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How to setup two PC's that use Wireless LAN for Internet, but Wired LAN for file transfers

Tags:
  • File Server
  • Networking
  • Wireless Lan
  • File Transfer
Last response: in Networking
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June 13, 2013 1:08:09 PM

As the title states, I have two PC's that are located right next to each other. One acts as a file server and one acts as a HTPC and gaming PC. Unfortunately because my apartment is not wired with Cat5 I have to use wireless to connect them to my router as it is located in another room.

The file server contains all of my movies and TV shows that the HTPC box streams from. Ideally I would like this streaming to be done over a wired connection, but I'm unsure how to set it up with the already mentioned wireless connection active as well.

I should also mention that the file server is connected to a VPN at all times as well. Both systems are running Windows 7, but I'd be willing to install a version of linux on the file server if it would make this setup any easier.

More about : setup wireless lan internet wired lan file transfers

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June 13, 2013 1:45:28 PM

Hmm.. Well, a few things I would try if I was in your situation would be..

1) If the server doesn't really need internet (a-least not constantly), then I would turn off it's wifi and just keep it directly connected to the HTPC and give it no choice but to use the Ethernet.
2) If the server does need internet for whatever reason, I would disable it's wifi and then use ICS (internet connection sharing) on the HTPC to allow the server to use it's wifi for the net. This way it would all be run over Ethernet, but it would also still have access to the net.

Those would be my top two options to try out first before anything else since they are pretty basic and easy to manage.

EDIT::

Another option would be to buy a wifi extender or something that will connect to your existing router, then disable wifi on both PC's and connect them to the extender with Ethernet. But I would try the first two first since they are free and might work just as well.
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June 13, 2013 1:47:45 PM

Since you want it wired, a crossover cable would allow you to transfer data between two PC's, allowing you to stream the movies from your file server.
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June 13, 2013 1:55:28 PM

Ok that worked, I had to do it in reverse since the file server stays on 24/7 and requires internet, while the HTPC is only on when I'm using it. When transferring a large file from the file server to the HTPC I'm getting anywhere from 2-4 MB/s, which is much better than the ~850KB/s I was getting before.

However, in the network tab of the task manager the connection is stated as a 1Gbps connection, and I'm getting less than 10% utilization when transferring the file. Is there any way to increase that?
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June 13, 2013 2:01:07 PM

dmarzio said:
Ok that worked, I had to do it in reverse since the file server stays on 24/7 and requires internet, while the HTPC is only on when I'm using it. When transferring a large file from the file server to the HTPC I'm getting anywhere from 2-4 MB/s, which is much better than the ~850KB/s I was getting before.

However, in the network tab of the task manager the connection is stated as a 1Gbps connection, and I'm getting less than 10% utilization when transferring the file. Is there any way to increase that?


I'm glad it worked out! But as for the speed issue I'm not really sure. Like a newbie I would probably reboot both machines and see if that fixed it =P

EDIT::

I actually use a crossover cable a lot since I have a laptop, 2 netbooks, and a desktop. I think I normally get somewhere around umm... 8-10 MB/s.
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June 13, 2013 4:35:26 PM

Ok, so I disconnected both PC's from WiFi and recreated the homegroup between the two PC's so that they were just connected to each other over a wired crossover cable. I tried a file transfer between the two and got speeds of 60-70MB/s.

When I enabled both PC's wireless cards again and retried the transfer, nothing changed and I was still getting great speeds at least initially. I tried the transfer again after a while and it reverted back to using the WiFi for the transfer bring me back to the ~850KB/s.

What I think is happening is I created the homegroup on the wired connections, so adding the WiFi connection later didn't have any effect on file transfers between the PC's that were from the homegroup. When I connected my main PC to the homegroup (I backup files to the file server) it reverted back to the WiFi, because my main PC is connected through WiFi, and not directly connected to the file server or the HTPC.

Is there anyway to force file transfers over the wired connection? This issue is extremely frustrating. I could go back to disabling the the WiFi on the HTPC and sharing the internet from the file server, but even then I wasn't getting optimal speeds.

I just want my 60MB/s file transfers and my WiFi internet too :D 
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June 13, 2013 7:46:32 PM

dmarzio said:
Ok, so I disconnected both PC's from WiFi and recreated the homegroup between the two PC's so that they were just connected to each other over a wired crossover cable. I tried a file transfer between the two and got speeds of 60-70MB/s.

When I enabled both PC's wireless cards again and retried the transfer, nothing changed and I was still getting great speeds at least initially. I tried the transfer again after a while and it reverted back to using the WiFi for the transfer bring me back to the ~850KB/s.

What I think is happening is I created the homegroup on the wired connections, so adding the WiFi connection later didn't have any effect on file transfers between the PC's that were from the homegroup. When I connected my main PC to the homegroup (I backup files to the file server) it reverted back to the WiFi, because my main PC is connected through WiFi, and not directly connected to the file server or the HTPC.

Is there anyway to force file transfers over the wired connection? This issue is extremely frustrating. I could go back to disabling the the WiFi on the HTPC and sharing the internet from the file server, but even then I wasn't getting optimal speeds.

I just want my 60MB/s file transfers and my WiFi internet too :D 


LoL..... Windows has come a long way in recent years, but some things are still a pain in the butt and are a lot harder than they should be.

I don't know how to force the OS to use one connection over the other, and I have tried it myself because I have had need for it in the past as well. The only thing that comes to mind is trying to find some sort of software that might do it for you. Hmm.. perhaps some server or backup software? Honestly not sure since I gave up =P

EDIT::

If I understood you correctly, you turned the wifi back on for BOTH machines (server/HTPC)? If so then try only turning it on for the server since it's the one you need on 24/7 and the HTPC is not. When you turned both of their wifi back on they probably defaulted to the wifi since it was there, but if you give the HTPC no other option then it will have to use the Ethernet.

But one thing I have noticed about windows and homegroup is that if one of the machines is getting its net through the other (ie. the HTPC getting its net directly from the server) then Homegroup doesn't seem to see that PC and it wont be able to connect to the group. I know this because its happened to me today (and in the past) since my gaming machine is getting its net through my laptop via Ethernet and my netbook (that Im using as a server) cannot connect to the desktop. They can see each other sometimes, but a connection is out of the question (at-least it was for me).

I resolved the issue by using an old router. It looks something like...

Wifi>laptop>old router>netbook old router by wifi>Desktop old router by Ethernet

Its a very paperclips and bubble gum solution, but it worked and it's been running stable for a few hours. Course..... I doubt anything I have said about this paperclip/bubble gum solution is of any actual help to you, or even anything you remotely wanted to know lol..
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June 14, 2013 2:34:16 PM

Ok I found the solution to this problem, and it had to do with network protocol bindings.

Here is the Microsoft support article for reference: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/change...

I changed my "Wireless Network Connection" bindings so that the "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" box was unchecked.


This solved my issue perfectly!
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June 15, 2013 7:16:15 PM

Ah, cool! Thanks for sharing the info.
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