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Topic: OT: Networking question for you IT people

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  1. #1

    OT: Networking question for you IT people

    Sorry for the off-topic post, but I know a lot of you are IT guys, and might have an idea about this...

    I'm looking to network my two USB 2.0 drives, so that I can access them from my laptop from anywhere in the house. Right now they're attached to my desktop and shared, but this is useless when my desktop is turned off.

    I've seen "Network Attached Storage Adapters" that will allow you to network USB drives, but there don't seem to be many out there--can anyone recommend a good one that won't break the bank ($100 or less, used/ebay is fine).

    Incidentally, I would like to use one of these drives as a softsynth drive for GPO, etc. so it's not COMPLETELY off topic...

    Thanks,
    chris.

  2. #2
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: OT: Networking question for you IT people

    Your last sentence is the killer...if you want it to stream off the network?? Else, there is no one particular technology that I can recommend. I happen to like Linksys products for networking, and Maxtor drives...but I'm bigoted...

    www.linksys.com
    See Home » Products » Wired » Basic Networking and look for network storage.


    or

    www.maxtor.com network storage

    There are too many 3rd party products and vendors out there to mention to look at, but they basically house 1-many hard drives that can be connected to the network.

    Others will make their own recommendations which will probably be as good or better but this is a start.

    Streaming over a network...not recommended, unless fully loaded into memory

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Networking question for you IT people

    About the only way you're going to get access - fast access to a drive on the network is to use a NAS (Network Attached Storage) with either a 100Mbps or 1Gbps ethernet interface. I have a Buffalo NAS, and it was NOT cheap, so you'll have to forget about the <$100 idea.

    To my knowledge, there are no devices out there that allow a USB 2.0 drive to be used as a NAS device. Believe me if there was, I wouldn't have had to buy this NAS.

    There are however, devices out there that let you supply the drive (only 1 drive), and will function as a NAS on your network with the ethernet interface. They'll request an IP address from your router, and boom, it's on the network. The reason I didn't go that route was because I wanted redundancy and data protection, so I run my Buffalo as a RAID 5 - striped with parity. You might check with Newegg.com for these NAS "frames" where you supply the drive.

    BTW, I also have 4 USB 2.0 200GB drives that are attached to my PC. Interestingly enough, these outboard beasts are FASTER than the drives attached to the onboard controller, and this is an ASUS P4C800 MB, with all the whistles and bells. Go figure.

    Stevemitchell

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Networking question for you IT people

    " Right now they're attached to my desktop and shared, but this is useless when my desktop is turned off."

    Enter the dumpster PC. This is where you and a buddy go to the dumpster behind your local computer shop and pick out a few mobos, HDDs, RAM, and Processors! Get a case too! Just attach it to this practially free computer and Voila! Instant file server!









    That was a joke....

  5. #5
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: OT: Networking question for you IT people

    Steve:


    What about this from linksys?


    Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives
    Easily Add Storage Space to Your Network
    • Connects USB 1.1 or 2.0 disk drives and flash disks directly to your network
    • Share music, video, or data files with managed access by user name or group
    • Integrated file server -- access your files from the Internet
    • Built-in disk utilities -- format, backup, and scandisk
    Product DescriptionMore Information Now you can quickly and easily add gigabytes of storage space onto your network with the Network Storage Link from Linksys. This tiny network appliance connects USB 2.0 hard drives directly to your Ethernet network. You can connect up to two stand-alone USB disk drives of any size, and access them from anywhere on your network. You can even plug a USB flash disk into the Network Storage Link, for a convenient way of accessing your portable data files. The Network Storage Link can also be set up so that your storage devices are accessible from the Internet -- files can be easily downloaded via your web browser. Your files can be available publicly, or create password-protected accounts for authorized users.

