Solution to ReadyNAS Slow Wireless Performance issues

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Solution to ReadyNAS Slow Wireless Performance issues

Postby ipaul81 » Mon May 07, 2012 7:29 pm

Hi All

I want to share my experience with you after owning my ReadyNas Ultra2+ for over a year now. Specifically, I wanted to provide some information regarding issues related to using the ReadyNas over a Wireless network. I personally have experienced slow file transfer speeds when using the NAS over 802.11N and after searching over Google and these forums it seems there are allot of other users sharing similar problems.

I want to point out that I understand using 802.11N or any other Wireless standard to connect to the NAS will not perform as well as a Gigabit Ethernet connection. The point of this is to gain the max performance from your Wireless connection if you are having trouble over wireless. Another thing to note is that I am a MAC user and my transfers are done using the AFP service. I can’t speak to you as a Windows user as I don’t not have a single Windows Machine in my home network.

This is what my home Network looks like.

Apple Airport Extreme with Gig Ethernet and 802.11N (2.4GHZ b/g compatible)
Two Macbook Pros connected using- 802.11N (2.4GHZ) One using OSX Lion the other Snow Leopard.
ReadyNAS Ultra 2+ with 2x Seagate 2TB drives in X-Raid. Connected to Airport Extreme using Included Gigabit Cable.
PS3 connected to Router using Gig Ethernet
Network Printer Connected with Gig Ethernet.


I use the NAS primarily to keep all of my Video Content, Music and document backups. Since owning the ReadyNAS my file transfer speeds to the device over wireless have been pretty average both read and write. For example, I get an average of 2MB/S read/write. If I connect the laptop direct to the router using Gigabit Ethernet then the speed is much faster. After some searching over Google there were a number of trouble shooting tips. One of the common ones was to change the Wireless frequency to 5GHZ or to change the Wireless N adapter and NAS MTU to less than the default 1500 such as 1430 or 1493. I tried both and neither improved anything plus I don’t really want to run 5GHZ at home as none of my Smartphone’s support it.

After lots of playing around with all sorts of settings on both the NAS and my Wireless devices I had pretty much given up until I decided to change the Airport Extreme Wireless Channel Settings. I had my Airport Extreme set to Wireless Channel 2 and in result I would get the 2MB/s transfer speeds to the NAS. I then set it to Automatic which so happened to select Channel 7 for me. The results were similar if not worse. The Airport Extreme gives you 13 separate Wireless Channels to choose from so I tested each one with a 2 Gigabyte File Transfer. The results on each channel were mixed but I have decided to share with you some of the results, more so the better performing channels.

These are the average Read/Write speeds shown in the tests

Channel 13 = 10MB/s
Channel 7 = 10MB/s
Channel 6 = 10MB/s
Channel 5 = 8MB/s
Channel 4 = 7MB/s
Channel 1 = 8MB/s

Automatic = 2MB/s (not so great)
Channel 2 = 2MB/s (what I have been using for the last 6 months)


So as you can see the results are mixed and to my surprise I have been using a below average connection for quite some time thinking that it was all the norm. In the test the lower performing Channels would take approximately 8-20 minutes to transfer the file. On the higher performing channels it would only take 2-3 minutes max. I also find it bizarre that the Airport Extreme Wireless Channel Automatic setting chooses a lower performing channel. I assumed it would pick the best suited to your environment. I am now running Wireless Channel 6 and it is working very well. I suggest you try all channels until you find the best performing ones.

I hope this information is useful to anyone that is sharing the same problems. I can’t guarantee that it will fix any issues you may have but I can confirm that it has simply fixed mine and given me a much better user experience with my ReadyNAS.
Last edited by ipaul81 on Wed May 09, 2012 5:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Solution to ReadyNAS Slow Wireless Performance issues

Postby StephenB » Wed May 09, 2012 5:42 am

There are some tools that will show you nearby access points, their channel use and signal strength. InSSIDer is one freeware one. It is useful to take a look at what is nearby, it allows you to pick the channel with the least competition.

Note that in the 2.4 gHz band, the channels overlap, so you should take that into account.
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Re: Solution to ReadyNAS Slow Wireless Performance issues

Postby ipaul81 » Wed May 09, 2012 6:37 am

I just used NetSpot which is a free download from the Apple App store. I could see all the other SSID's in close proximity, their signal strength and the wireless channel they are using. For example I can see that my neighbour is using 802.11N 2.4GHZ on channel 1.
Most of the low performing channels that came up in my test are actually being used by other networks close by so it just proves how easily your neighbouring WIFI networks can cripple the performance for your own WIFI network. Just make sure you are using an unused channel to get the best results.
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Re: Solution to ReadyNAS Slow Wireless Performance issues

Postby StephenB » Wed May 09, 2012 7:35 am

Since the WiFi channels overlap, and since 802.11n (and some "superG" routers use channel bonding) it is often hard to tell what channel is best from a simple list.

For instance, if your neighbor uses channel 1, normally the next higher independent channel is channel 6. But if they are using channel bonding, the next higher independent channel might be channel 11. inSSIDer gives you a graphical look at the spectrum use, which is helpful.

Of course none of these tools will spot bluetooth interference, etc. they only can show wifi. Those other devices can also create interference.
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Re: Solution to ReadyNAS Slow Wireless Performance issues

Postby ipaul81 » Wed May 09, 2012 2:48 pm

StephenB wrote:Since the WiFi channels overlap, and since 802.11n (and some "superG" routers use channel bonding) it is often hard to tell what channel is best from a simple list.

For instance, if your neighbor uses channel 1, normally the next higher independent channel is channel 6. But if they are using channel bonding, the next higher independent channel might be channel 11. inSSIDer gives you a graphical look at the spectrum use, which is helpful.

Of course none of these tools will spot bluetooth interference, etc. they only can show wifi. Those other devices can also create interference.


Looks like a great app but I think its for windows only. Are you aware of anything similar for MAC? Somehow I don't think I can escape the overlap issue. If I look at all the other WiFI networks in my building they are spread across all 13 channels. These are the channels used... 1, 2, 4, 6, 11
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Re: Solution to ReadyNAS Slow Wireless Performance issues

Postby StephenB » Thu May 10, 2012 2:05 am

There is a Mac version (http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider-for-mac/), but there is a small charge (about $5.00). I don't have a Mac, so I don't know how it compares to the Windows versions.
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Re: Solution to ReadyNAS Slow Wireless Performance issues

Postby ipaul81 » Tue May 29, 2012 6:48 am

I upgraded my 2nd Gen Airport Extreme last week to the 5th Generation. It is so much better having simultaneous dual band Wifi. I now get 18-21MB/s over WiFi. Transferring large files to and from the NAS takes half the time now :)
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