WD Livewire Actual Speed


I know this has been covered somewhat, but I’m really confused over the speeds the WD Livewire should run at.

I would also like to point out that apart from the fact that the Livewire Utility seems to have some issues, not least around passwords!, that the plug and play aspect of these boxes is about as good as you could get IMHO. Anyway back to the speed issues.

I realise it will be different depending upon the wiring setup in the house, but what I’m experiencing is still way short of the 200Mbps that Western Digital specify on the marketing material.

I have two WD Livewire units, one unit in my living room that has my modem/router and a WD TV LIVE box (100Mbps network port) connected to it, and the other unit in my study that just has my Windows 7 Home 64bit  PC (gigabit network port) connected to it.

I just transferred a 1.96GB file from a 500GB USB hard drive (NTFS) hanging off the WD TV LIVE box to my PC and it took bang on 5 minutes.

It’s the early hours of the morning, but if my maths is correct, that’s 2007MB in 300 seconds which makes 6.66Mbps. Thats considerably less than 200Mbps.

So even though the WD TV LIVE box network port should be the bottleneck, it seems something else must be.

I just repeated the test from my PC over wireless N and got a 383 seconds transfer time. This is only 5.24Mbps when the wireless utility shows a consistent read rate of 180 Mbps. However my wireless adapater was only 15% of the cost of the Livewire product!

So can anyone (and I’m hoping a techy at WD is reading this) point out to my addled brain why this is just so slow?

I intend to retest with the two units plugged in to a double wall socket, then test with them on two adjacent sockets and see what results I get then. Not that it will represnt a real world scenario being in the same room but it may show some interesting results.

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.

See, that’s the problem with mixing units. 2007 MBytes in 300 seconds is 53 megaBITS per second. That’s not a bad speed for Livewire.

Thanks for pointing out my schoolboy error Tony. I should have known that testing at 3am was a bad idea!.

Just to post my further tests this morning (when my brain is semi-functioning)…

I plugged both livewire units in to the same double wall socket and got an improvement of 5 seconds on the overall time.

So 2007MB in 255 seconds giving an average of 63Mbps, which is not a whole heap different. I guess this is a comfort in that it should not really matter where you plug the units on a regular house circuit, you should get similar performance.

I am still confused as to how someone could ever achieve the heady heights of 200Mbps that WD promote in their marketing material as I cannot even get a third of that.

Also, I’m unclear as to the affect of the wiring on the performance of  the units. What I mean is, WD say not to plug the units in to an extension power block, which presumably is due to some powerblocks having surge control, etc in them. As I only have one single socket near my PC, I had to use a regular double adapter, with the livewire plugged in to one side and the PC powerblock in to the other. My test results came from this setup. Maybe WD should clarify this in their documentation as I have seen other people post similar findings.

In the tests above, I used replacement power cords which were twice as long as the ones supplied with the units. I decided to repeat the test out of the same double wall socket but got exactly the same time of 295 seconds so again some apparent comfort in being able to use longer power cords without affecting performance.

So I’m still left scratching my head as how WD get 200Mbps when I can only get a third of that when the boxes are almost connected to each other.

Any more help would be appreciated.


Is your WDTV Live DHCP or static IP?   Several users have reported a significant difference when using a static IP vs dynamic in their WDTV Live series devices. 

Please let us know how it turns out.