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macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 22, 2008
I'm considering buying a wireless NAS for backup, but am concerned by what some consider to be unreasonably slow transfer speeds.

I'm non-tech and struggle to understand much of this stuff, so hopefully I can explain this well enough.

If I've understood things correctly, even though wireless (300Mbps) will only transfer at approx two-thirds of USB2 (480Mbps), the likely rate is 30 MB/sec and so a 1gb file should transfer in approx 30 seconds plus some extra time for the drives to handle things - a total of maybe approx 45-60 seconds.

So, from a practical viewpoint, the slower transfer doesn't seem to be a big problem. Or have I gotten this completely wrong?


Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
300Mbps is under absolutely ideal lab conditions with the devices basically sat on top of each other. Try and find some real-world tests. I suspect the real speed will be half that or less.


macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
for file transfers inside my network, I normally get around 11 MB/s, maybe 14 in short bursts.

on a retina MBP, and linksys e4200 - 5GHz- 802.11n.

if you've got older G wireless, expect it to be around 1-2 MB/s

USB should be around 25-30 MB/s

at 11MB/s a 1GB file should take about 1:42.
Speed calculator


macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2012
I average around 10 using current-model Extremes. The first backups (using a combination of Time Machine and SuperDuper!) are painful but after they complete I find that the subsequent, incremental backups are fine and happen in the background (or at night) without me even noticing.


macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
small update...

i've been using dd-wrt on my linksys. the wireless has been been a bit flakey (as was noted in the dd-wrt forums), had to reboot every day or 2 when the wireless dropped out.
Just reverted to factory firmware, I'm getting 33 MB/s up and down (yes big B, not little b), in the same room, about 5-10 feet away from the router. using both activity monitor during a file transfer, and using black magic disk speed test to read/write to a network drive.

this is 5GHz N, wide channel.
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