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FAST Android File Transfers

Selfies, HD & 4K video, saved Snaps and of course, everyday photos. Your phone’s storage dutifully accepts and retains torrents of incoming data for a lifetime (on average about 21.7 months). And while options abound for offloading your phone’s data, they aren’t all equal. Continue reading to find out how you can enjoy fast Android file transfers on your network.

The Question
Why are local network file transfers on Android so @$^% slow?!

To find out, we lined up the following items:
· LG G6 (Snapdragon 821, Android 7.0)
· ES File Explorer Pro
· Netgear Nighthawk R700P
· QNAP NAS TS-563 (RAID6 w/SSD Cache)
· One video file measuring 1.5GB in size

The tests were conducted using a single 1.5GB file, uploaded to and downloaded from the QNAP using SMB and FTP protocols. For its part, the LG will be connected to the Nighthawk’s 5GHz band on 802.11ac with an 80MHz channel width and using MU-MIMO.

First, we tested the network via a wired connection to be sure no funny business could be attributed to the LAN backbone, nor the NAS.

Download
Windows File Transfer Speed

 

Upload
Windows 10 LAN Speed

 

With everything appearing fine here (save for a bit of cache under-run on the NAS when downloading) we moved on to testing the handset on the same WiFi AP.

SMB File Transfer

Server Message Block, or SMB for short is a protocol used to interface with network resources. These days SMB is most often used for transferring file data within networks. During testing, the LG began to heat up, quite a bit actually. As a result, the handset took a measurable hit in throughput. Turns out that this was mostly an issue for SMB, but more on that later. To maintain repeatable test results, the phone was cooled to about 48° Fahrenheit (9°C), and placed back into the freezer after each round of testing.

On Charge

Free High Speed Downloads Android

Max Upload 12.8mbps

Faster Mobile Downloads

Max Download 12.8mbps

Off Charge

Android Nougat SMB FTP Downloads

Max upload 3mbps

Max download 3mbps

FTP

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) has long been the standard protocol used for transferring files between a client and server on a network. We like to think of FTP as the granddaddy of available file transfer protocols. FTP is built on a client-server model architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server. What does that mean? Well in the case of this test, it means that the handset is able to transfer data in a less bureaucratic way, spending more time transferring your file’s bits, instead of talking to the data source about how and when to transfer them. It’s likely obvious at this point which one we favor.

On Charge

Free Fast Android Downloads

Max upload 120mbps

Fastest Android File Transfers

Max download 312mbps

Off Charge

Slow Android File Transfers

Max upload 120mbps

Speed Up Android File Transfer

Max download 312mbps

Clearly, FTP is the winner here, but why?

As we mentioned earlier, FTP communicates in a more direct fashion when managing data transfers. The protocol has less overhead when asking for, or offering data with a server. It is because of this that more of the computing power available to clients and servers can be dedicated to the task at hand. Remember how we said the LG handset started to heat up when using SMB? The “B” in SMB stands for “Block”. The overhead of communicating each “block” of data with the server hamstrings the client’s efforts, especially in this case as the LG’s processing power is limited, relative to a modern desktop PC.

Is SMB dead?
Maybe not. Recently a new version was released with Windows 10, predictably-named SMB 3.0. It is said to greatly enhance network data transfer performance, while costing less in compute overhead. Sadly, the latest version is not yet available on Android (maybe in fuchsia OS?) so we weren’t able to test it.

Fast Android File Transfers

So for fast android file transfers on your home network, FTP is (for now, and the foreseeable future) the way to go. Obviously, connecting an ethernet dongle would help somewhat, though we didn’t feel the need to test one as the pitfalls persist. Now we should point out that setting up FTP on your home network can be a bit tricky for newbies, but if you’re up to the task, check out CuteFTP Server, or FileZilla Server.

-Happy Computing!

Sources:
Statista.com – 2017 Study of Replacement Life-cycles
MobileFuture.org – The Handset Replacement Cycle
SMB – Wikipedia
FTP – Wikipedia

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Professional Tech Search: Demand Excellence

As a professional tech but also a consumer, I rely on the skill and temperament of professionals, particularly those who are responsible for my health and mobility. As such, I know there is much implicit trust involved as we tepidly and with white-knuckles hand over our possessions. Exacerbating this scenario is a lack of time to research your new service provider. Tekswift abides by the tenets below, but ensure whomever you choose does the same.

