The issue with devices like external hard-drives, pen-drives and USB-printers is, they have only USB ports and hence can be connected to individual computers/laptops directly, but they cannot be shared over a network (through a network switch or switch ports of a router).
To connect to a network, one needs a RJ-45/LAN port. So, how do you connect such devices to your network and share its contents with others?
Simple – Use a USB to RJ-45 Converter!
One such USB to RJ-45 converter is the Cirago International NUS 2000 CiragoLink+. This device has 4 x USB ports (that allows you to connect up to four USB devices) at one side, and 1 x 1000 Mbps RJ-45 Network Port on the other (to connect to the LAN – network switch or router).
That way, you can share all the data in the USB-based External hard-drives/Pen-drives with anyone connected to your network, without having to buy an expensive NAS device. You can also share USB-based printers, with other users of your network.
If remote LAN connection through Internet is enabled, you can access your data from anywhere!
Of course, you cannot expect the kind of performance you get with dedicated NAS appliances (and their internal storage drives) – but these NAS drives with disks are somewhat expensive. If you want to use your existing external hard-drives or pen-drives as low-cost NAS systems (at least for the time-being), you can as well buy this USB to RJ-45 converter. Go for it!
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