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Does transferring files over same WiFi use bandwidth (data)?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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July 19, 2012 5:06:01 AM

I recently figured out one cool thing that everyone probably already know that is i can transfer files over wifi network. so here's what i do when i want to transfer files over wifi:
- i disable internet access on my pc and use connectify and create a virtual hotspot,
- then i use my ipad (the device i want to transfer files from my pc to) and connect it to that virtual hotspot
- i use the program Phone Drive on my ipad, it has wifi sharing feature, it gives me the http:// and ftp:// addresses. i know these things, i can either use http:// address in my browser or ftp:// in any ftp clients, then i transfer files easily,
- when i copy files from my ipad, my pc actually downloads the files, not copies the files, likewise when i copy files from my pc to my ipad it actually uploads the files, not copies. and this is why i disable internet access before i create virtual hotspot because i don't want it to use my bandwidth (or data).
- and HERE'S MY QUESTION: does it actually use bandwidth when i upload or download, if it does not, then i wouldn't need to create a virtual hotspot and disable internet, i just need to connect them directly to my real router hotspot and use. and how do i know/how can i check?

another question: the transfer speed is actually very slow, like 2 MB/s, i thought this is normal since when i download files from internet it's about 2 MB/s too, but then i see many people on some websites say their speed is 10MB/s (they say this is slow, i think this is fast), or 80 MB/s, so i wonder why is my speed so low? and this is not a real wifi hotspot, it's virtual, so it should be fast, is there any other software that can make a virtual wifi hotspot that has fast speed? and why are other people's wifi transfer speeds so fast but mine is slow

sorry for asking these long questions and thanks for answering.
July 19, 2012 11:22:48 PM

If you have a wireless router, there's no need to create a wireless hotspot on your PC. As long as both the iPad and your PC are on the same local network, you're not using your Internet bandwidth. It's still a local connection that only travels between the iPad and PC, using the wireless AP provided by your router. So you're making this far more complicated than it needs to be.

As far as performance, 2MBps (megaBYTES) is 16Mbps (megaBITS). Whether that's "normal" or to be "expected" depends on the wireless protocol you're using. For wireless G, which might vary between 16-22Mbps for most ppl, while it's on the low side, you're certainly never going to get 10MBps (80Mbps). Not unless you're using wireless N.
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July 26, 2012 5:31:08 AM

eibgrad said:
If you have a wireless router, there's no need to create a wireless hotspot on your PC. As long as both the iPad and your PC are on the same local network, you're not using your Internet bandwidth. It's still a local connection that only travels between the iPad and PC, using the wireless AP provided by your router. So you're making this far more complicated than it needs to be.

As far as performance, 2MBps (megaBYTES) is 16Mbps (megaBITS). Whether that's "normal" or to be "expected" depends on the wireless protocol you're using. For wireless G, which might vary between 16-22Mbps for most ppl, while it's on the low side, you're certainly never going to get 10MBps (80Mbps). Not unless you're using wireless N.

so it's totally safe to transfer my personal photos between devices, right? i don't want my photos to be found on the internet or someone can see my photos
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July 26, 2012 12:30:29 PM

In terms of how the connection is established and used, yes it’s safe. Any transfers between two *local* machines, whether wired or wireless, never travel up the internet connection. That would be pointless. The machines are local. The internet connection is only used to access devices OUTSIDE your network.

That said, anytime you have a network connected to the internet, by definition you risk "leakage" of personal data if only because you might have malware on your network. But that’s always the case, even if you had only had a single machine! The mere fact you’re connected to the internet AT ALL is a risk in that sense. That same malware could search for your personal data and quietly upload it to some hacker’s database/website. Anything is *possible*.

But if we’re talking strictly about the transfer of the data, and assuming no other monkey business is occurring (like malware), yes, it’s safe. Even if you didn’t feel it’s safe for some reason, you could always temporarily disable the internet connection on the WAN during local transfers. Wouldn’t be very convenient, and not really necessary, but if you don’t have an internet connection, you have nothing to worry about (at least during the transfer). I personally wouldn’t bother doing it, but it’s certainly an option.

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