Author Topic: Getting fancy with a home network  (Read 1952 times)

oneday

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Getting fancy with a home network
« on: January 12, 2020, 11:44:48 AM »
According to the first link below, I cannot plug my external USB drive into the AT&T-provided Arris BGW210-700 modem and access my files over the wi-fi at home. 

Second link below is the only user guide I could find for this equipment.  I am not a technical person, but I'm not afraid to tinker a little (and infrequently) if I have good instructions.  I have not f-ed up any computers yet!  Mainly by leaving well enough alone for the most part.

Today's questions are:
1) is this correct, I can't use the USB ports like this?
2) is there another cheap way to accomplish this?  I have had the USB drive connected directly to the laptop (free!), but every time I move it around I'm worried I'll forget about the external drive & damage either the drive or the USB port.

https://forums.att.com/conversations/att-internet-equipment/how-do-i-access-a-hard-drive-plugged-into-my-att-modem/5deff29fbad5f2f6063bb789

https://fccid.io/PGRBGW210/Users-Manual/User-Manual-3205200.pdf

deborah

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 12:06:00 PM »
Looks like it is correct.

RWD

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 12:52:43 PM »
Have you thought about getting a low-profile USB drive so it doesn't stick out of the laptop and won't be prone to damage? They're like $10-20 depending on size. Example:
https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-128GB-Ultra-Flash-Drive/dp/B07855LJ99/

reeshau

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 01:33:27 PM »
You can get a USB server to connect the drive to your network.  $50.

https://www.amazon.com/SIIG-USB-Over-1-Port-ID-DS0611-S1/dp/B00DQDSK0U/ref=pd_bxgy_3/144-9370962-6336148?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00DQDSK0U&pd_rd_r=35396879-7685-4dde-8660-ee09a3ddf6fa&pd_rd_w=qlZkn&pd_rd_wg=DMXLE&pf_rd_p=09627863-9889-4290-b90a-5e9f86682449&pf_rd_r=BK86S7DYX6112EVG985K&psc=1&refRID=BK86S7DYX6112EVG985K

As for cheap, another idea:  you say the modem is AT&T supplied.  Are you paying a monthly fee for that?  Buy your own, maybe one that has this functionality included, and you will save money overall.

oneday

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 07:46:49 PM »
Looks like it is correct.

Good to have confirmation, thanks.


Have you thought about getting a low-profile USB drive so it doesn't stick out of the laptop and won't be prone to damage? They're like $10-20 depending on size. Example:
https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-128GB-Ultra-Flash-Drive/dp/B07855LJ99/

I had not known those things existed!  I will compare to the capacity of my current drive to decide.


You can get a USB server to connect the drive to your network.  $50.

https://www.amazon.com/SIIG-USB-Over-1-Port-ID-DS0611-S1/dp/B00DQDSK0U/ref=pd_bxgy_3/144-9370962-6336148?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00DQDSK0U&pd_rd_r=35396879-7685-4dde-8660-ee09a3ddf6fa&pd_rd_w=qlZkn&pd_rd_wg=DMXLE&pf_rd_p=09627863-9889-4290-b90a-5e9f86682449&pf_rd_r=BK86S7DYX6112EVG985K&psc=1&refRID=BK86S7DYX6112EVG985K

As for cheap, another idea:  you say the modem is AT&T supplied.  Are you paying a monthly fee for that?  Buy your own, maybe one that has this functionality included, and you will save money overall.

Two more good options, thank!  Although this particular USB server has a pretty poor rating.  I can shop around.

SemiChemE

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 08:14:15 PM »
Ditto on the USB server idea.  However, if you only want to access a USB hard-drive on the network, a slightly cheaper option would be a cheap Netgear or used Asus router, like these.

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-N600-Wi-Fi-Router-WNDR3400/dp/B0041LYY6K/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Readyshare+usb&qid=1578883653&s=electronics&sr=1-4

https://www.ebay.com/p/10012035685

You don't actually need the wifi capability on these, but you should be able to connect one of the LAN ports from these to a LAN port on your Modem and you'd be able to access the included USB port. 

