? FTP speeds from Azbox ? (2 Viewers)

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B.J.

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
I'm curious.... for any of you who have an FTP program that gives you the bitrate while a file is transferring, what speed do you get when transferring a recording from an external USB drive? I know that other people have listed speeds calculated by other transfer methods, but I'm curious about the FTP speeds.

Reason I'm curious, is that yesterday, I made a couple 10 minute recordings on the AZBOX, and then transferred them to my computer. The 10 minute recordings took more than 15 minutes to transfer. This seemed odd, so I looked at the speed that the WSFTP program reported, and it was a bit more than 16 mbps, which seemed really slow. Since the recordings were 23mbps, it made me think that perhaps something was wrong with my external hard drive, although I guess that it worked OK getting that info TO the hard drive.
It's probably just some strange issue with the linux FTP server on the Azbox, or maybe it's some limitation in general for FTP transfers, and obviously, the Azbox won't use FTP when playing or streaming video, but I just wanted to insure that it wasn't some issue with the external drive I'm using.
thanks
 
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zamar23

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2009
1,204
1
Mid West
B.J.

There were various test results posted on the web regarding transfer speed btw AZBox and PC, and they also vary depending on AZBox FW version (the last one doesn't necessarily have the fastest transfer cap). I'm not sure if you measured transfer speed btw a connected to AZBox USB 2.0 drive and PC HDD, but here're average AZBox internal HDD - PC HDD transfer speed test results over 56 Mbit/sec Wi-Fi connection posted by the end of 2009:

FTP
-> 670 KBps = 5369 Kbps (5,3 Mbps)
<- 300 KBps = 2400 Kbps (2,4 Mbps)

Samba:
-> 750 KBps = 6000 Kbps (6 Mbps)
<- 670 KBps = 5369 Kbps (5,3 Mbps)

HTTP with Laptop:
-> 1700 KBps = 13600 Kbps (13,6 Mbps)
<- 1900 KBps = 15200 Kbps (15,2 Mbps)

If you want to convert speed data, this is the good calculator, but I posted it as presented.

Keep in mind, AZBox processor Sigma 8634 can handle decoding of one HD and one SD stream simultaneously, but has a hard time serving the data to peripheral outputs at high speed at the same time. Compare to one's PC with Ethernet Card, in AZBox the main proc was reported to handle data flow through USB 2.0, LAN and other outputs (see DataSheet attached). Due to reported stability issues they have capped network speed, because for other purposes processor wouldn't be powerful enough, and transfer via network under heavy decoding load was tested to overheat CPU affecting image and data flow stability.

However, any product is subject to optimization, especially Linux based. If you want to try increasing network transfer speed, use more efficient methods than FTP. One can also increase transfer speed via FTP to 3.0 - 3.6 MB/sec (25 - 30 Mbits/sec) by modifying certain AZBox files and using a more efficient FTP-?????? from SatDream. One must be careful not to damage this very good receiver by doing any such mods, so the proc temperature monitoring and installing a cooling fan may be a good idea. ;)
 

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B.J.

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
B.J.

There were various test results posted on the web regarding transfer speed btw AZBox and PC, and they also vary depending on AZBox FW version (the last one doesn't necessarily have the fastest transfer cap). I'm not sure if you measured transfer speed btw a connected to AZBox USB 2.0 drive and PC HDD, but here're average AZBox internal HDD - PC HDD transfer speed test results over 56 Mbit/sec Wi-Fi connection posted by the end of 2009:

FTP
-> 670 KBps = 5369 Kbps (5,3 Mbps)
<- 300 KBps = 2400 Kbps (2,4 Mbps)

Samba:
-> 750 KBps = 6000 Kbps (6 Mbps)
<- 670 KBps = 5369 Kbps (5,3 Mbps)

HTTP with Laptop:
-> 1700 KBps = 13600 Kbps (13,6 Mbps)
<- 1900 KBps = 15200 Kbps (15,2 Mbps)

......

