Wireless Repeater Bridge Network

I need a little help finishing my network configuration.
I currently have my E4200 recieving the WAN signal in the basement. It has a LAN connection to my desktop and it is also transmitting a WLAN signal to the E3000 and the WRT54GS routers. They are both set up as wireless repeater bridges using dd-wrt firmware. The E3000 is connected to my HTPC and the TV, network receiver, and PS3 in the basement. The WRT54GS is wired to the TV and BluRay players upstairs.

I am now trying to figure out the best way to utilize a central storage device:
The E4200 (or E3000) could have an external HDD via USB 2.0.
I could also use an old desktop with a couple of HDDs configured in RAID or just simply for storage of network data that would run all the time. But then would I need to buy server software?
The next option would be a NAS and HDDs (this would be the most expensive as I don't have any of that equiptment around). I assume most retail NAS units come with decent software?
Also, the desktop could have an external USB 3.0 HDD but then it would have to WOL for other network devices to access data.

My goal is, ultimately, to sit at any computer and access files on another computer, start media on another device, or possibly access the network from the internet (ie at work). I have a couple of android phones and XP laptops that I would like to have function as remotes for the network media. Any advice on the best, easiest, and cheapest options?
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More about wireless repeater bridge network
  1. check out FreeNAS.com if you want to use an old computer
  2. Would that be a faster solution than adding a 2-3TB HDD to my gateway router? I would have to invest in internal HDDs for the older computer to have this much memory and definitely if I wanted to try a RAID configuration.

    For $100 I can get a 3TB USB 3.0 external HDD that I can load with media data and attach to my router. I haven't tried this, so I ask, what are the drawbacks to this option?

    Also, anybody know how to get all 3 routers to have the same SSID so that a WiFi device would connect to the strongest signal depending on where you are in the house?


  3. I have changed the SSID of my WRT54GS (repeater) to match the SSID of the E4200 (router). It seems like the wireless devices are connecting to the source with the strongest signal some of the time but that is not always the case. Either way, I have to manually reconnect WiFi to change from one router to the other when I move around in the house.
    Is there an easy way to determine which source I am obtaining my signal from?
    Is there any way to have a device automatically change to the source with the strongest signal?
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