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  1. #1
    Slow FTP over Wifi
    I hope someone can help, I tried searching the forums but could not find anything.

    I have a MBP (late 2008 model) this is connected to a TP-link 3420 wireless 3G router using 3G to connect to the web.

    using speedtest.net my download speeds are at an acceptable level (for where I am situated) but the upload test, when it does work, it very slow (under 1Mbps).

    But, if I plug the 3G modem directly into the USB port on the MBP the uploads are always over 1Mbps, actually normally much closer to the download speeds.

    Now since I regularly FTP my photographs to our web server for clients to access I need decent upload speeds.

    The router is in the same room as the MBP, signal strength is 100% and signal noise is very low.

    I've googled till my eyes look like the oooo 's in the word google. Please help.

  2. #2
    Slow FTP over Wifi
    mrplow's Avatar
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    I'd suggest this is nothing to do with wifi but is more to do with the processing and handling of the data.

    SImply, the router isn't as capable at handling the traffic as your MBP is.

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mrplow View Post
    I'd suggest this is nothing to do with wifi but is more to do with the processing and handling of the data.

    SImply, the router isn't as capable at handling the traffic as your MBP is.
    how do you explain the high download transfer rate then ? we're talking 4Mbps down vs average of 0.3Mbps up.
    at first I thought it was the ISP limiting the uploads, but when the 3G modem is plugged directly into the MBP its above 1Mbps.

  4. #4
    Slow FTP over Wifi
    mrplow's Avatar
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    Receiving data doesn't need anything like the processing required to send data and manage the transmission to completion.

    Try making a wired connection from router to MBP. I suspect you'll see an improvement (ethernet is easier to run than wifi) but it still won't be as good as the direct connection.

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mrplow View Post
    Receiving data doesn't need anything like the processing required to send data and manage the transmission to completion.

    Try making a wired connection from router to MBP. I suspect you'll see an improvement (ethernet is easier to run than wifi) but it still won't be as good as the direct connection.
    actually I was just trying a wired connection when I received you previous reply, its not much better.
    what bugs me though is that more often than not it will not upload at all. The speedtest.net upload test times out. now that cant be a processing problem on the router. I'm convinced its either a setting on the MBP or the router that I'm missing.

  6. #6
    Slow FTP over Wifi
    mrplow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ouzo View Post
    The speedtest.net upload test times out. now that cant be a processing problem on the router.
    Yes it can.

    However . . . .

    It can't be you're MBP - it works when connected directly, it makes the wi-fi connection correctly. The only difference is whether the router is in the chain.

    It could be a router setting. Although, unless you have particular requirements for the provider you're 3G is with or you've tinkered with the settings I'd expect the basic i/o functions of the router to work out of the box.

    You could try a factory reset, check for firmware updates and then check your 3g providers site to see if they have particular settings (but I'd argue that if this were the case you'd need to replicate the settings on your MBP but that works OK)

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mrplow View Post
    Yes it can.
    but even if it was a rubish router, surely it should be able to handle some magnitude of upload. completely timing out it just absurd.

    However . . . .

    It can't be you're MBP - it works when connected directly, it makes the wi-fi connection correctly. The only difference is whether the router is in the chain.

    It could be a router setting. Although, unless you have particular requirements for the provider you're 3G is with or you've tinkered with the settings I'd expect the basic i/o functions of the router to work out of the box.

    You could try a factory reset, check for firmware updates and then check your 3g providers site to see if they have particular settings (but I'd argue that if this were the case you'd need to replicate the settings on your MBP but that works OK)
    agreed in part, I'm thinking its either some general networking setting on the MBP or a setting on the router, or both, something that may be causing incompatibilities.

    to add, I was experiencing the common problem of the wireless connection just coming to a standstill, having to turn wifi off then on to get going again. I tried changing frequencies, speeds and channels and eventually found that turning WMM off on the router sorted it out, the slow upload issue could still be a symptom of this though.

  8. #8
    Slow FTP over Wifi
    mrplow's Avatar
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    to add, I was experiencing the common problem of the wireless connection just coming to a standstill, having to turn wifi off then on to get going again. I tried changing frequencies, speeds and channels and eventually found that turning WMM off on the router sorted it out, the slow upload issue could still be a symptom of this though.
    So a router config issue then?

    I've seen enough failing, faulty and mis-configured routers to know that that kind of failure (upload and/or download timeouts) are nothing close to absurd. They are an annoying and all too frequent issue with all routers. Although I've seen greater failure rates with budget models, even high end kit can suffer failures. But if not hardware failure poor/buggy/mis-configured firmware can cripple a router.

    How can it possibly be the MBP if it works when connected directly?
    From the information you've supplied the router is either failing, faulty or mis-configured.

    The only way to be sure is to temporarily replace each component in the chain until, after several speedtests, you can determine which component or components are at fault.

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mrplow View Post
    So a router config issue then?
    a google for macbook and intermittent wifi issues will reveal a host of sites with people complaining about the same issue with various brands of routers. I think it may just be a compatibility issue with the way apple handles its wireless protocols vs other manufacturers.

