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  • Router and Ext HDD

    • This topic has 5 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
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      • #2373066
        AskWoody Plus

        I was reading a question someone had about using an external HDD with a USB connection on his router. The question was about speed and whether the router he had would have decent speed. The reason why he wanted to this was not discussed.

        Can someone enlighten me if there is some advantage to running an HDD from the USB port of a router? TIA



      • #2373071
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        The advantage is: always on access for backups / shared file access. If you only use it for backup and do not map to it, ransomware can’t access it either.

        The disadvantage: generally slow file access, but for backups in the background, who cares.

        cheers, Paul

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2373120

        Lots of people who can’t afford or don’t want to mess with a NAS do this.  Netgear, Asus and I’d guess other mfgrs have utilities for managing an attached USB drive, as secure as the router itself.

        In a nutshell, it’s cheap network accessible storage, as fast as your USB connection with wifi, traffic, whatever else is going on in the router subtracting from that.  Can be used for whatever a hard drive or usb stick can be.

        Personally, I want my router to be wifi, ethernet, home network access (a pc server), Internet access and nothing else.  That’s enough.  No smoke allowed!

        Even so, routers are small computers with a dedicated base of software people who write and maintain code providing a number of additional capabilities.  They know what they’re doing.  Go to smallnetbuilder and peruse the Merlin and Voxel forums. Even without additional capabilities, Merlin and Voxel vastly improve performance of Asus and Netgear routers.  I’ve use both; simple to install, just upgrade as usual.

        • #2373131
          AskWoody Plus

          Before today and my accidentally reading a post on another Windows forum, I never knew that such a use for a router and external storage even existed.

          I have a late model Netgear router which I have apparently under-utilized. Thanks for the informative post.

      • #2373130
        AskWoody Lounger

        It doesn’t have to be a hard disk. A thumb drive (assuming that USB 2 vs 3 isn’t an issue) doesn’t need external power, nor disk spin-up/down / head parking. Evaluate capacity required.

        The disadvantage: generally slow file access,

        For awhile we had a thumb plugged in as a transfer-point between computers, but it wasn’t used much so it was pulled. Yes, access was slow. Router is 2015 model, but gigabit ethernet.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2373233
        AskWoody Plus

        My late model Netgear router has that USB storage capability, but I haven’t tried it yet.

        I use Dropbox and locally attached USB drives on my PC, that were already setup prior to getting the new router.

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