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Can i use a router to make a ftp server?

Last response: in Networking
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August 20, 2012 5:19:10 PM

i live in a dorm and i want to stream movies to my nexus 7 in my room only but i dont want to buy a nas. can i connect my external to a router (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and use that to stream movies. i dont need to be able to connect to it all over campus (i know that involves hacking the proxy) but mainly in my room would be nice. could you tell me if it'll work and why/how?
i read that w/o root you cant connect to adhoc with the nexus 7

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August 20, 2012 7:50:11 PM

For all intents and purposes, you already do have a NAS, since your router supports USB external storage. It even includes an embedded FTP server. So assuming your Nexus can access FTP servers, seems to me you have all the elements in place to make it happen.
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August 20, 2012 8:31:56 PM

thanks, i thought so but i dont want to spend 60 on a router that i cant use.
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August 20, 2012 8:39:47 PM

if i were to use repeater mode could i set permissions on the router and acess it anywhere or would it involve hacking? cuz i dont want to get into trouble. lol
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August 20, 2012 10:51:47 PM

Well, now it gets complicated.

The RT-N13U supports both router and repeater mode, but they're mutually exclusive. Once you switch to repeater mode, you lose all the very features that make it a router; NAT, firewall, your own private network, etc. Repeater mode is quite literally just that; it repeats the signal in a form that's identical to the original. And if that signal is unencrypted, only allows one device, shared by others, etc., all the same things apply to the repeated signal.

What you really need is a WISP (wireless ISP) router. In that case, you’d have a full blown router (NAT, firewall, your own network, etc.), but it would connect to the ISP over wireless rather than a wired connection from the WAN. So in that sense you’d be repeating and routing on the same device.

But alas, you don’t have that option. For you it’s one or the other, not both. But if you had an ethernet port in the room, then of course you could use it as a traditional router. The other option would be to add a wireless ethernet bridge and connect it to the WAN, effectively creating your own WISP router. Or perhaps install dd-wrt (third-party firmware) and configure it as a WISP router.

As I said, it gets complicated.


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August 20, 2012 10:56:01 PM

so would it still work as a ftp server while repeating? i dont have acess to ethernet at school
or would i have to keep it as a router to acess my files?
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August 20, 2012 11:36:50 PM

Yeah, it doesn't matter the mode, the USB devices and associated services (FTP) are always accessible via the IP address of the RT-N13U. That never changes. But what does change is its potential vulnerability (to the extent you care). FTP is not encrypted. Both the data and username/password are passed in the clear. So as I said before, for repeating, ALL the elements of the original signal (for good or bad) are based on to the repeater. So let’s say the originating wireless signals are open (unencrypted). That means anyone else in the dorm could eavesdrop on your wireless communications, see what you were doing, steal your username/password, and ultimately gain access to your FTP server! You'd need to be behind your own router and ENCRYPTED wireless to prevent that.

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August 21, 2012 1:24:35 AM

what would be a good way to make an encrypted setup so i could keep my hdd private and still use the same setup?
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August 21, 2012 1:27:59 AM

the main problem is i need it private to me and who i select, but where i still am able to access it with my N7. it can be local to just the router i just cant use adhoc because the N7 doesnt support it w/o root.
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August 21, 2012 1:50:39 AM

Well, that indeed is the problem. As it stands, you CAN'T have both the protection of the router AND access to the remote wireless AP at the same time!

The only way you can is if you choose one of the two other options I mentioned; use a wireless ethernet bridge and connect it to the WAN of the RT-N13U in router mode, OR, install dd-wrt and configure the RT-N13U as a WISP router.

Now if you’re willing to live w/ NO INTERNET ACCESS via the RT-N13U, you can configure it in router mode, enable wireless security on your AP, and access it w/ the Nexus.

If you insist on internet access via the RT-N13, and if it’s practical for you, it is possible to convert a laptop into a wireless ethernet bridge. But that laptop would end up on the WAN side of the router and thus not have access to the FTP server (at least not easily). But if you wanted internet access, and just wanted the FTP server accessible by the Nexus, it would at least work for those purposes.

That's what happens when you don't have all the right pieces. You end up having to jury-rig a solution, which always ends up being a compromised solution.

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August 21, 2012 2:00:37 AM

thanks. you've been a great help.
could i have the router w/ external hdd standalone and broadcast a signal within the room?
or would that make it unsecure?

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August 21, 2012 2:30:35 AM

That's what I meant by no internet access. You could just set it up as a router, but it wouldn't actually be connected to the internet (the WAN port would not be connected to anything). And then you could just enable wireless security on the router and have secured, private access to the FTP server.

And if you wanted to add internet access later, you could get a wireless ethernet bridge (or configure a laptop as one) and add that functionality.

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August 21, 2012 2:46:28 AM

ok. thats good. lol

an ethernet bridge will take the wifi signal and i would connect the ethernet cable from the lan port on the E.B. to the wan port on the router? correct?
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August 21, 2012 2:54:37 AM

Best answer selected by Texas92Redneck.
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August 21, 2012 2:57:51 AM

Correct, of course you'll also configure the wireless client of the bridge to get connected to the school wifi network.
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August 21, 2012 12:07:21 PM

what would i have to do to make my computer act as a Ethernet bridge?
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August 21, 2012 12:53:27 PM

Any computer that has both a wired and wireless network adapter will do. That's why a laptop is ideal, since they almost always have both.

Connect the wireless adapter to the remote AP, connect the wired adapter to the WAN port of the router, and finally enable ICS (internet sharing) on the wireless connection and share it w/ it the wired connection.

All you're doing is sharing your wireless/internet connection w/ other users on your wired connection. It just happens that the other user in this case is the WAN port of your router!
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August 22, 2012 6:54:08 PM

i have a cheep netbook with 1gb ram and a dual core 1.2 ghz cpu. will it still work? or will it be slow
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August 22, 2012 7:27:14 PM

It should be fine. If you were to go out and buy an ethernet wireless bridge, it might be as small as this one:

http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-WNCE2001-Universal-Intern...

There just isn't much to it. It's just bridges the wired and wireless sides, and escorts the traffic back and forth between them.

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