J'Oden

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2020, 07:25:53 AM »
If I were you, I'd just set up a Raspberry Pi (this is the older model, the one I have used), hook it up to your network as either a NAS or just a SMB (Samba) share. All the computers on your network can view them, and it's just a tiny Raspberry pi that doesn't get moved, but you can still access it from your laptop or anything else on the network. There are some steps initially, but it's pretty stable moving forward.

Running through this setup seems just fine. Plus everyone should have a Raspberry Pi, because they are awesome.

Spitfire

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2020, 10:41:10 AM »
This is a different solution, but depending on what kind of files you need to access, have you considered cloud storage like google drive? 15gb is free and the 100gb plan is $2/month or $20/year if you prepay.

oneday

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2020, 07:45:08 PM »
Ditto on the USB server idea.  However, if you only want to access a USB hard-drive on the network, a slightly cheaper option would be a cheap Netgear or used Asus router, like these.

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-N600-Wi-Fi-Router-WNDR3400/dp/B0041LYY6K/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Readyshare+usb&qid=1578883653&s=electronics&sr=1-4

https://www.ebay.com/p/10012035685

You don't actually need the wifi capability on these, but you should be able to connect one of the LAN ports from these to a LAN port on your Modem and you'd be able to access the included USB port.

Thanks for more options!  Would this need some CAT6 cable to connect to the router?


If I were you, I'd just set up a Raspberry Pi (this is the older model, the one I have used), hook it up to your network as either a NAS or just a SMB (Samba) share. All the computers on your network can view them, and it's just a tiny Raspberry pi that doesn't get moved, but you can still access it from your laptop or anything else on the network. There are some steps initially, but it's pretty stable moving forward.

Running through this setup seems just fine. Plus everyone should have a Raspberry Pi, because they are awesome.

If you'd said raspberry pie, I'd agree in a heart beat :)  This seems more of a project, I'll look into all of this when I'm not working.


This is a different solution, but depending on what kind of files you need to access, have you considered cloud storage like google drive? 15gb is free and the 100gb plan is $2/month or $20/year if you prepay.

Hmm, this is out due to my storage needs.   I've got 134 GB of music & spreadsheets so I'd need to pay $30/year. For that I can almost get the 256 GB low-profile USB drive that RWD mentioned, and can then use the current drive as a periodic backup.  And it would last more than a year.

BradminOxt19

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 10:27:02 AM »
I hesitate to keep a USB drive plugged in all the time.  My friends and I had set up NAS drives in separate homes, constantly being connected but died due to heat over time.  I would recommend a dedicated server with its own cooling fans to serve as a remote file storage over plugging a USB drive in, locally or on a remote device.

Since the dedicated server costs money and time to set up, cloud storage is becoming more of an option as you can get 1Tb or 2Tb for relatively cheap. 

I still use USB drives, but I plug them into my PC only for periodic usage and they are unplugged the rest of the time to increase the lifespan.

SemiChemE

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 10:33:06 PM »
Ditto on the USB server idea.  However, if you only want to access a USB hard-drive on the network, a slightly cheaper option would be a cheap Netgear or used Asus router, like these.

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-N600-Wi-Fi-Router-WNDR3400/dp/B0041LYY6K/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Readyshare+usb&qid=1578883653&s=electronics&sr=1-4

https://www.ebay.com/p/10012035685

You don't actually need the wifi capability on these, but you should be able to connect one of the LAN ports from these to a LAN port on your Modem and you'd be able to access the included USB port.

Thanks for more options!  Would this need some CAT6 cable to connect to the router?


Any standard Ethernet cable should work.  CAT6 or even CAT5 is probably overkill assuming your cable is <10 feet, but either would certainly work.

Simpli-Fi

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 05:48:01 AM »
Plus everyone should have a Raspberry Pi, because they are awesome.
Or two, hell the new ones can run dual monitors

J'Oden

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 06:32:37 AM »
Plus everyone should have a Raspberry Pi, because they are awesome.
Or two, hell the new ones can run dual monitors

I have 3 of them. No monitors. :)

dang1

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2020, 11:45:54 AM »
"134 GB of music & spreadsheets"
upload your songs to Google Play Music, and the spreadsheets to Google Drive

oneday

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2020, 11:16:59 PM »
"134 GB of music & spreadsheets"
upload your songs to Google Play Music, and the spreadsheets to Google Drive

This is a thing you can do? Seems like Google Drive is all about buying or subscribing to their services...