I think I remember seeing those numbers, but they seem way too slow. I was seeing almost 3 times the FTP speeds today, ie about 15 mbps, and I thought that was too slow. I'd also guess that the both the HTTP and Samba were faster than FTP. I was seeing between 20-30 mbps rates via UDP, and HTTP is usually faster than that I think... at least it is on my ROKU.

Anyway those numbers seem too slow to me, but maybe I'm not understanding something about what they're saying. But at least those numbers do seem to show that there is some overhead reason that FTP is slower than other modes, so maybe the numbers I was seeing are realistic.
 

B.J.

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
My rates were both through a wifi to my laptop and through a wired network to a desktop. Both gave approximately the same results. The wifi was not the Azbox wifi though, since it was an elete, it was hard wired to my wireless router then to the laptop.
I'll play with this a bit more tomorrow.

EDIT: Just did another quick test. I set up an FTP server on my desktop, and tested the speed between laptop and desktop. Came out to be about 28.5 Mbps.
Then I tested speed from Azbox to laptop, but transferred one of the OS files, ie a file off the memory module rather than the hard disk. Speed turned out to be 29 Mbps. So it does seem like the transfer from the USB hard drive is hurting the speed.
I wonder if the fellow (I forget who it was) who replaced the module with a hard drive has tested transfer rates between PC and Azbox? Or even someone with the Premium instead of Elete? Probably all my questions would be answered if I'd search the old messages. I think I'm re-inventing the wheel here, only mine is square.
 
Last edited:

B.J.

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
Did another test,
Connected to the Azbox via telnet. went to the usb hard drive, and did a
cp {copy} command to copy a file to a share on my laptop.
I thought that perhaps this would be faster than FTP. The speed, however, was pretty much exactly the same as I was getting with FTP, ie about 15 mbps. Sure seems like the USB hard drive is slowing things down for me.
It is a pretty old HD. Perhaps I should try another drive.

BTW, I didn't mount the share on my laptop myself, I let the Azbox mount it by going into the file manager and drilling down to the directory I wanted. After I did that, the share showed up in the /DATA/network directory.
 

johnnynobody

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 2, 2009
6,672
1,208
42N 103W
I'm curious.... for any of you who have an FTP program that gives you the bitrate while a file is transferring, what speed do you get when transferring a recording from an external USB drive? I know that other people have listed speeds calculated by other transfer methods, but I'm curious about the FTP speeds.

Reason I'm curious, is that yesterday, I made a couple 10 minute recordings on the AZBOX, and then transferred them to my computer. The 10 minute recordings took more than 15 minutes to transfer. This seemed odd, so I looked at the speed that the WSFTP program reported, and it was a bit more than 16 mbps, which seemed really slow. Since the recordings were 23mbps, it made me think that perhaps something was wrong with my external hard drive, although I guess that it worked OK getting that info TO the hard drive.
It's probably just some strange issue with the linux FTP server on the Azbox, or maybe it's some limitation in general for FTP transfers, and obviously, the Azbox won't use FTP when playing or streaming video, but I just wanted to insure that it wasn't some issue with the external drive I'm using.
thanks

I'm getting about a 12 Mb file transfer using Gftp using sftp on Linux running on my 802.11g lappy. Not too bad for 11g.
 
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knowmiddlename

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 5, 2009
201
0
Northern California, USA
I'm curious.... for any of you who have an FTP program that gives you the bitrate while a file is transferring, what speed do you get when transferring a recording from an external USB drive? I know that other people have listed speeds calculated by other transfer methods, but I'm curious about the FTP speeds.

