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Is there a device which can share any mass storage device over Wi-Fi, regardless of the platform/device to be accessed from?

I have Googled some, but they are fixed sized hard-drives or pen-drives, mostly for iPhone and iPad.

What I looking for is a device that has a USB port where I can connect any portable hard-drive of any capacity, pen drive, memory cards (via USB) or any mass-storage media, and the device can share the media over Wi-Fi that can be accessed by any Wi-Fi enabled device.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Now (in 2013) this is a feature of "smart" wireless routers. They can act as standalone DNLA servers, which means, you plug in a USB Mass Storage Device (usb stick, external hard drive), and it wirelessly shares those files in the DNLA format. THis format can be picked up by media devices like bluray players, tablets, media boxes. If you don't want to pay for a fancy smart router, find an opensource compatible low-end router and use an alternative firmware which may have this feature (such as Tomato, DDWRT, or others, best known for working with Linksys routers)

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Well, yes, that's what I meant by "any wireless router with a USB port for disk/file sharing". This is not some new feature developed in 2013. –  terdon Jan 27 at 18:43

Anything set up to share files via SMB should work. SMB is Windows-style file sharing. SaMBa is the most well-known open source SMB server implementation. I have a NAS (well, an old PC with large HDDs running Linux) and a Time Capsule on my home network. Both are set up to share files via SMB, among other things. They are both detected and provide one-click access from:

  1. Linux (all flavors)
  2. OS X (multiple laptops, multiple OS X versions)
  3. iOS (iPhone/iPad)
  4. Windows (both XP and 7)

So, the device you are looking for is called a computer :). Also, any wireless router with a USB port for disk/file sharing almost certainly does it via SMB as well. I would do this using a Linux server but you can go with your personal choice.

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I could have done that using wireless router from Asus, that too for around $60, no need of computer. But it supports only pen-drive. –  kush.impetus Aug 20 '12 at 17:07
    
Something like FreeNAS is also an option and you can run the OS/App right off a thumb drive (engadget.com/2012/02/01/…) –  Kendor Aug 20 '12 at 17:12
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@terdon What protocol are you using to connect from iOS? And what iOS app? I'm not aware of iOS having a native AFP or SMB client, but maybe I'm wrong. –  Spiff Aug 20 '12 at 18:48
    
@Spiff, you are correct that it is not built in to the iOS, whatever app you are using needs to be able to access SMB shares. However there are plenty out there. –  Scott Chamberlain Aug 20 '12 at 19:12
    
@Spiff Don't know about many. There are various apps that let you browse a share, others that stream if you install a specific server daemon. The only apps I know of that will directly stream video from a samba share are Oplayer and the excellent BuzzPayer. –  terdon Aug 20 '12 at 20:00

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