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Need suggestions for router choice
I currently use US Robotics 802.11G wireless router. It works well and rarely needs a reboot. It also has a USB port that allows me to connect my (otherwise un-networkable, i.e. it doesn't have an ethernet jack) laser printer to it so anyone on the network can print directly from their laptop.
All good until someone gave me a nice 1/2 terabyte USB external hard drive. Now I would like to be able to network the printer as well as the hard drive but I only have one USB port on the router. I tried replacing the printer with the external hard drive but the hard drive is not seen on the network. It seems that the USB port will only work as a print server. This (I think) prevents me from simply plugging a USB switch into the router's USB port and plugging both the printer and the hard drive into the switch.
So, has anyone got any (cheap) ideas or do I have to find a new router that will allow me to do what I want? Anyone able to mention any routers that allow both a printer and an external storage device?
I've also tried connecting an external HDD to a router with a USB port. It doesn't allow it most of the time because most companies want you to buy their NAS in order to connect a HDD to the network.
So in order to share a hard drive over the network you will need to buy a NAS.
If you do get the hard drive to work on the USB port on the router, you can always buy a print server for the printer. But in the end, a print server can cost as much as the NAS would.
I have found two so far that would work. The newest Airport extreme - the 802.11n capable version has a USB port that one can use either as a printe server or to attach a stroge device, so by attaching it to a USB hub one could use both. Better yet is the Asus 500 wirless router which has 2 USB ports so a printer and a storage device can be attached to it directly. They are on sale at Newegg but there is some doubt about how well they work and how easy they are to configure.
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