I have just bought a laptop and have large files to tranfer. I have USB2 on the pc and have wifi. I have tranfered some over wifi but I am only getting 1.7-2 mbps. I would have thought much higher speeds were possible considering I am not downloading off the internet (I get faster speeds downloading)
In order of fastest to slowest
1). Remove the hard drive from the laptop and plug it into your desktop, this is the most dangerous as it runs the risk of you unintentionally wiping important files/folder from your laptop hard drive.
2). Gigabit LAN connection, both ethernet cards and your switch/router must be running at gigabit speeds
3). Transfer through USB2, this could be an external hard drive or flash drive.
4). Fast Ethernet, any ethernet port running at 100Mb slows the whole connection.
If you have gigabit on both machines and are prepared to configure the LAN connections yourself, then get a cross over cable and you can plug them together directly.
The problem is that you then don't have anything like DHCP to set IP addresses etc, so this is where you have to set both machines NIC manually.