Networking – Moving files in a local network – would compressing improve speed


I am moving some 20Gb within my local network (100 Mbit/sec). The files are from a typical Linux desktop system.

Would compressing them using Tar\Gzip and then sending them improve performance?

EDIT: I'm moving a Developer's workspace, meaning lots of source and PDFs, and not much multimedia.

Best Answer

It largely depends on the type of files you are moving.

  • If your files are like PDF, JPEG movies, Installation files, etc,
    they are likely to be already compressed and will not give you a great advantage.
  • If its source files compressing will be quite useful.
  • If its lots of small files, at least a tar archive will be useful.

Finally, if your source machine has lots of processing power and memory,
compression would be in useful time -- else just a tar (based on above points) would suffice.

Since your network is just 100 Mbps, you should lean towards compression if that helps.
But, if you are transferring files that cannot be compressed much,
you should start accounting for the transfer time

Alternatively, you could consider other mediums for transfer (like USB/DVD).