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I inherited a hard drive enclosure that that has female min-usb plug. It came with a mini- to regular-usb cable which I can plug into my computer. What I would like to do is connect the hDD/enclosure to my router so i can any computer on the network can access the HDD (and there for backup our data to that hdd.

Help please! Thanks.

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A simple adapter won't do it. I would suggest that you replace the enclosure with one that provides NAS capabilities (and an ethernet connection). – Dennis Williamson Dec 29 '10 at 2:35
up vote 1 down vote accepted

A USB-Ethernet "adapter" would really be an ethernet network interface, but that's not actually going to be sufficient for serving files from the hard drive. You need some sort of network attached storage (NAS) interface. Many modern routers actually have a USB port you can use to plug in a hard drive to use for NAS--the first that comes to mind is the AirPort Extreme or the Linksys E3000

As you might expect, they also make dongle form factor NAS interfaces. I found:

You can easily distinguish them from an ethernet network interface because that would have an USB plug while the NAS interface would have a USB port.

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ok, awesome. I saw the simplenet NAS interface at my local Microcenter. I noticed it has two USB ports and one RJ45 port. Does this mean I could attach a hard drive and a USB printer to the network with this device and serve files and print docs over the network at the same time? – Ramy Dec 29 '10 at 3:08
Nope, that just means you can plug in more than one hard drive to the adapter. If it was able to do printing it would be marketed with "Print Server" as a feature, which it is not. – NReilingh Dec 29 '10 at 3:15
awesome. very helpful. Thanks. – Ramy Dec 29 '10 at 3:41

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