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Wireless N Router Which Supports "simultaneous" use of a Printer and Ext Hard

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September 27, 2010 8:49:10 AM

I am looking for a Wireless Router which supports "simultaneous" use of a USB Printer and an External Hard Disk via 2 USB ports or a USB Hub connected to the router?

The printer I have is a Dell All in One 962 printer and my OS is Vista Ultimate.

Apple Airport Extreme Wireless Router Supports this. But bit costly.

Any other that you would suggest which is Windows & LiNUX compatible?
September 27, 2010 12:40:05 PM

ASUS RT-N16 802.11b/g/n Gigabit Wireless Router

I assume it can support both usb storage and printing at the same time (I have no reason to suspect otherwise, esp. since it has two USB ports). The only caveat I could find was from this review, where the author had to use both USB ports to get sufficient power to his western digital passport (external drive). However, that's a laptop model that relies solely on USB for power. I assume a standard, external hard drive w/ its own power adapter wouldn't be an issue.

And it's dd-wrt/tomato compatible (and those certainly can support both simultaneously).

Better than average hardware specs (533MHz processor, 128MB ram, 32MB flash) when compared to your average router (200-250MHz, 16-32MB ram, 4-8MB flash).

It's also on sale at the moment, $77 shipped from Newegg w/ promo code EMCYXNP58.

Like any router, you just need to read the reviews and check user feedback. At least I would consider it a candidate.
September 27, 2010 1:52:16 PM

P.S. I should quickly add, don't expect too much in the way of performance wrt external storage. I've been through several USB-enabled routers and performance is typically nothing to write home about. It will certainly never compete w/ a true NAS.

I currently have an ASUS WL-520GU (wireless G, 4 x 10/100 LAN, 1 x USB, 250MHz, 16MB ram, 4MB flash) running Tomato (w/ the teddy bear mod). To establish a baseline, I grabbed an old Kingston 512MB flash drive (nothing special) and tested it on my PC; ~5.8MB/sec (read). I then installed it on the WL-520GU and got ~1.5MB/sec (ftp or samba), and that's using a *wired* connection! And that’s actually better than some others w/ a similar setup have reported back to me (< 1MB/sec in some cases).

I assume a more powerful router like the ASUS RT-N16 could do slightly better, but still nothing compared to a true NAS (even a budget, Gigabit NAS can probably deliver 12-15MB/sec). And I don’t know how it compares to the Airport Extreme either.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend any router-based external storage solution for large media files or demanding applications. I only use mine to store a few shared applications and small data files (e.g., KeePass).

I just want you set your expectations appropriately.

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October 2, 2010 9:58:52 AM

Thanks for the replies...

Let me have a look at the reviews of ASUS RT-N16. I would connect the NAS drive via the ethernet port of the router and not via the USB.
June 27, 2012 12:33:58 AM

I'm going to revive this thread because all over the web people are talking about their performance with usb-enabled wifi routers.

I recently bought an Asus RT-N16 and installed Tomato. After some tweaking on the usb drive I'm getting a steady 10 - 11 MB/s speeds. It's all in how you set it up.

A few tips for anyone stumbling across this:
1) format the drive as Ext3 (A must, I went from 3 MB/s to 9 MB/s with this one change)
2) tweak the filesystem on the drive (set journaling mode to writeback - read up on it) Also tweak the fstab on the router to disable atime, diratime and dev
here are my settings straight from the 'mount' command on the router
type ext3 (rw,nodev,noatime,nodiratime,data=writeback)
3) Tweak samba on the client and the router (do a quick google search.
4) Pop open a beer and relax
!