Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Raspberry Pi - Fixing NAS (via SMB) slowness

This is a continuation of the Home NAS series, especially on how to increase the speed. The NAS is set up on a Raspberry Pi 4 B model. One of the older posts was debugging of NAS slowness and it concluded that the WiFi-5 is the bottleneck. Either Raspberry needs to be connected via cable or needs to use WiFi-6. Since the WiFi-6 is not natively supported by the RasPi the only option left was to connect via wire but it requires cabling through walls which is really a high effort. The cable-based internet connection is on the main level and the data center is upstairs. The data center here refers to a small rack where RasPi,2 external hard disks, and another laptop are sitting and running without GUI.

Move to 5G home internet

Fortunately or unfortunately the coaxial cable-based internet provider Xfinity increased their pricing which triggered the search for better options. Very quickly it landed on 5G home internet providers. Cheaper in price, ultra-fast connection in my area, is portable, has a WiFi-6 router built-in, etc...

Why T-Mobile?

There is no affection towards them also please note that I am not affiliated with T-Mobile in any way also this post is not sponsored by them. It is cheaper and one of my friends has it and has given good feedback. Also, it has 2 ethernet ports which seems normal in any modem-router combo.

Speed tests

As usual, I checked the speed using the same iperf3 tool before installing the 5G gateway. This is important as our previous test results may not be true now.

Yes, it is still slow. This will give a max of 10 MB/s only when copying files from NAS.

New setup

The RasPi also the client machine connected via wire and the readings are below.

Wow definitely higher than expected. It is time to copy a file and check the speed.
Yes, it is faster. This concluded that the SMB or anything in the RasPi or OS was not the problem. The network was the problem.

The Wi-Fi 6 test

Lastly, the Wi-Fi 6 test was also performed.

It is given great performance but not to the expected level. Anyway, the Wi-Fi was kind of free. It is wise to invest in a Wi-Fi 7 router when it arrives at an affordable cost after standards are finalized.

The table below is for reference.

RasPi NetworkDestination Networkiperf3 reading
Wi-Fi 5Wi-Fi580 Mbits/sec
WiredWired771 Mbits/sec
WiredWi-Fi6394 Mbits/sec

Bonus screenshot below that shows the internet speed test.

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