External Hard Drive Connection Transfer Rates

What is the fastest external hard drive connection (eSata, ethernet, firewire 800m)? I need the fastest possible read and write transfer rate connect to my laptop. What external enclosure/packaged external drive would you recommend with that type of connection? I've tried eSata and it didn't seem much faster then firewire 400 transfer rates when I did a write test. eSata is also giving me problems connecting on my laptop with XP and PC with Windows 7. Are there drivers I may be missing for eSata?

Thanks,
Aundre
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More about external hard drive connection transfer rates
  1. In order of transfer speeds.

    Ethernet
    eSATA
    Firewire
    USB

    Each of these also has a few different protocol speeds and versions but on average the above applies.
  2. Thanks viper. It's what I suspected but wanted to verify. Hopefully ethernet will be more reliable for me that the eSata was.
  3. From my recollection of tests, Firewire 400 and eSATA are similar, but Firewire 800 (aka IEEE 1394b) is quite a bit faster. However, getting that interface on a laptop and an external drive may be hard.

    I recall that many of these tests used SATA II drives inside the external cases and that certainly helps, especially for eSATA connections from case to computer, because there is almost no time consumed in converting one communication protocol to another. However, I do NOT know whether similar data transfer performance is obtained if the drive inside the case is IDE (PATA).
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