I have a RPi running XBian (XBMC). It is connected to my home network through an ethernet cable. My laptop is connected via wifi. I have few HDDs connected to the Rpi via USB.

My goal is to quickly transfer files from my laptop (running Windows7) to one of the Rpi's USB HDDs.

At the moment I'm using WinSCP to connect to the RPi but the transfer rate is something in the lines of 300-400kb. Given the fact that the 2 devices are on the same network, I am sure I can get more out of it. What could I do?

  • Remember, all Raspberry Pi IO uses the same bus, so transfer speeds will always be limited. Try executing this command on your Pi: iperf -t 60 -c <SERVER_IP_ADDRESS> -d. That should give you the maximum speed of the network transfer, then we can see where to go from there.
    – Jivings
    Sep 25, 2012 at 19:04
  • Check the transfer rate between the router and the laptop. It might be the bottleneck. Sep 30, 2012 at 5:08

2 Answers 2


SFTP (used by WinSCP) encrypts transferred data, what uses quite some CPU power, which is already heavily in use by XBMC even when idle (actually CPU usage is even greater on idle). So you do not always want to encrypt your data, if your network setup is secure by itself.

There is an extensive guide how to setup the NAS server for RPi here: http://elinux.org/R-Pi_NAS.

Simplest way to access your files should be a FTP server.

  • Thanks. That NAS server guide seems useful. I'll give it a shot later on today!
    – RutZap
    Sep 26, 2012 at 8:41

If you want to transfer files 'quickly' my view would be to not use your network! The throughput will be massively restricted by the network, regardless of transport protocol, FTP, SFTP, Samba - its still going to be relatively slow in comparison to copying files on a single machine.

Unplug one of your USB drives from your raspberry pi and plug it into your laptop, copy the files and plug it back into the Pi...

  • This is great if you have a Linux laptop... Oct 2, 2012 at 10:42

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