You do not need to spend money on a NAS device to share files. Get help solving issues in the TroubleTechTuna’s series about the most annoying router issues.
Nowadays, it is imperative to have access to wireless broadband both at home and at work.
Nevertheless, the regular wireless gateway / router has not yet been developed to perfection.
We look at a number of the most annoying issues with routers – and come up with good recommendations for solving them.
File sharing via the router
Problem: Why spend money on a separate so-called network-attached storage (NAS) device when you can just use its router to share files? Many routers are equipped with USB ports to connect to external USB drives for backup or file sharing.
But unfortunately, although it should be just as easy to put an external drive as it is – yes, like putting it in the socket – it is rarely so simple. For example, the Linksys WRT610N Wireless-N Router includes a complicated setup screen that needs to be completed each time you insert a USB drive.
It would be nice if a software for file sharing existed without all the hassle. It should be easy to connect all the computers in the network to the storage device, for example, using the router’s SSID name or IP address. And then it should be possible to protect the storage device with a password so that it is not only open to everyone on the network.
Possible solutions: Several routers already include USB ports, such as those from Linksys, Belkin and Netgear. It all depends on which software is used to configure the USB drive and whether there is a need for extra stuff on the Windows or Mac client to connect to the shared storage device.
The Best Routers: Provides a separate software configuration option that works with both Windows and Mac and only needs to run once to set up the external storage device.
Then you can access the device by typing its IP address, for example 192.168.1.1 sharename. However, the product is not perfect, because it is not possible to protect the files using a password.
Netgear RangeMax does not require additional software, and it also includes the ability to protect the files with password. It also offers a variety of access methods, such as FTP and Internet sharing, directly from the setup screen.