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How hard and costly is it?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by whitetiger7653, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. whitetiger7653

    whitetiger7653 NRA Life Member

    1,176
    0
    Apr 30, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    Is it possible to plug an external hard drive into my D-Link Wireless N DIR-655 router and create a home network easily? My thought is to buy a giant external hard drive plug it in then store all my stuff on that. Then I can wirelessly access/use/save the data there from all my computers.

    It couldn't possibly be as easy as just plugging it in right? The computers are a Mac 10.4, windows 7, mac 10.5, iphone, and possibly an ipad in the future.

    Currently I have everything saved on my 1 desktop, then the necessities on the laptops, and dropbox to move files back and forth.
     
  2. burthouse

    burthouse

    339
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    Apr 14, 2009
    SW Ohio

  3. StarvinMarvin

    StarvinMarvin

    226
    0
    Feb 28, 2008
    Atlanta
    It looks like it might be very easy for you. Although I have no firsthand experience using this router and have read that only one computer at a time can access the hdd.

    http://www.dlink.com/shareport/
     
  4. JimmyN

    JimmyN

    1,266
    7
    Sep 29, 2006
    Virginia
    Yes you can plug an external hard drive into the DIR-655 USB port and access it as a network drive. That's the purpose of the USB port, so you can have a network drive or printer plugged right into the router.

    But after trying that on both a D-Link and a Belkin router with an external USB, I found the disk access was pretty slow. It would work OK for text files or images where you have time to wait, but you won't be able to watch videos or movies as there will be a lot of stuttering, skips and pauses. Routers are just not designed to be file servers.

    And there is a problem with setting permissions. If everything on the drive will be accessible to anyone on the LAN, no problem. Plug in the drive and dump files on it, and everyone on the LAN can get to them. But if you want to control access to certain folders and files you'll have to unplug the drive from the router and plug it into a PC. Then you can set up permissions and access, then plug it back into the router. You'll have to swap the drive back and forth anytime you want to make changes to user access.

    I had an external plugged into my Belkin G router for a while, but I just used it for backups. Since it backed up at night the slow write times didn't matter. So it will work as a network storage, depending on your need, it's just not the optimal solution.

    The cheapest and best way to go would be to use an old outdated computer, like a Pentium 1~4, and install NAS software on it. It won't need a monitor or keyboard once it's installed. It will be much, much faster and the storage capacity will only be limited by your imagination and how many drives you can buy to put in it.
     
  5. Linux3

    Linux3

    1,399
    0
    Dec 31, 2008
    Cool sounding router.
    I have a Belkin N+ that I plugged a WD My Book USB disk into and it works real well as a file server. As JimmyN says it's not for streaming media but for file share.

    I do have videos and such on the My Book but I copy them over to the local machine to play them. Then delete from the local.

    I too use it for one level of backup.
     
  6. whitetiger7653

    whitetiger7653 NRA Life Member

    1,176
    0
    Apr 30, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks guys. I was thinking about using as more of a streaming device for my loads of music and movies. So thanks for pointing out that won't work. My next idea is to buy 1 extremely fast computer with large HD, put it all on that, and get rid of the other computers.

    I just need money.
     
  7. Linux3

    Linux3

    1,399
    0
    Dec 31, 2008
    Then you have a single point of failure.

    Why not just buy a better computer and use your old one as a NAS?
    Or buy a stand alone NAS?
     
  8. whitetiger7653

    whitetiger7653 NRA Life Member

    1,176
    0
    Apr 30, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    I think it would be easier to just buy an external hard drive, back up the data there and have it in a safe place. Plus I'm in a small apartment without much room to have a NAS only system taking up space.

    Can a mac run NAS software?
     
  9. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,805
    1,066
    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Is it an Intel Mac?

    http://www.freenas.org

    It's a completely separate OS, and doesn't require windows or Mac(or Linux for that matter) runs swimmingly w/o a monitor. It's super easy to set up.

    IGF
     
  10. whitetiger7653

    whitetiger7653 NRA Life Member

    1,176
    0
    Apr 30, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    No it's a G5.
     
  11. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,805
    1,066
    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Pretty irrelevant, I was just asking.

    You can build a NAS for fairly cheap.
     


  12. I wrote a long reply to this, and then my iPad deleted it. :upeyes:

    Anyway, this quote above changes the stakes.

    Buy an NAS (I personally own and have set up several of the NetGear ReadyNAS devices and they are great) and the Western Digital TV Live Plus.

    If you do not have a Netflix account and are positive you will never want it, you could save yourself $20 and get the non-Plus WD TV Live.

    The WD TV Live is an HD Media streaming device that will do what you want; stream media from your NAS or computer(s) to your TV, and it will do it in full 1080p HD and without skipping a beat. It is AMAZING.

    What I had started to write is that you need an NAS because as soon as you start putting anything that you care about in the least (photos, movies, etc.) on a single hard drive, you are going to start wondering, "Hmmm....what will I ever do when that hard drive dies?"

    And then you will buy an NAS because it mirrors your data over at least two drives, protecting you from hard drive failure.

    I saw a 4-bay ReadyNAS on Amazon for $300 without any disks. You can get 2TB drives for just over $100 on Amazon. Stick in at least two drives to start, and add more as your budge allows.

    Trust me, spring for the 4-bay. I have a 2-bay and it is obviously limited to 2TB of storage. I'm hopeful that my Netgear NAS will be compatible with the just-released 3TB drives (when I need them, which is a ways away yet...) but it wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't.

    Hence the need for extra bays.

    You will be amazed how much stuff you will download and want to store on your NAS if you buy something like the WD TV Live, which is an amazing media streamer.