    I've seen enough failing, faulty and mis-configured routers to know that that kind of failure (upload and/or download timeouts) are nothing close to absurd. They are an annoying and all too frequent issue with all routers. Although I've seen greater failure rates with budget models, even high end kit can suffer failures. But if not hardware failure poor/buggy/mis-configured firmware can cripple a router.

    How can it possibly be the MBP if it works when connected directly?
    From the information you've supplied the router is either failing, faulty or mis-configured.

    The only way to be sure is to temporarily replace each component in the chain until, after several speedtests, you can determine which component or components are at fault.
    i suppose if you really look at it the MBP sees the 3G modem as a network device when plugged in directly, so if its a general network setting on the MBP it should apply to the 3G as well.
    That then leaves the router as the issue.

    as with the intermittent connection issue, could it not be a compatibility issue ?

  10. #10
    Slow FTP over Wifi
    mrplow's Avatar
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    a google for macbook and intermittent wifi issues will reveal a host of sites with people complaining about the same issue with various brands of routers. I think it may just be a compatibility issue with the way apple handles its wireless protocols vs other manufacturers.
    This is as maybe but from the information given you have the same issues wired or wireless so this seems to be a red herring as far as your upload issue is concerned.


    i suppose if you really look at it the MBP sees the 3G modem as a network device when plugged in directly, so if its a general network setting on the MBP it should apply to the 3G as well.
    That then leaves the router as the issue.
    I think that's it, in a nutshell.

    as with the intermittent connection issue, could it not be a compatibility issue ?
    Is this the wifi issue or the 3g upload issue?
    If it's the wifi connectivity issue then yes. It's true that some wifi kit doesn't get on with other wifi kit. Be that a hardware clash/disparity or more often than not a security protocol issue WEP/WPA/WPA2 etc. Modern Mcs, in particular, don't play nice with routers using WEP.

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  11. #11
    Slow FTP over Wifi
    I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Power cycle the router, as well as the modem. Connectivity troubleshooting 101 - before you spend time doing anything technically challenging, or otherwise troubleshooting a problem, turn it off then turn it back on and see if the problem still exists... Often times "technical" problems are easily solved by restarting a machine that has gotten its bits bunched together or out of order.

    The router/modem is one of those machines that is cheaply built, and notorious for taking dumps - often times they just need power cycled, then they'll work fine for days, weeks, or months... Until they get confused and take a dump again.

    How do you power cycle? Gently pull, yank, kick, or cartwheel the plug out of the wall for both the modem and the router. If you gently cartwheel it out of the wall, put that on youtube as it'd likely be popular there. Wait 10-15 seconds to allow remnant/capacitance power to drain. Power it back on - allow 30s to 5 minutes for the router/modem to once again figure out which way is up, then once you can load web pages again go ahead and do a speedtest and see if things have improved.

    This may not solve your problem. It takes no knowledge to do, and it solves a lot of problems before going on a witch hunt for obscure settings or other problems which are less common.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrplow View Post
    If it's the wifi connectivity issue then yes. It's true that some wifi kit doesn't get on with other wifi kit. Be that a hardware clash/disparity or more often than not a security protocol issue WEP/WPA/WPA2 etc. Modern Mcs, in particular, don't play nice with routers using WEP.
    I would cross this off the potential witch hunt. He tested wired and got roughly the same result - security protocols don't apply to the wired connection, so the issue experienced can safely not be attributed to wireless security protocols.
    Matt Bidinger
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post
    Power cycle the router, as well as the modem. Connectivity troubleshooting 101 - before you spend time doing anything technically challenging, or otherwise troubleshooting a problem, turn it off then turn it back on and see if the problem still exists... Often times "technical" problems are easily solved by restarting a machine that has gotten its bits bunched together or out of order.

    The router/modem is one of those machines that is cheaply built, and notorious for taking dumps - often times they just need power cycled, then they'll work fine for days, weeks, or months... Until they get confused and take a dump again.

    How do you power cycle? Gently pull, yank, kick, or cartwheel the plug out of the wall for both the modem and the router. If you gently cartwheel it out of the wall, put that on youtube as it'd likely be popular there. Wait 10-15 seconds to allow remnant/capacitance power to drain. Power it back on - allow 30s to 5 minutes for the router/modem to once again figure out which way is up, then once you can load web pages again go ahead and do a speedtest and see if things have improved.

    This may not solve your problem. It takes no knowledge to do, and it solves a lot of problems before going on a witch hunt for obscure settings or other problems which are less common.



    I would cross this off the potential witch hunt. He tested wired and got roughly the same result - security protocols don't apply to the wired connection, so the issue experienced can safely not be attributed to wireless security protocols.
    when I still worked in IT they used to call me "Chris Reboot" because that was the first solution to most problems. And being a windows environment it worked 90% of the time.

    unfortunately it does not work with this issue. And with my bad back, if I cartwheel the plug out the wall I will need emergency services on standby to straighten me out again. It might still make a good youtube clip though.

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