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Topic # 82519 30-Apr-2011 20:32
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I'd like to rationalise some of my devices at home and thought that a router with USB ports that I could plug my printer (Pixma IP4600) and a external HDD would be a neat way to do this.
Currently I have a Linksys NSLU2 with a USB HDD (always on as a NAS) connected to my router, along with an old PC which acts a print server, being started up when required.  The main computers in the house are laptops, so I need good WiFi, currently provided by a Linksys WAG160N.
I thought my prayers had been answered when the new router provided by Vodafone arrived, as this has 2 USB ports but it was so erratic in operation it's now in a cupboard waiting to go on Trademe
Does anyone have any suggestions on a device that will give me ADSL modem, router, wireless AP and USB ports for printer and storage?

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148 posts

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  Reply # 464086 1-May-2011 09:26
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Vodafone's Complete Broadband solution does this. It's a Huawei Echolife hg556.

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  Reply # 464091 1-May-2011 09:55
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mthand: Vodafone's Complete Broadband solution does this. It's a Huawei Echolife hg556.


I thought my prayers had been answered when the new router provided by Vodafone arrived, as this has 2 USB ports but it was so erratic in operation it's now in a cupboard waiting to go on Trademe


He already said he hates that (and I don't blame him)

I just gave up with embedded NAS devices, I just have a WRT54GL with a old MacBook running Debian acting as my server, the good thing about using a laptop as a home server is it's battery, means if the power goes out you still get server powerz. 




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  Reply # 464139 1-May-2011 12:20
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If you wanted to use a seperate modem then the Airport Extreme is very solid, and has good USB HDD/Print capability.

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  Reply # 464145 1-May-2011 12:36
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A Asus RT-N16 would be your best option, coupled with one of the various open source firmwares.

With your list of requirements I would personally opt for a unit such as the RT-N16 for the flexibility the custom firmware offers. There maybe some devices that offer similar features but with proprietary firmware/functionality, but I would avoid these.

Ultimately if you have the budget possible consider building a Smoothwall/pfSense box, either with an old PC or something new based around a Atom or Fusion CPU.



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  Reply # 464181 1-May-2011 14:49
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Thanks for the replies so far, I will check those out

I had thought of building/buying a cheap, low power computer such as one with an Atom CPU - that's still an option if nothing else will do the trick

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  Reply # 464384 2-May-2011 09:36
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If you don't mind forking out a bit of money, the DrayTek Vigor 2710N (http://www.draytek.com.au/products.php?type=dv2710n) will do it. You'll need to use a powered USB hub to connect multiple devices.



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  Reply # 464404 2-May-2011 10:45
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theEd: If you don't mind forking out a bit of money, the DrayTek Vigor 2710N (http://www.draytek.com.au/products.php?type=dv2710n) will do it. You'll need to use a powered USB hub to connect multiple devices.

Thanks - that certainly seems to tick all the boxes but at $500 or so is a bit expensive.

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  Reply # 464871 3-May-2011 13:59
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Do the router and NAS functions have to be in a single device. I have become a fan of SheevaPlug based NAS boxes lately. Low power consumption and little or no noise, but most need a wired ethernet connection (which can of course connect to a WiFi AP /router for wireless access).







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  Reply # 465021 3-May-2011 21:32
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floydbloke: Do the router and NAS functions have to be in a single device. I have become a fan of SheevaPlug based NAS boxes lately. Low power consumption and little or no noise, but most need a wired ethernet connection (which can of course connect to a WiFi AP /router for wireless access).

That was my original intention, but to be honest, the more research I do the less convinced I am that there is a single box that will give me modem, router, AP, NAS (with USB HDD) and print server.  Except possiby the Draytek suggested above, but that's $500 I'd rather not spend.
I'm re-appraising my priorities as follows:
 - NAS - current NSLU2 is quite slow and HDD in use is small (120GB) and old (~6 years constant use)
 - printing - I don't actually print all that often and when I do, turning on the 'server' PC is not too much of a problem - and is reliable, and gives full-duplex operation (status messages etc) that a lot of router-type devices with USB don't
 - modem/AP - current Linksys box does this OK

So, I'm now erring towards replacing the NAS setup with a simple 1TB NAS box like for instance the Seagate GoFlex Home which can be had for less than $200.

Thanks for the helpful replies anyway, and if anyone else has any good ideas that would be great


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  Reply # 465026 3-May-2011 21:51
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I'm currently using the Vodafone modem... but have connected an Airport Extreme as my wireless router, with a 1TB hard drive attached. It's all working just as it should.
Haven't tried using USB off the Vodafone, and I doubt I ever will.

