Macbook + Airport Express + External HDD = slow

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by 00bolt, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. 00bolt macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2007
    I just got an airport express and hooked up my external hard drive and my printers. Everything works great.

    The only problem Im having is, it seems very very slow to transfer files to and from the external hard drive. I tried transfering over a 2gb MP4 video last night and i waited so long I finally went to bed.

    is this typical? Could it be my hard drive itself? this is the HDD i have

    could I have it formated incorrectly or something?

    When i surf the internet, its very fast.
  2. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    You didn't specify how long you waited before going to bed only that you went to bed after an undefined period of time. Given that we have no way to determine if it is typical.

    Also is the external hard drive connected to the AirPort Express? If so, I though that the AirPort Express didn't support USB hard drives, only USB printers.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    open activity monitor (in /applications/utilities) to see what your actual speed is.

    your connection to the internet is typically slower than any 802.11G or N (and almost B). (unless you are paying for super premium business class service).
    Meaning it would take longer to download a 1GB file from the internet than to copy to a local network hard drive.
    A typical web page is very small compared to a 2GB file, (maybe .01%) so what seems like fast internet and slow file transfer could really be the same speed.

    also what kind of connection are you using 802.11G, 802.11N?
    If you are running in 802.11N with G compatible, and you connect a G device, your network will slow to the lower speed.

    i did a test on my G network, a 2.2GB file said "about 27 minutes" when i started it and on the N "about 5 minutes" both of these numbers are pretty much line of sight to the different base stations, and typical of what i normally see.
    Walls, Microwaves, cordless phones, other wireless networks and other forms of interference all have varying levels of impact on wireless signals.

    also as the previous poster said, the express doesn't take drives, only the extreme. and if you are able to see the drive and transfer files, then it is formatted correctly.

    what happens when you plug the drive directly into the computer, how fast are the transfers then? (you can also see this in activity monitor)
  4. edmondo69 macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    I have the same issue but I have 2X 1TB disks and file transfer speed from my MBP to the Airdisk is very slow, it's going at what seems like a G speed rather than an N speed.

    I did enable the 5Ghz network and the speed improved a little but not what it should be at. the distance between the MBP and ABEx is 4 feet and there are no walls or any other radio devices near by.

    Can anyone help me improve the speed or have an application that can monitor wifi speeds ?

  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008

    try a cable. see if that fixes it.

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