    Installation of the Network Storage Link is simple -- just plug it directly into your 10/100 Ethernet network, and attach your USB 2.0 hard drives or flash disk. It can self-configure to your network via DHCP or you can use the built-in utility to manually configure it. With the speedy USB 2.0 interface, you'll get quick response times with even your largest files. The Network Storage Link features built-in disk utilities, accessible through your web browser. You can format new disk drives, and scan drives for errors. The built-in backup program lets you schedule full, incremental, or synchronization backups of your network drives to the Network Storage Link, or vice versa. It will even send you an email message when a hard drive gets nearly full, completely full, or has an error. The Network Storage Link is a fast, simple, flexible and economical way to add storage to your network.

    Product Image
    » Product Image (high res)
    » User Guide
    » Firmware
    » Quick Install pdf
    » Press Release 2
    » Press Release 1
    Related Products

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Networking question for you IT people

    I didn't look hard enough. I have to check this out.

    Thanks

    Stevemitchell

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Networking question for you IT people

    Quote Originally Posted by DZComposer
    " Right now they're attached to my desktop and shared, but this is useless when my desktop is turned off."

    Enter the dumpster PC. This is where you and a buddy go to the dumpster behind your local computer shop and pick out a few mobos, HDDs, RAM, and Processors! Get a case too! Just attach it to this practially free computer and Voila! Instant file server!









    That was a joke....

    Actually, what you meant for a joke is right on target. Seriously. It takes a little technical finesse (not plug-n-play in the least), but it can hit that $100 mark without even breaking a sweat. But, it takes some techieness, because you need to use Linux (which is actually what many of the NAS devices are using, Linux on ROM).

    Got an old Pentium 100 laying around? Maybe a Pentium II 333? You can find these in dumpsters and garage sales for next-to-nothing, since in the Windows world that's what they are worth, since they won't run the new stuff. But, those old things will run Linux incredibly well (if you don't try to run a GUI -- just the basic console). You can download any of several excellent Linux distributions absolutely free. Some distributions will even offer you the option while installing to automatically sonfigure the installation as a file server. Set up Linux with Samba (an SMB server compatible with Windows servers) and go to town. You'd be surprised how fast an old P100 can be when it's not bogged down by MS Bloatware! The technically challenged need to use an NAS appliance, but if you're up to the challenge you can make a solid and powerful network file server for next to nothing -- really!

    D.
    "He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds"
    --Psalm 147:3

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Networking question for you IT people

    Hi newmewzikboy - I want to thank you for leading me here - I checked this device out. Looks cool except for the fact that I'm taking USB 2.0 device that's capable of 480Mbps, and connecting it as a node on the network, but with only a 10/100Mbps interface. I think that when Linksys brings out another model with the GB interface, it'll kick bootie.

    Stevemitchell

  9. #9

    Talking Re: OT: Networking question for you IT people

    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeZoot
    Sorry for the off-topic post, but I know a lot of you are IT guys, and might have an idea about this...

    I'm looking to network my two USB 2.0 drives, so that I can access them from my laptop from anywhere in the house. Right now they're attached to my desktop and shared, but this is useless when my desktop is turned off.

    I've seen "Network Attached Storage Adapters" that will allow you to network USB drives, but there don't seem to be many out there--can anyone recommend a good one that won't break the bank ($100 or less, used/ebay is fine).

    Incidentally, I would like to use one of these drives as a softsynth drive for GPO, etc. so it's not COMPLETELY off topic...

    Thanks,
    chris.
    Well, it's not what you asked for, but you could consider a portable firewire 800 drive. Smartdisk makes a very small and portable model that you could use with either your desktop or your laptop, at least until faster networked options become available.

    And for the record, I am definitely not an IT guy (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!)

  10. #10
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: OT: Networking question for you IT people

    FW 800 is not supported under XP or laptops. Whatever you read, or what people say, you will not get good throughput. I did the research, and asked a bunch of vendors, when I was looking for a faster external hard drive for my samples =( Best you can do is FW400

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