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  Reply # 465029 3-May-2011 21:57
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Was the erratic behaviour of the Vodafone unit with the USB ports, or with the modem itself?

Which firmware version?



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  Reply # 465389 4-May-2011 19:10
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mthand: Was the erratic behaviour of the Vodafone unit with the USB ports, or with the modem itself?



Which firmware version?


Yes, just the USB ports - for printing and storage.  The other problem was that it blocked my work VPN, although I'll admit I didn't try to resolve this though settings etc - the other routers I have used supported VPNs out of the box.
Not sure which firmware I'm afraid.  Do you know if it's been updated recently?  I suppose I could update and try again

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Master Geek


  Reply # 465450 4-May-2011 21:07
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Personally I think that a fault should be logged with them. I'm a bit of a masochist like that ;o)

I have one and I have absolutely no complaints. It is very compliant with my work VPN out of the box, and I am running Firmware V100R001C12B017 (aka B017) - it was acquired with a 12 month contract in July '10. There are versions running up to 29 or 30 just out now I think; but I am not tempted to update it as it's working perfectly, and I don't know the change log for those releases.

I have only tried my old Vodem in it when there was a fibre fault, but it worked ok. I have an external HDD, which might be worth a go, and a printer as well if I'm really game.

Sorry I can't help with the issue, but if the device promises it can do something, but doesn't, you're certainly able to complain and get it addressed somehow.

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  Reply # 465585 5-May-2011 08:52
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shk292:

So, I'm now erring towards replacing the NAS setup with a simple 1TB NAS box like for instance the Seagate GoFlex Home which can be had for less than $200.




I bought one of these last week (good score of Trademe: $130 incl. shipping).  Out of the box it's fairly restrictive with requiring user authentication for file-sharing and even a shared printer.

I needed it to run as a file and print server with full anonymous guest access, as well as a 24 x 7 torrent client. My intention was to install PlugApps Linux on it to achieve this but I found out that the base firmware/OS (hipserv 2.x) is easily 'hackable'  and with a few changes to some of the config files I've now got it running sweet for file, print and torrents.

Having a SATA connection.  It will also be a bit faster than a USB drive connected to any form of server, but out of the box the drive is formatted as NTFS which is known to not perform well with any form of Linux.  The advantage is that if the 'server' crashes (every chance of that with my limited Linux skills), with an adapter you can plug it into a USB port and still get to your data.

However, if you're not keen on doing any mods/hacks, I would encourage you to read up on it.  Seems it's quite buggy and many people are having issues:
http://forums.seagate.com/t5/GoFlex-Net-GoFlex-Home/bd-p/Net_Home

If you do get one and you need help doing any mods, sing out and I'll see if I can assist.

edited: typos







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  Reply # 465873 5-May-2011 18:07
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floydbloke:
shk292:

So, I'm now erring towards replacing the NAS setup with a simple 1TB NAS box like for instance the Seagate GoFlex Home which can be had for less than $200.




I bought one of these last week (good score of Trademe: $130 incl. shipping).  Out of the box it's fairly restrictive with requiring user authentication for file-sharing and even a shared printer.

I needed it to run as a file and print server with full anonymous guest access, as well as a 24 x 7 torrent client. My intention was to install PlugApps Linux on it to achieve this but I found out that the base firmware/OS (hipserv 2.x) is easily 'hackable'  and with a few changes to some of the config files I've now got it running sweet for file, print and torrents.

Having a SATA connection.  It will also be a bit faster than a USB drive connected to any form of server, but out of the box the drive is formatted as NTFS which is known to not perform well with any form of Linux.  The advantage is that if the 'server' crashes (every chance of that with my limited Linux skills), with an adapter you can plug it into a USB port and still get to your data.

However, if you're not keen on doing any mods/hacks, I would encourage you to read up on it.  Seems it's quite buggy and many people are having issues:
http://forums.seagate.com/t5/GoFlex-Net-GoFlex-Home/bd-p/Net_Home

If you do get one and you need help doing any mods, sing out and I'll see if I can assist.

edited: typos

Thank you for a very helpful reply.  I had my eye on this device because it seems it would solve the NAS requirement and have future potential as a print server, so it's very encouraging that you've achieved that/

I'm always happy to hack around with stuff but am not much of a Linux expert - if the mods you have done can be done quite easily then I'd be keen to give it a go.  I'll send you a message when I get around to buying the unit

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