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I want to turn a usb or a external HDD in to a network drive or a shared drive that i can access through my computers in my home. But how?

3 Answers

  • 10 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    You'll need a server for that - and I'd suggest a secure server, which implies passwords and secure access protocols.

    Several ways to go about that.

    Easiest: let someone else do it. If you have a google email address (which is free), you'll get 150 GB (YMMV) of free cloud storage space. Not really secure, but free and easy. Or, at the other extreme, you can pay a hoster in a country of your preference to host your stuff. Almost as easy, but will cost you, depending on various variables.

    Cheapest: if your home ISP contract permits it, you can set up e.g. a Raspberry Pi with a drive as a server. In order to being able to reach it from the outside, you'll have to jump through some hoops (like setting up an account with a dynDNS provider), and the performance of the Raspi as a server is nothing to write home about, but it'll work. Security is depending on the way you set up the system, but basically you're opening a wide path into your home network.

    Intermediate: get yourself the right kind of home NAS. Some of them will include, in addition to the home server capabilities, an account with the manufacturer which will let you access your home NAS from the outside. Security is again so/so - depending on your home network setup, that might be tolerable for you or not.

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  • Lv 7
    10 months ago

    the best way is to actually use and internal drive (provided you have a desktop). they are designed to be shared that way.

    if that's not an option, some routers have a USB port for sharing flash drive or external drives, but it usually requires special software to access them on any computer.

    your third option is a network drive, which is similar to an external drive, but pre-setup to connect to your router, and accessible (either through software or a website) anywhere in the world there is internet.

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  • 10 months ago

    Some routers offer a USB port that can be used to attach an external HDD which can then be shared on the network. I can tell you from personal experience with both Netgear and Linksys routers that this feature is ify at best, maybe it's improved since I last attempted to use it? File transfers are painfully slow and sometimes the drives just disappear all together, requiring a reboot of the router. Routers don't have the CPU horsepower to perform both the network router function and be a storage server at the same time.

    The other alternative is to attach them to a computer and share them on the network, in that case you shouldn't turn that computer off, as the drives will disappear. Best if you run server software ($) on the computer, but it can be done with regular windows client sw too.

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