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How can I share storage between 2 laptops and 1 desktop

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  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Storage
  • Product
Last response: in Storage
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July 31, 2006 9:23:08 PM

I have a desktop (connected to the internet and the wireless router) and 2 laptops and I want storage that all 3 can use. (photos, files etc.)

1. I don't think that I want to leave my desktop always on as a server since it sucks electricity with an ATI 800XT (underclocked but still...) and an old 2.4c Northwood. I think it would be a hassle to turn on the desktop whenever I wanted to access the storage with one of the laptops....but maybe not, I'm open to suggestions.

2. Would a USB Harddrive be the best or NAS? What are the pros and cons of USB hdd that I could hook up to whichever computer needed access to it vs NAS?

3. Is there a good option I don't know about? Keep in mind that I can't afford much.

Thanks for your help, -matsat

More about : share storage laptops desktop

July 31, 2006 9:41:41 PM

I would recommend a NAS, The Netgear SC101

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...

It is $99

It can be upgraded in the future to bigger drives and you can use your own spare drives you may have.

I think this should have been made with SATA connectivity to future proof it as well as gigabit lan but they dont want it to be future proof.
August 1, 2006 2:23:22 AM

That has got to be the crappies "NAS" I have ever seen!

I've used Buffalo Terrastations, they are pretty good, cost around $500-600 for a 1TB unit I believe.

Leaving a computer on with a 1800xt doesn't consume much more energy than the machine without it, unless you have 3D screen savers running 24/7 :) 
August 1, 2006 7:22:36 AM

True but it uses more than a Netgear SC101. It is true that Buffalo Terastations are better but Netgears are made to be customisable where as Buffalo will take any measure possible for you not to change the drives and buy a new one
August 1, 2006 8:32:41 AM

I have a wee 80 GB 2.5" drive in an external enclosure with a USB 2 connector. Light, portable... Hooks up to any of my PC's, (same's you... Two laptops, desktop, add in stuff I have to bring home from office....) and gives me all the flexibility I need.

Cheap at twice the price. And the price wasn't much. KISS principal applies...


(I also have an infrant readynas with 2TB.... Fast, reliable, but NOT CHEAP!)
August 1, 2006 10:40:33 AM

An external enclosure sounds good....

1. How does it work?
2. What should I keep in mind? Where could I go wrong?
3. What are some good ones or are they all the same?

Thanks for your help!
August 1, 2006 11:36:32 AM

External USB HD is all you need! Cheap, idiot proff, easy to secure, and did I say cheap? So cheap you could have one for each computer.....
August 1, 2006 11:36:46 AM

Quote:
I have a desktop (connected to the internet and the wireless router) and 2 laptops and I want storage that all 3 can use. (photos, files etc.)

1. I don't think that I want to leave my desktop always on as a server since it sucks electricity with an ATI 800XT (underclocked but still...) and an old 2.4c Northwood. I think it would be a hassle to turn on the desktop whenever I wanted to access the storage with one of the laptops....but maybe not, I'm open to suggestions.

2. Would a USB Harddrive be the best or NAS? What are the pros and cons of USB hdd that I could hook up to whichever computer needed access to it vs NAS?

3. Is there a good option I don't know about? Keep in mind that I can't afford much.

Thanks for your help, -matsat

the nas would be pretty much another computer on, so i guess that and option 1 are the same... between the nas and leaving your computer as a server, i'd use the existing machine.
The external drive seems the best, as you can share data with another computer outside your house.
August 1, 2006 12:45:59 PM

If you set power options and wake on LAN you could use your desktop as a file server without having it "on" all the time.
August 1, 2006 1:41:03 PM

That's a good idea, but if it's a slow-booting computer it may not be fast and convenient.

And if it's just going to be a server, why not just use a cheap video card and save power?

Or build a cheap server with a couple hard drives in it...
August 2, 2006 4:40:11 AM

I'd suggest that you look for a 2.5" drive / enclosure as then you can power it off of the USB port. 3.5 inch drives pull too much power to be truly portable.

Mine is a Samsung 80 GB 2.5, but there are other drives as well, and what comes at a good pricepoint here in AUS might not be so good for you.

As to the enclosure, I like the BlueEye enclosure, but again refer to above disclaimer.

I did have to scout around a bit for a short (.3 meter) minisub to usb2.0 cable, but it was worth the look. (the cable that came with the BlueEye was... crap.)

Whole thing fits in a jacket pocket, took all of 10 minutes to make ready, including formatting... And did I say it was cheap?

Edit: And did I say it was simple? Use it pretty much like a thumb drive... Plug it in to a USB port, and it shows up as a drive on the computer you're attached to. Drag and drop whatever you want to share, go to next PC and reverse the process...

Of course you could build a LAN and share out a drive, but again that means having the shared drive 'on' to work.
!