connecting to external hard drive to my home network

I recently bought a WD external hard drive and i want to connect it to my home network. I want it to be accessible to all the computers through the network. i dont want to connect it to one computer and expose it as a shared folder. This would be make the drive inaccessible if the connected computer is switched off.

I have a Linksys Wireless router which doesnt have any USB interface. What would be the best way to achieve this? Any help would be appreciated.


P.S. I cannot afford a network hard drive.
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  1. You say you can't affored a network drive, but you want to connect your drive to the network... hmmm....

    Seriously, I don't know what your budget is, but maybe one of these is what you are looking for.

    Caveat: the above is not a recommendation (except for Newegg - I do recommend them). Also, I noticed the cheapest device in that list is only a USB external box - to pay attention to the specs.
  2. Hmmm... He didn't say he could not afford a network drive and he also said he has an external drive, which means you would not need hard drive enclosures such as the page you referred to. Want to try again? ;)

    I'm also researching the best option for making an external drive networked and available to any device on the network such as my xbox 360 or MAC notebook or Windows laptop.

    Western Digital makes a 2TB mirrored drive and plays well with the Airport Extreme, but I'm looking for a less expensive solution since that is all I want to do, attach external drives.
  3. well ive also been looking into this recently, ive settled on the belkin f5d8235 which has a usb port on the back for connecting usb devices.

    you could also go with the belkin usb network hub which looks like it has half decent management software

    another company to look at is Edimax who do a router with 2 usb ports on the back.

    you could look on ebay for a used buffalo linkstation pro / live / 2share but avoid the 'lite' versions.

    a lot of these types of connectors suffer from really quite pathetic transfer rates (around 5-15mbps) so please look into the different solutions and read some reviews, i have yet to find one that has fast transfers so as long as your happy with a reduction in performance in return for network access you'll be fine.
  4. another possible solution- Hitachi - SimpleNet USB-to-Ethernet Adapter

    $80 bucks at best buy, didnt really compare prices yet
  5. if you are going to buy an 80 dollar adapter why not spend 119 on a network enclosure? 89 after rebate. You don't need HD's as you have one already. You'd have to format the drive but you can copy over to another HD and back.

    You can buy network enclosures as cheap as 21.99 plus shipping, but I'd recommend the D-link DNS-321 A very decent little device. I love mine. 2 bays. And again, any drive added to it will be formatted to work with a different file format. Linux type if I remember right.
  6. Try this, I think it's Exactly what you are looking for.

    You don't need to use a Seagate docking drive, or docking feature. It has 4 ports you can plug any regular USB external drive to.

    Using their software you can access each drive, as a local drive, including drag-n-dropping files. A great boost to other web-based access!

    Seagate sells for $100,
    Amazon for $70
    (2009 Dec 27)]

    I learned from an Amazon post that web access is $30/yr after the first year.

    Another thing I learned from an Amazon post is:
    If you assigned specific drive letters to you drives, the drives won't be recognized by the assigned letter, it will auto-assign drive letters. (only an issue if you uniquely assign each drive a specific letter as a mans to keep databases and shortcuts intact -useful for moving files, upgrading drives, etc).

    :bounce: I wish I bought this years ago!

    I am soo excited about this option, as I've long wanted remote access, yet don't have a a desktop at home to leave on 24/7!! Why is this device not more widely known? Dunno. Perhaps because they tried to make a propriety nitch for their FreeAgent drives. They should have, instead spent money marketing this device as everybody's solution (and left out the dock part). I also like that I can now access these drives all at once at home, and without carting them all around the place.
    or this solution.
    Not settup for remote access, But any USB device can be plugged in (up to 5 at a time, directly or 15 at a time daisy chained through a usb hub)
    and accessed directly as if it's attached to your computer.
    This means hard drives, printers, dvd players.
    Then wireless access is achieved through the router. It comes with software to trick each computer into thinking these devices are connected directly.

    try that seems to do what you want.

  9. hello i have a WD 1TB usb hard drive (don't ask why i need 1) iv got a theory.

    i have 2 laptops "laptop a" + "laptop b" i can access my c drive to both laptops from both wirelessly threw the network. if i plug my hard drive into "laptop a" i should be able to access it from "laptop b" why can't I. is there some kind of setting there can be changed

    my usb ports r busted in "laptop b" and "laptop a" is old both windows 7.
  10. I do own an external USB drive, and I share it using a router which have USB port on it.
    The router let me access the file through a shared folder, ftp or media server.
  11. Try a NetGear PS121 (print server) to interface your USB to ethernet.
    You can probably get one for $10.00 (ten dollars). It is about the size of
    a cigerette pack. You will need an AC receptical to plug in the included power supply transformer. You then assign an ethernet address to the server/drive.

    Hope it helps,
  12. we have 3 laptops running windows 7 and i setup a home group and with the router using WiFi only, can access the 2TB external HDD from all laptops while its only connected to one.

    bought a new printer without WiFi or Bluetooth last month, but we can print from all computers via the home group.

    Even my Nokia e5 can control any of the computers media players via remote control and select songs from the library of the laptops (one if the three at any one time) as well as change the volume and can even stream the videos, music and photos from the phone to any laptop.

    didn't need to buy anything at all, just WiFi all the way!
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