 

So let’s dive in and explore what separates the Professional from Faux’fessional.

Specialty

The first step to finding someone who provides services effectively and efficiently is by identifying where they excel. Hygienists and dentists work side-by-side, but employing a DMD for routine cleaning is overkill. Conversely hygienists may be a bit less comfortable performing bridge work. Make sure your candidates are suited for the task. A stand-up pro will let you know if their skills are within scope of the problem.

Experience

This facet is indispensable. The confidence to navigate a solution in the roughest waters is a quality of a professional with savvy, patience and creativity. This of course is no slight against those who are taking their first steps in the craft. There are obvious benefits where varying experience is a comfortable variable.

Rates

Following the ‘holy triangle’ rule, as a consumer you have three options: Good, Fast, Cheap… Pick two.

Find Professional IT Support

Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick Two

Budgets are important and equally-so is their footing in reality. We all want champagne service on a beer budget, myself included. It is imperative to know this ideology comes at the cost of time. Don’t have time to spend? -Be prepared to part with quality or cash in exchange for expediency.

So where it applies to your technician, you’ll want to ask: How much? How soon? 

 

References

Did you notice something missing in the last line of questions? It wasn’t accidental. Of course you can ask anyone how good they are at a given task. Sometimes you’ll get an honest answer, but moreover the reply will reflect more perception and less reality. Ask your tech for references. And don’t stop there. If appropriate, contact their references. It pays dividends in time and frustration saved.

Progress Tracking

Ask your tech if they offer a means to track your repair. While a bonafide ticketing system is optimal, a tech who at the least will keep in touch via telephone is a sign of accountability and honesty.

Sensitive Data Handling

Too often this is a consideration that occurs after you’ve handed over your item(s), or not at all. Ask your candidate up-front how they handle your personal data. Bear in-mind that top-tier technicians should handle the preservation and destruction (when requested) of your data in accordance with local and federal law.

Formatting is a Last Resort

Without getting buried in the details, your tech should never offer this option without first making an incisive diagnosis of your troubles. If formatting your machine is suggested, you should demand sound reasoning as to why. If you’re not satisfied with the explanation in lay terms, get a second opinion.

Guarantees

The single most important aspect of your exchange is the backing of your repair. Simply ask if your candidate offers any guarantee. This question will help eliminate a sizable number of repair firms. For the remaining options, carefully weigh the details of their guarantee.

 

For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 304-241-1396 or send an email to support.

 

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Footprints In Digital Sand

We are going on a limb here and assuming nearly everyone has read Footprints in the Sand, a poem by Unknown Author. If you are among the knowing, skip past the link.

Footprints In The Sand

As Web travelers, expect that one set of footprints in our digital sand means our identity is safe. Particularly worrisome is when two sets of prints show up where we’ve traveled. This is the essence of today’s blog: Cleaning up your digital tracks.

The phrase ‘what goes on the web, stays on the web’ is absolutely true. One way to shore things up is to close old accounts. Forgotten accounts are like a proverbial gold mine for data theft.

Breaking into just one of your old accounts can yield useful clues to easily crack the next.

Below are a few sites with deletion links (use a web search to find others). Complete these and your accounts will be permanently vaporized!

Deleting your app accounts is only part of the battle, your public records also deserve a privacy check-up.

Google yourself (your ex already has), to find a wealth of surprising, possibly embarrassing details. All joking aside, what shows up in Google’s results is usually pretty innocent, while sites like Pipl provide a more sobering depth of personal info.

Despite this, websites like abine provide subscription services (DeleteMe) that remove your public info. Abine offers a free guide to opting out from many people searches.

Lastly, and certainly not least important, get a VPN. In all seriousness, your phone has a passcode, you (hopefully) draw your blinds before walking around ‘in the buck’, but how are you protecting your browsing in real-time? Our staff is available to answer any questions about network security you may have. Give us a call today.

Stay safe!

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Closed Doors = Opportunity

You have been told for so long, an open door means opportunity. But once you check the record, it becomes evident that is not always the case. In fact, the value of capitalizing on closed doors can be far more lucrative.

