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I have a network problem that I would like to see if I'm missing something, and as such, here is the data:

NEED:
I wish to make a "server"-like WLAN/LAN setup with what I have now without having to spend money on a NAS server (out of box or bay) which is having prohibitive costs right now on my country.

CURRENT SCENARIO:
I currently have:

  • HP ENVY 19
  • 3 x 500Gb External 2.5' HD
  • HITRON Wireless Router/Switch, with 1xUSB 1.0 + 4xLAN PORTS (last one capable of Bridge)

IDEA:
Somehow connect the USB 3.0 Ext HD into the LAN Ports through RJ45-USD converters and use SW or CONFIG to make the Router detect them (and the PC of course, so I can use them as a Network Drive just like a NAS or a pen drive)

Is this in anyway possible? Is there an alternative / easier way to do it?

Thanks in advance for all the help you can provide.

Best Regards Luis Lima

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    Your external drives can be shared through the network as mapped drives in Windows, and as long as your laptop has an IP address, this should work fine. Are you trying to have them accessible even when the HP Envy is turned off? – Daedalus Mar 16 '16 at 12:14
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    Turn the HP Envy to an NAS? Get FreeNAS or so installed on it? Or is it the PC for your daily usage? – Tom Yan Mar 16 '16 at 16:00
  • I didn't even know there were USB over IP hubs like amazon.com/CoolGear%C2%AE-Industrial-Network-4-Port-Device/dp/… But at $100, he would be getting back into homebrew NAS territory – infixed Mar 16 '16 at 17:20
  • @Daedalus: Yes, basically network drives (accessible in a mobile for instance), I can plug them into the USB port (with a hub), but again, it's a ridiculous 1.5m/s transfer rate, it's USB 1.0 the version I have, that's why I wanted to use the LAN ports instead of the USB. – Alban Lusitanae Mar 17 '16 at 15:04
  • @TomYan: I don't want to buy the NAS and don't want the PC turned into a server, that's the point. It's expensive and I use the PC daily. – Alban Lusitanae Mar 17 '16 at 15:07
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If you want to do a homebuilt NAS, there are cheaper platforms you can build one out of.

For instance, this blog shows a person building a Samba based one out of a Raspberry Pi.

Also, look around to see if there is a PC sitting in someone's closet (because its too old and slow), that may be fine as a lightweight server. I've seen Raspberry Pis compared to old Pentium II machines. There may actually be a real Pentium II system gathering dust near you.

But while this may be cheap in terms of money, it is not an ready-to-go solution. You will probably spend some extra time setting it up, so consider how much money you value your own time.

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The first manual for a random Hitron device I looked at contained this:

The CGN provides one USB 2.0 host port, allowing you

to plug in a USB flash disk for mounting and sharing

through the LAN interfaces via the Samba protocol

(network neighborhood).

The CGN supports the following Windows file systems:

FAT16

FAT32

NTFS

Maybe that will work for you

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  • I don't suppose he can make use of THREE EXTERNAL drives with one USB 2.0 port though. Even if he got a RAID enclosure he will need to disassemble those drives. – Tom Yan Mar 16 '16 at 16:03
  • This is true. But trying a hub ito get more USB ports is an experiment I would try. Maybe find an undocumented feature. If internally it was Linux, it might just automount – infixed Mar 16 '16 at 17:00
  • I would be VERY surprise that if the router can handle multiple drives connected through a hub. How would it even mount them? Multiple Samba shares? – Tom Yan Mar 16 '16 at 17:02
  • totally speculation, but if it mounted them in a UFS sort of manner, what happens if you make a SMB share of UFS common mount point. For example if you set up Samba on a Linux box to export /mount, and someone plugs in a USB stick, does it just automatically show up? I have not played with samba enough to guess – infixed Mar 16 '16 at 17:09
  • UFS? You mean this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_File_System ? Or UnionFS? Hmm if you mean the latter, maybe. At least overlayfs seems to be available in OpenWRT: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UnionFS#Other_implementations – Tom Yan Mar 16 '16 at 17:15

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