Now you can connect your external Hard Disk as a part of your Home Network. The Hard Disk price is coming down, and the storage capacity is growing in terabytes in the market. Hard disk manufacturers are seeking solutions to connect your storage drive directly to your network without any difficulty. Earlier days, we were depending on a dedicated PC to connect your external Hard Disk or connect HD on demand and share into the entire home network. In this case, the PC should turn on 24/7, and this was not a reliable solution. There are two smart solutions to overcome this problem.
The first one is to depend on NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices those are a little bit expensive, but very reliable solution. The second low-cost solution is to buy a WiFi router with USB port and can use that USB port to connect external hard disk to the home network.
NAS Enabled External Hard Disks (WiFi& Wired)
NAS (Network Attached Storage) built-in external Hard Disks are coming with built-in WiFi and that directly connect the storage device to existing WiFi network. In addition to this, most of these devices can communicate with the nearby device through Wi-Fi. If you are a professional and want to carry storage device and to take backup on the way, better to select WiFi (NAS) Hard disks. Some of these hard disks are coming with extra power source backup that will allow the communication while you travel. This wireless portable solution is ideal for photographers and other professionals those want to save their work secure all the time.
There are two types of connectivity available with NAS enabled Hard Disks. Either WiFi connection (with portable hard disks) and Ethernet Connection (large external hard disks) to communicate. There is no need for Internet connection to communicate with these devices. Instead, these portable Hard Disks can communicate with mobile phones, tablets, and WiFi-enabled cameras and laptops directly with the built-in Wi-Fi on the hard drive. For High Capacity External Hard Disks are coming with built-in NIC (Network Interface Card) on the back panel. These Hard Disks have RJ-45 Jack and can plug the external hard drive into one of the ports on your router.
When you select wireless portable hard disks, you have to be careful in certain features that include storage size, supporting wireless standards, file formats supported, apps support to communicate mobile devices, battery life, price, etc.
Seagate STCK1000100 (Portable Wireless Hard Drive)
Key features: Wireless Connectivity | Wirelessly streams favorite digital media | Synchronizes with Dropbox and Google Drive | Streams to three devices | Support DLNA devices, Samsung Smart TVs, and AirPlay. | Device Format: NTFS | Smartphone, and PC Browser Support | Battery backup: 10 hours | Buy from Amazon
Seagate 1TB Portable Hard Drive with Built-in WiFI will work as plug and play with your devices. You can use this hard drive to stream the media directly to your devices like iPhones, Android or laptops with built-in Hard Drive WiFi. In addition to this, with built-in WiFi, these hard disks can sync with your cloud drives for an additional backup copy. This drive can connect three devices simultaneously and stream into three devices same time. This WiFi Hard Drive offers 10 hours battery backup and support to browser through Smartphone and PC native browsers.
Western Digital WDBCTL0040HWT (Cloud Personal NAS Hard Disk)
Key features: Ethernet(Wired)Connectivity | Streams favorite digital media | Support DLNA devices, Samsung Smart TVs, and AirPlay. | Device Format Support: Mac/PC | Buy from Amazon
This external hard disc can connect via the ethernet port on your router and can be used as your local cloud network at your home. You can backup PC& Mag, Use for Mac time machine, and save everything in one place and access remotely. Onc you connect this HD on your router network, you can cess this hard disk on WiFi and even outside your home as long as you have an internet connection.
WiFi Routers with USB Ports to Connect External Hard Disk
The best solution will be USB ported WiFi Routers if you are looking for a storage device for your home. These WiFi routers are coming with one to two external USB ports with regular ethernet ports. With these USB ports on the router, you can enjoy your favorite multimedia content stored on your external USB storage devices from anywhere in your home or office by accessing the wireless USB hub.
You can connect any USB devices to this USB port and make access to your entire home network. Once you connect your external hard disk to this router, you can use the View Network Computers and Devices utility in Windows or File Explorer in MAC to access a hard drive on the same Wi-Fi network and read, write and share all the files on your hard disk. You can secure the hard drive data connected to the network in Folder/Partition/Disk level with passwords. There are WiFi routers available with USB ports to connect external Hrad disks.
TP-Link Archer (Dual USB NAS Router)
Key features: Dual USB Ports with NAS | Dual Band Gigabit Router |1.75Gbps Bandwith | Supports 802.11ac | WPA Encryption | Buy from Amazon
Linksys N900 (USB NAS Router)
Key features: Single USB Port with NAS l Dual Band Gigabit Router | Home Cloud for Media | Supports 802.11ac | WPA Encryption | Buy from Amazon
Western Digital WDBLWE0080JCH (RAID External Hard Drive with USB 3.0)
Key features: Connectivity: USB 3.0 | 2-Bay includes 2 x 4TB HDD | Ultra-fast | Integrated backup software | Cloud backup with Dropbox | System-level backup | Hardware encrypted RAID | Buy from Amazon
Flash Memory Backup for Smartphones
After the evolution of smartphones with a camera, hundreds of photos are being taken using your high-end smartphones. We need more storage space, and all our storage spaces are getting filled with digital photos from the smartphone. As long as you keep these photos just in your smartphone, there is a high risk of losing those precious moments. It is better to connect your iPhone or Android Phone to external hard disk and backup all your photos and videos into an external hard disk.
If you don’t want to spend money on an External hard drive, you can try HooToo iPhone Flash Memory 64GB on Amazon. For Android users, there is Samsung 64GB Flash Drive from Amazon available for a low price, under $30.00. This USB Flash Memory Devices can work just like External Hard Disk for iDevices like iPhone, iPad or iPod. For more backup drives for smartphone users, refer for Android Backup Drives and iPhone Backup Drives.
Those who want to connect the external hard disk via USB port on your router to use as a WiFi Connected backup drive, Western Digital is offering 8TB capacity HD with USB 3 connection. This Duo Desktop RAID External Hard Drive is coming with complete backup solutions to secure your data from loss, integrated backup software, cloud backup with Dropbox and even System-level backup.
Both of the above solutions NAS and USB-Router have pros and cons based on their purpose and use. The USB-enabled routers are more flexible to use. You can connect any USB hard disks to this router; there is no additional software or changes in firmware need on your existing external hard disks. RJ45 NAS connection is kind of permanent solution, and ideal for fast data transfer and no dedicated routers are required. However, the hard disk might be a little bit expensive with RJ45 port.
WiFi enabled portable hard disks are a great choice if you want to communicate with a range of media files with multiple gadgets and devices. If you want a good storage device in your home with WiFi access into it, then USB based routers are the better choice.