When connecting the network cable from the computer to the router, you will have noticed that it has a USB port. Well, contrary to what many people think, it’s not only for diagnostic purposes but also gives you the option to connect external storage such as HDD or SSD. Does it make sense to use an Internet router for such a function? Is it a better alternative to mounting a homemade NAS? We explain it to you.
Although it may come as a surprise to you, the internet router in your home is a computer that has to handle all the data packet requests that come in from all the devices at the same time and at high speed. This means that they even have complete operating systems, RAM memory and moreover the possibility of managing peripherals such as the storage of printers to share them between several users at the same time. So if you have a small office you can share files in a common area or at home you can print directly from any computer without needing your printer to support WiFi.
Why does my router have a USB port?
Its basic utility is simple, we allows to update the internal firmware of the device if he has no internet connection. We must assume that a router that does not work accurately cannot connect to the network of networks. So we see that we have a USB port on the router that we can use for other functions. Which we will describe below.
Is it worth it for storage instead of a NAS?
Well, it depends on the situation, the problem with many routers is that their USB port is low power and that means large capacity units that require extra power cannot be connected unless we tell them supply electricity from outside. They are therefore generally limited in this respect to Pendrives of several tens of gigabytes with a USB type A connection. So if you want, for example, to have a media server, the best is a NAS.
However, if you work in an office or with small files, it’s a cheap option. Of course, to activate your router’s USB port, you will need to access its configuration. This complicates things compared to a NAS, which will appear to you as a device connected to the network. Additionally, some ISPs use proprietary firmware that may block access to this feature. In other cases, the problem is with the manufacturer of the router, but today there are few if any that cause the USB port to only be used to perform diagnostic exercises on the device by the manufacturer. So the answer boils down to that it depends on what you’re going to use it for.
And as a Wi-Fi printer?
The other utility of the USB port is that which allows us to share peripherals through said port, well, this is in fact its main utility. However, for us it is the most useful, especially if you have a printer that works perfectly for you after years and you want to save money. After all, we all have a router with a USB port these days and buying a new printer can be seen as an added cost in your office.
The problem with this is for the home, many users have the router next to the TV and it’s not a good idea to put a printer in the living room. It is therefore more of a solution for work desks and in this case we highly recommend them, as they save a lot of time when printing documents and having to buy a WiFi-enabled printer. , which usually has the higher average price for this reason.