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I am looking for a cheap way of hooking up a USB drive to the LAN.

This could be a router with a USB port, or possibly a more regular NAS device with a USB port. I am hoping to find something below $200. But if there is a device with "magical properties" I may be interested to hear about it anyway.

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There is the Addonics NAS Adapter which plugs any USB mass storage device into your network. The product page has some more details about it.

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There are many different USB NAS adapters: – Iain Jan 15 '10 at 21:33
Ah, I looked around for a similar product not too long ago and the Addonics was the only one I found. Good to know they are more plentiful now. – Stephen Jennings Jan 16 '10 at 2:45

i bought a Eee PC 701 2G with a broken display for a tenner, it's running FreeNAS like a champ :)

... and pretty power efficient too.

since they're well over 2 years old now, i suppose you'll find the 701 2G (fully functional) for something like $50 or even less.

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I like and use FreeNAS as well, but currently we are using an over-kill solution at the office. I took an old computer (therefor free), and set up Ubuntu on it then just share out whatever else I have inside or connected. Way heavier than FreeNAS but here were my reasons.

  1. I could set up every bit of the existing internal disk not needed by Ubuntu as an NTFS partition shared out as NAS but readable in any Windows computer in the future if I had to pull it for some reason.

  2. I like having an Ubuntu box around for general purpose linux use, in case I want to try or test anything.

  3. I'm not using it anyway so why care if it is the most efficient use of the box.

  4. FreeNAS is fast, efficient, "just worked" right out the box is highly configurable, and was fine for the geek in me, Ubuntu just seemed a little more user friendly in the end for others who were trying to figure out what was going on as far as mounts and shares.

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how about SheevaPlug (

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