There is already a question similiar: Samba (smb) alternative which allows outside LAN connections.

My requirements differ, I simply need to be able to mount a drive which is located in my linux server's filesystem - from my windows box - in my lan.

It should be as fast as possible (I think FTP is too slow, overhead + timeouts) and requires basic up and download with public and private shares.

I want to get away from the default smb/samba package because I never get it to work persistently or is not compatible with Win 8.1.

5 Answers 5


In general there is no Protocol that is the fastest, as it depend on the Environemnt.

In Mac/UNIX Env. , AFP is the most stable and fastest protocol one can use.

In Windows Env. SMB2 is the fastest and most reliable.

In Linux/Unix NFS is also one of the fastest Protocols, because it is directly using the TCP/IP Service.

Windows is also compatible with NFS, so if you need an alternative, NFS is what I would recommend. It is also easy to configure.

Besides those 3 LAN Protocols, I would use:

  1. SSH
  2. WebDAV
  3. FTP

All of them are quite fast, depending on the file-size / file-overheads.

  • 3
    2019 Update: After learning a lot more about networks and protocols for file transfers, the 3 choices here remain kind of relevant. For the Question asked I would strongly recommend Samba though, since it has been the standard and is now more standard than ever, after Apple deprecated AFP and Windows removed NFS support from Home and Pro Distributions. If you really need something different, then WevDAV would be my choice.
    – rwenz3l
    Jan 18, 2019 at 10:58
  • 2020 Update: It's SMB or SFTP for me. NFS for Linux<> Linux.
    – rwenz3l
    Sep 8, 2020 at 15:11
  • Windows 10 pro has an NFS client
    – CervEd
    Apr 23, 2021 at 14:02

You could also install "Windows Services for Unix", it allows windows to access NFS shares. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=274 If the link does not work, try going to download.microsoft.com and search for it. It contains a lot of tools, but if you only want to access NFS, you need two components. First is NFS, and the second is PCNFS, under Authentication Tools for NFS, and you should be good to go.


  • I regularly use SSHFS for connecting to my home linux server. It works great! But, I only connect to my home server from my other Linux systems (clients, if you want to call them that, but, they are just plain, simple, regular laptops). I have never used SSH-FS in a mixed environment (Windows + Linux), so, I can't comment on how well SSH-FS works on Windows, but, there's code for Win-SSH-FS on Google.
  • I can't comment on speed because I have not run any tests on this setup. But, I regularly transfer large files (anywhere from a few hundred MB-s to a few GB-s) on this setup ... within my home network and I have never experienced performance issues. Any problems, I would assume, are in the lower layers of the stack, rather than in SSH-FS itself.
  • Give it a try, https://code.google.com/p/win-sshfs/ ... you may like it.


    There is another SMB3 server on Linux available which is high performance called MoSMB. Link http://www.mosmb.com. This SMB3 server stack mainly addresses the performance and scalability. Its core engine provides high throughput. Since it has over 90% compliance to SMB2 & SMB3 protocol the SMB session is less chatty. It also has features such as multi-channel which helps multiply the bandwidth by simply adding more NICs. for e.g. one may add 4 NICs of 40GB.

    • 4
      Welcome aboard. We don't really like link only answers. Can you perhaps explain why this answers the OP's question? For instance, he is concerned about speed
      – Mawg
      Sep 4, 2018 at 9:25

    I recommend the WebDAV protocol.
    It is recognized by many clients, for instance the Windows Explorer.
    It is much more reliable and standardized than SMB/CIFS (the protocol used by Samba).

    Here is how to install the Apache-based WebDAV server on Linux:

    • Thanks for your suggestion. I refuse to use Apache due to personal opinion, but I will have a look into WebDAV in combination with nginx.
      – Daniel W.
      Jun 30, 2014 at 9:58

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