Don’t blame yourself if this sounds confusing. After all, this ideology is the antithetical of what we accept to be true; and that is precisely where from it derives value.

Our subconscious mind associates conditions in our environment with prior experience, to act as a reflex. For example, a dry lake means here’s no water to be had. -No digging, no second-guessing. The entire process happens so quickly that we often believe we made the decision. In reality it is only when we challenge that reflex, that we become consciously cognizant.

Old church door inscribed with "opportunity inside" printed in German.

Old church door inscribed with “opportunity inside” printed in German.

In business, the same holds true. In fact, your idea could become wildly successful, given the more remote, or unlikely the venture will pay off.

Take the idea of ‘greater risk, greater reward’ and apply it to something as unlikely as peddling ice to penguins. Seems pretty useless, doesn’t it? However, if you bet on the likelihood that they’ll buy fish-flavored ice, the “closed door” concept begins to take shape.

Well that is precisely what Apple achieved during the last 15 or so years. This is also known as a “Blue Ocean Strategy“. In that time, the company made products which had a similar function to competitive electronics, but were essentially non-functional when not tied direct to the manufacturer, thus creating their own market entirely; for better or worse.

So no matter the scale of your dream, remember that success is a relative benchmark.

What does matter, is this: Do not let your doubts do the talking. Harness your passion, discover your purpose and use the energy to reach your goal.

 

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Ransomware: Protect Yourself

RANSOMWARE

By now, you’ve heard the name. Ransomware is in the news, on the web, and could be attached to your next e-mail.

What is it?

In the simplest terms, ransomware is a computer virus that changes your files into unreadable garbage, and then demands money from you to change them back. Efforts to recover just a handful of files on the cheap are subverted by recent versions of this awful software; it can now change the name of your files prohibiting cherry-picking important ones.

And if you think that’s bad, they’ll even offer to let you off the hook for infecting two of your “friends”.

Ransomware is often delivered via e-mail, as common file attachments. The suspect e-mail messages are very difficult to pick apart from legitimate ones. These messages are well-written, appear as being sent from known senders (Aunt Dottie, USPS, even the FBI) and compel the reader to open the attachment.

The virus can also be delivered by way of website infection. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to actually click “download” on a website to become infected.

You can’t always follow the money.

It’s a bit complex but the bad guys are almost exclusively accepting BitCoin as payment. This screen grab from Swordfish (2001 Warner Bros. Pictures) illustrates a method hackers use to cover their tracks.

Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

Money hopping accounts across the globe.

The hackers utilize numerous digital wallets (many of which have been stolen) to filter the funds, and distribute them in very small pieces. Though this isn’t the only method used, it is one which is very challenging to uncover.

Protect yourself against ransomware!

Disconnecting from the Internet isn’t always a viable choice. The easiest and most effective ways to safeguard your files are:

  1. Develop a Healthy Sense of Paranoia for Internet Exchanges

    Whether you’re surfing sites, installing software, or reading e-mails, take the time to read through, before allowing a download. Call or send a new (don’t forward the original) e-mail to the colleague(s) asking if they’ve sent attachments to you. Lastly, consult a trusted IT adviser if ever in doubt.

  2. Anti-Virus Alone is NOT Good Enough

    No anti-virus is 100% effective. Ransomware is a relatively new threat, and there’s no clear champion of protection, yet. You can start by downloading these add-ons:
    CryptoPrevent: Note that this software may not be effective against all existing and emerging threats.
    MalwareBytes: This software can be an invaluable companion to your existing anti-virus software. Year after year, we have yet to test a more effective, comprehensive anti-virus title. Interested? Contact Us.

  3. Employ a Backup Solution, Immediately

There are an infinite number of backup services available. Here are guidelines for selecting a vendor:

-Ensure the backup utilizes off-site facilities (more than an external drive connected to your computer).
-Be sure the solution has a private or commercial “Cloud Storage” technology built-in.
-Ask your candidate if they throttle your uploads/downloads.

Tekswift offers all of this, and more with our DataGuard Cloud Backup solution. Get in touch with us for a quote.

Stay safe!
-Rob

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