Reason I'm curious, is that yesterday, I made a couple 10 minute recordings on the AZBOX, and then transferred them to my computer. The 10 minute recordings took more than 15 minutes to transfer. This seemed odd, so I looked at the speed that the WSFTP program reported, and it was a bit more than 16 mbps, which seemed really slow. Since the recordings were 23mbps, it made me think that perhaps something was wrong with my external hard drive, although I guess that it worked OK getting that info TO the hard drive.
It's probably just some strange issue with the linux FTP server on the Azbox, or maybe it's some limitation in general for FTP transfers, and obviously, the Azbox won't use FTP when playing or streaming video, but I just wanted to insure that it wasn't some issue with the external drive I'm using.
thanks
Most FTP client software that I've seen does not report transfer speed. FTP is generally faster than HTTP transfers, typically by 11% to 50% because it does not have the same overhead. FTP actually gains maximum transfer speed over time. The limiting factor in your case would probably be the physical layer of your LAN. Also, the AZBox is painfully slow due to limitations of processing speed and the small amount of available memory. The designers are asking this box to do a lot! The bottom line... If you have a lot of traffic going on your LAN and your transfer file size is small, expect it to take a while to upload to your computer. The main point here is that FTP inherently gains speed with larger file sizes.
 

B.J.

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
Most FTP client software that I've seen does not report transfer speed. FTP is generally faster than HTTP transfers, typically by 11% to 50% because it does not have the same overhead. FTP actually gains maximum transfer speed over time. The limiting factor in your case would probably be the physical layer of your LAN. Also, the AZBox is painfully slow due to limitations of processing speed and the small amount of available memory. The designers are asking this box to do a lot! The bottom line... If you have a lot of traffic going on your LAN and your transfer file size is small, expect it to take a while to upload to your computer. The main point here is that FTP inherently gains speed with larger file sizes.

Re FTP software, I was using WSFTP, which shows the rate during transfers, and also after the transfer says something like X bytes transferred in Y seconds. I also just used the old stopwatch method, which agreed.

The thing about FTP working better with larger file sizes, yeah, I guess that's probably true of most transfer methods, ie higher percentage going to data and less going to handshaking. Off topic a bit, but I have a weather web page, where every couple hours, I upload a bunch of gif files showing weather data from the weather station on top of my garage. The files are automatically uploaded by FTP. The funny thing is that before I "upgraded" to satellite internet, the files would transfer in about 1 minute over dialup. When I got satellite internet, the 1 minute transfer became over 8 minutes! I attribute that to extra handshaking, trying to set up the transfer with the inherent delays associated with satellite. I thought that there was a problem with respect to FTP and satellite internet, however when I did some tests comparing the transfer of many small files vs one big file, the satellite internet was 8 times faster with the big files.

I am surprised that you'd say FTP was faster than HTTP though, although perhaps there is more than one way to send data by HTTP. Reason I'm surprised, is that I could stream 40 mbps CBS HD (the old 4.2.0) through my LAN, but FTP seemed to max out at 29 mbps when I tried it yesterday. Although it just occurred to me that the 29 mbps transfer yesterday involved going through the 54 mbps wireless. I guess I should repeat that going between two of my desktop computers.

I also wonder if my specific LAN is overly complicated because several of the computers on the LAN have more than one NIC with different subnets, and the way I understand it, each time a packet is sent out, the computer has to decide which NIC to route the packets to. I keep meaning to eliminate the 2nd NIC, and put everything on the same subnet, but I have about 14 devices and my switch isn't big enough to put all the devices on one switch. I originally put all the video devices (TIVOs, ROKU, PopCornHour) on one subnet, and the regular LAN stuff on the other subnet. Anyway, it could be that my LAN is congested, but I think I demonstrated yesterday that the USB HD was responsible slowing down the transfers a lot.
 

knowmiddlename

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 5, 2009
201
0
Northern California, USA
You bring up a lot of interesting points. Data transfer is indeed a complicated process and one could definitely make a science project out of it. Yeah, you are right about all the variables like active FTP, passive FTP, network address translation/UDP handling, latency, the client software itself... the list seems endless... and now these newer and cheaper routers are equipped with stateful packet inspection to kill hammering (DOS) which can slow down transfers down even on the LAN side. Maybe a direct connection between the receiver and computer using a crossover cable would be a good starting point for troubleshooting.
 
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