driver installed or has failed.

In the case of a laptop wifi, the thing would be very similar, but instead of the Ethernet section we would go to the Wi-Fi section. There we will look at the speed and see if it meets expectations. On the other hand, whether it is a PC or a laptop, it would also be a good idea to look in the task manager to make sure that the computer is not at the limit of its performance. we should also check the router, it may be because there are many people connected at that time or it is being used intensively and is saturated. In that aspect, it is more likely to fail due to Wi-Fi because less bandwidth is always used.

Another thing you should also check when the NAS it’s slow check your status, if the use of the volume is greater than 90%, try to reduce it. For example, if the RAID type has been repaired or changed, wait until the operation is complete and check if the problem is resolved. In addition, another factor to take into account is that a NAS is designed to work with a certain number of clients simultaneously, if you ask for more it may fall short.

We must not forget either check ethernet cabling and check that it is in good condition. Finally, another option that we would have when a NAS is slow would be connect directly by network cable with the client, using at least a category 5e or 6 cable, to rule out local network problems.