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I have tried many times to make the switch to Ubuntu One but I never could because of it being significantly slower at uploading files than DropBox. I want the extra space and the integration with the desktop that it brings. Does anyone know why U1 may be acting like this?

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Will be following this question. Did not know U1 had a speed issue. –  Luis Alvarado Dec 7 '11 at 16:29
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I ran a test earlier. I wanted to see how many files that both DropBox and U1 could upload in the same amount of time. Dropbox more than doubled the amount uploaded in the same time frame. Nothing was running in the background either besides the core OS applications. I haven't noticed any issues with download speeds. –  Jordan Dec 7 '11 at 16:40
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Well I can also confirm this. Weird huh. Tried uploading 50 images. Took Dropbox around 2 minutes to do them all. Took U1 around 8 minutes. Almost 9. Just for science I did it again, deleted the whole thing and tested again. Dropbox 2 minutes again. U1 this time it went up to 9 minutes flat. How come? Is it platform, network connections? Maybe they are moving to some cloud IaaS, PaaS solution. –  Luis Alvarado Dec 7 '11 at 19:29
    
I really want to know why though. Why does it take longer? Maybe there's settings that cuts down the upload rate? –  Jordan Dec 19 '11 at 6:31
    
@LuisAlvarado What version of Ubuntu One did you do that test with? Also, did you upload 50 different images both times, or the same 50 both times? –  dobey Mar 30 '12 at 20:28

5 Answers 5

Please understand that Ubuntu One is a relatively new service compared with Dropbox. A lot of effort has been put in to integration and easiness of use for the end users.

These are normal things to sort out in the close future. I do not believe that there is something actually wrong with any configuration and will gradually improve with time and further releases of the software.

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I really haven't realised any real integration with U1 other than being built into the Messaging Menu (which honestly to me makes no sense). Also U1 doesn't seem to start on boot up compared to DropBox. I want to be able to support Canonical and Ubuntu but U1 makes it hard to do so, especially with DropBox performing so well. –  Jordan Dec 11 '11 at 1:35
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That is not true, nautilus integration is up to dropbox standards, the daemon starts by default (unless your system is not correct) and this answer is not even defending UbuntuOne compared to Dropbox (actually does the opposite). Use it or not its your choice but UbuntuOne is still starting to show colors when Dropbox colors are so old they are starting to vanish. –  Bruno Pereira Dec 11 '11 at 1:39
    
I'd consider running in the background without user intervention other than marking a file or folder once as integrated. I can't speak to the speed since Ubuntu One meets my needs and as a background function speed isn't a concern I have. If you shutdown before Ubuntu One done it will pick up without missing a beat at the next boot. –  fragos Jan 12 '12 at 3:55

Dropbox will not always re-upload a file. It will first analyze the file (md5-check I think) and if you or another user already has the file on the server it will use that one instead. They said so in their blog (check the part that says Data Practices).

Note that this was also the reason for some security problems they had, as a hack allowed users to "upload" files they never had in the first place.

If you want to make a direct comparison of upload speeds, I suggest you use unique files, such as a truecrypt container with a long encryption key.

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There are two possibilities for the speed difference, both worth investigating:

  1. Dropbox uses deduplication extensively (both within and between accounts). By using an rsync like checksum method, they can identify data that they already have, and therefore don't need to upload. This will give the "impression" of a faster upload. One way to check this is to upload some NEW guaranteed unique files that defeats the dedupe mechanism (encrypted files should work).

  2. Dropbox uses a hub and spoke architecture (for connecting with the Dropbox servers that handle the metadata, and the Amazon S3 servers that handle the data). However, under certain circumstances, it can also switch to a peer to peer transfer within a subnet. Available bandwidth between computers on the same subnet is far greater than between the subnet and the internet servers at S3, giving the illusion of different upload performance. Try having your different machines in a different (IP) location, this may defeat the p2p mechanism (unless Dropbox is smarter than I think they are).

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One possibility here is that ubuntu one is using less bandwidth for upload than dropbox. You can easily confirm this by watching your upload speed in your router or even by using 'system monitor'. Take a look at this to change the upload speed u1 is using.

How does one manage the upload speed of Ubuntu One?

If you can confirm both services are using the same upload speed, but u1 is slower than dropbox, try also making sure your running the latest version of u1. Then repeat the test and see. If ubuntu one is still slower, than the final difference has to do with server file post-processing. U1 processes files you upload adding some useful metadata about them in some cases. However, both ubuntu one and dropbox use amazon's s3 service, so in theory the backends should have the same speed.

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Theres a few problems with your answer here. Just because they both use s3 doesn't mean they should have the same performance. Upload speed? Configurable in dropbox but not sure about U1. Also checking the router is a completely unreliable source for benchmarking this. –  Abe Petrillo Jan 18 '12 at 11:45

There are some performance concerns which are being worked on, on both the client and server side. A lot of small files will make things much slower, than for a few larger files, for example. The Ubuntu One team is constantly working on improvements to both performance and usability, as well as adding new features. There are some bug reports about performance already, though you may wish to open another one. I'm not sure what else to say, but rest assured performance and usability are big concerns for the U1 team, and they are being looked at. Though unfortunately everything can't have top priority to be fixed tomorrow. It isn't a team of infinite monkeys. :)

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