Besides, my music is all ripped from my ex's extensive CD library, to which I no longer have access.  I'm worried about them getting confiscated because of copyright stuff. 

Spitfire

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2020, 08:08:43 AM »
Yup, you can upload 50,000 songs to a google music library for free. I am not sure if/how much they compress the files and degrade quality. I'm not an audiophile but it sounds fine to me.

Simpli-Fi

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2020, 08:26:06 AM »
I'm a music lover.

Regarding ripped CD's...if they are lossless rips .AIFF or .FLAC files keep them safe on a Solid State Disk Hard Drive (preferably with Thunder Bolt); basically those are an exact copy of the CD, much more information than what is typically streamed or purchased digitally.  I would then burn an image or copy them to a tiny USB for laptop use.  The SSD HD is now your vault, and you can always convert/rip them to what ever new format comes out in the future.  When this information is played through the right gear it can produce very high quality music.

If they are .mp3 or any other type of lossy/compressed file (Or nothing above makes any sense)...upload away and forget about it. 


oneday

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2020, 06:48:31 PM »
Update:

Check me on this, y'all.  I have a hard drive in my computer that I never use for file storage.  Reason being, I am gun shy after a hard drive failure 2 computers ago.  So I've been storing everything on the external drive to make me feel safe.

But, it's equally more safe to save the files to the hard drive & keep a copy on the external drive, right?  Because backups.  So I can solve my problem for free by copying the files to the computer, and just doing backups to the external drive once in a while.  Not needing to buy anything or set anything up (including another password) really appeals to me.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2020, 08:48:46 PM »
Backups are only good if you 1) do them and 2) test them (eg, try to restore what you backed up).

Note also that backing up to a drive in your house protects you against some but not all failure modes (ie, not against a physical disaster -- fire/flood/storm, and possibly not against a ransomware disaster (if you leave it plugged in)). Base your backup strategy on what you're trying to prevent.

Re google music, there's no way that isn't heading for the google graveyard. I wouldn't get attached to it. Not to mention it kinda, well, sucks. Its from The Search Company. Guess what you can't do on it? That's right, search on decade or even exact year. It heavily pushes you to their streaming in which case you get ads unless you are subscribed (?).

ketchup

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2020, 10:07:13 PM »
Update:

Check me on this, y'all.  I have a hard drive in my computer that I never use for file storage.  Reason being, I am gun shy after a hard drive failure 2 computers ago.  So I've been storing everything on the external drive to make me feel safe.

But, it's equally more safe to save the files to the hard drive & keep a copy on the external drive, right?  Because backups.  So I can solve my problem for free by copying the files to the computer, and just doing backups to the external drive once in a while.  Not needing to buy anything or set anything up (including another password) really appeals to me.
Data might as well not exist if it isn't in at least two places.  Drives fail All. The. Time.  If one drive failing would be a problem, you have an even bigger problem. Ideally, save locally, backup to network storage, and backup the backup to cloud/tape.

Also, do automatic backups.  Don't count on yourself to do it manually "once in a while."  You won't.

oneday

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2020, 01:23:00 PM »
I originally wanted to solve an entirely different problem, but y'all have convinced me to tackle the larger project to protect my data.  I'm out of town for the next few days, so when I'm back, this is the plan.

  • Copy files from external to internal hard drive (simple backup)
  • Test copies Would a spot check would suffice?*
  • Figure out network backup setup
  • Figure out physical loss backup system (I live in earthquake country)
  • Figure out how to automate that
  • Phase 2: ???
  • Phase 3: profit

I realize I have a third large category: photos.  There will be a bunch more by the end of this year since I'm scanning the family photos in.  It's going to mainly be the photos & spreadsheets that need periodic backup, as the music library is not growing.

*protected against drive failure & ransomeware - level 1 protection

J'Oden

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Re: Getting fancy with a home network
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2020, 03:27:22 PM »
I'll do a bit of research, and have instructions and ideas for you when you return. By the way, I can't look at your Avatar photo without that song going through my head.