External USB HD or USB Flash Drive
Home Network Attached Storage
What is home network storage:
Network storage allows you to use your wireless home network for more then just an Internet connection.
Having a wireless router with a USB port gives you the option of having a centralized storage location for all your files.
These folders and files can now be shared on your wireless home network, or from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection.
You can also use the USB network storage port for adding many other devices, such as network printers, and media servers for streaming out video and movies to a media extender, such as an Xbox 360 or PS3.
In this example of home network attached storage i’ll be describing the functionality and setup process of a Linksys E4200 series wireless router.
Most high performance routers have very similar storage functionality, if you considering using a different manufacture of router just refer to its user manual for specific detailed instruction.
Let’s get started:
USB network storage can be setup using the entire disk as one partition shared by all the users on the network, or you can create folders and assign access rights to individuals or even group access.
Access rights to the folders can be either “read write” or “read only”, depending how you want to manage your data which others have access to.
What kind of storage can be used:
WHNME recommends the My Passport USB Portable External Hard Drive, which includes software for automatic backup and data encryption.
The routers USB network storage port gives you the flexibility to attach many different types of storage devices.
The most common network storage device to attach would be using an external USB hard drive, because of the larger disk capacity.
However, you may also attach more affordable USB devices as well, such as USB flash drives or a USB card reader with a memory card.
Setting up home network storage:
Once you have decided on the type of USB storage you intend to use for your home network, insert the formatted storage device into the USB port on the back of the router.
After inserting the USB storage device in the routers home network storage port, the router will display the partitions file system, capacity, and free space information in the routers “Disk Management” screen of routers configuration menu.
To access “Disk Management” you must first login to your wireless routers setup and configuration menu system.
If you need help logging into your wireless router, or are unfamiliar with the process, we do provide instruction for the top 4 producers of wireless enabled routers on the market.
|Linksys Router Login Procedures||Netgear Router Login Procedures|
|Belkin Router Login Procedures||D-Link Router Login Procedures|
Home Network Storage
Upon entering the routers main setup screen, locate and click on the “Storage” tab, and then the “Disk” tab on the sub-menu.
The Disk Management menu is where you can perform all the needed tasks like creating network shared folders, sub folders, granting access rights to individuals or groups, deleting shared folders no longer needed, and even reformatting the disk to implement a new file system.
- To create sub folders on the root of the USB storage device, simply click on the “Create Share” button located in the “Disk Management” menu of the disk you wish to make changes to.
- In the “Shared Folder” menu, you must assign the newly created folder a unique “Display Name”, “New Folder” name, and under the “Access” section, assign the appropriate access rights to the folder you wish to grant permissions to.
- When you are finished creating the sub folders, and assigning the desired permissions to the network shares, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Save Settings” button, to make the folders active.
- On the Disk Management menu in the section labeled “Shared Folder” you may also “Edit” shared folder names or make changes to access rights given to users or groups which have permissions to that folder, or if you simply delete the folder, by clicking on the “Delete” button for the particular share.
- Anytime you want to completely erase all data on the USB storage device, you may do so by using the “Format Disk” option located on the bottom of the Disk Management menu.
- To format the disk, simply put a check in the box corresponding to the drive you wish to reformat, and click on the “Format Disk” button.
- Once your finished making creating and making changes to your USB home network storage device, click on the “Refresh” button located on the bottom of the Disk Management menu, and all the changes will be displayed in the fields under the assigned disk.
You are now ready to access your home network attached storage, and put it to use.
Accessing your home network storage:
Once you have setup your USB network storage device and have created all your shared folders with the appropriate access rights, its time to access it and start storing your files.
Accessing home network attached storage from the local network is very simple, and just requires creating a shortcut on your desktop for easy access.
- Simply Right Click on the desktop of the computers you wish to create a shortcut for and select “New”, and then “Shortcut”.
- A create shortcut applet screen will appear asking you to “Type the location of the item”.
- Simply type in the IP address of your router. The default IP address for a Linksys E4200 series wireless router is 192.168.1.1, so for our example we will type:
\\192.168.1.1 and click the “Next” button.
- On the next screen of the “Create Shortcut” applet, you will be prompted to give the shortcut a name.
Give it a name which will remind you that it is network storage, and not located on the local computer.
Something like… USB home network storage.
- After you have given your shortcut a name, Click on the “Finish” button, and an icon will appear on your desktop giving you access to the USB network storage device connected to your wireless routers USB port.
Simply browse through the home network attached storage device just as you would through Windows Explorer on your local computer.
Home network attached storage is more popular than ever in today’s ever changing world where information is always needed at your finger tips at a moments notice.
USB network storage makes this a reality!