[Techtalk] usb on wireless

R. Daneel Olivaw linuxchix at r-daneel.com
Sun Sep 21 13:22:43 UTC 2008

There is no 'simple' way to get an external hard drive available to a
network. This needs extra wiring (obvious) but especially, some sort of
software to respond to protocols : smb, ftp, ...
As you correctly found out, some internet access routers have an usb
port where you may connect an usb thumbdrive, or an external usb hard
After connecting, you'll have to set up the router so he may start
sharing contents of the drive through smb (windows sharing), ftp (may
even be available from the internet), ... This will include user setup
and the like.
Never forget, however, that most of these devices only know fat16/32
file systems. Some may be embedded linux versions (like Freecom's FSG3)
with ext2/3 support.
Often these same devices may even play well as a printserver for an usb
printer (don't expect your all-in-one printer to share it's scanner in
that setup).
Usually, you get 2 extremes with such devices : Freecom's FSG-3 is an
embedded linux system with external sata connectivity, a shell access
and you may use it as a mail server, p2p client, time server and so
on ... on the other extreme, devices do some basic tasks, like sharing a
usb key with the windows protocol, being limited in filesystem size and

Now, if you only seek local hard drive sharing, there are devices that
do just that : share a drive on the network (called NAS: Network Area
Storage). They may ship without a disk, so you may plug in your own.
Setup, will be quite the same as a router with usb storage devices
sharing capabilities.

The one thing you may get with a NAS, is the ability to use RAID 1
(mirroring) on some that can hold 2 or more disks, so you also get a
much better security in case of hard drive failures. But this starts to
get out of scope, prices going up from here for such toys ;)

On a final note, if you have an old unused PC around, try FreeNAS, a
specifically crafted BSD distro that gets you a cheap, easy, web-managed
NAS device with the drives you throw at it.

hope this helped & read you soon,

R. Daneel Olivaw,
The Human Robot Inside.

Le jeudi 18 septembre 2008 à 18:27 -0700, Maria McKinley a écrit :
> Hello all,
> I am trying to come up with a way to have external hardrives available 
> on my wireless. I have a usb hard drive, and I was trying to figure out 
> how to get it on the network. My first idea was to find some sort of usb 
> hub that had an ethernet port. I thought maybe I could hook it up to an 
> ethernet port on my wireless router. Couldn't really find anything that 
> fit the bill, though. So, my next thought was to replace my rented cable 
> router with a router that had a usb, which do seem to exist. I was 
> wondering if anyone has experience doing something like this. I almost 
> get the feeling from the descriptions that you can hook up your computer 
> (or in this case wireless router) to either the ethernet or the usb, 
> rather than have something on both. Not sure how it would deal with the 
> ip for the usb drive either. Thoughts, anyone? My last idea was to buy a 
> different hard drive, one with an ethernet connection, which do seem to 
> exist.
> cheers,
> maria
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