Transfering a large file ... USB 1.1 or 100Mb Ethernet (various situations)

Posted on 2004-10-26
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Say you have a file that is about 5GB or so.

Right now, I have the file on both a server and on a USB 1.1 'external' storage device.

Which one would you say would transfer the file FASTER .... the USB 1.1 external storage device (by using Windows XP and My Computer to Copy/Paste), or by sending the file over the network share to the PC by copy/paste?

Would it make a difference if it was USB 2.0 vs. 10Mb Ethernet?

What about when the 5GB file is a 'program file' and a program like GHOST uses the large file to IMPORT the data from the server or storage device into the PC?  Does the software program make any differnce as to which format you would choose?


I know this was a question on USB vs. Ethernet, but does anyone know of a good 'calculator' program that will allow one to INPUT information in a 'bits', and then you can output the amount as Kb, KB, Mb, MB, or even GB if needed?

Thanks in advance!

Question by:pugdog_fan
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Hi pugdog_fan,
    The Ethernet will be much faster than the USB1.1 hands down. I don't have  a calculator program but have done this enough times to know. As for USB2.0, well it is more than acceptable.

    LVL 1

    Author Comment


    Thanks for your input ...

    I figured Ethernet would be the ONLY choice, but I was also considering not just TRANSFERING a file outright, but when an application will USE the large file and do its own 'transfer' and installation if you would of the file as with Symantec's Ghost program.

    Does the use of a program SLOW down the 'transfer' of a file enough to a point where it wouldn't matter if the file was being brought over via USB 1.1, USB 2.0, Ethernet 10 Mbps, or Ethernet 100Mbps?

    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    No it doesn't. You would notice a big difference between USB1.1 and 100mbit ethernet using Ghost. With USB2.0, eh there would be a difference but somewhat negligible.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks ...

    I am going to RE-ghost the machine by using 100Mbps Ethernet instead of the USB 1.1 port on the unit and the external box.


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