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How To Make a Normal External Hard Drive NAS

Posted by Arch on June 26, 2019
make a normal external hard drive nas

Hard drive technology is always in flux. A mere decade ago, having a one terabyte internal hard drive was something worth bragging about. Nowadays, external hard drives go up to 8TB and more. With this amount of hard disk space, using them as Network Attached Storage (NAS) would make sense.

NAS essentially enables multiple devices that are on the same network to gain access to a NAS hard drive. Luckily, converting any external hard disk into a NAS is an easy and quick process.

Necessary Items

Although the list of items necessary for turning your regular external hard drive into a NAS is a short one, you’re still probably going to have to do some shopping before proceeding any further. Here are the items that you will need:

  1. Wireless router – Chances are that you already have one
  2. NAS adapter – This one you’re probably going to have to buy

Both of these items are available in any decently-equipped tech store.

Setting Things Up

  1. Firstly, take a look at your NAS adapter. On one side, it should have a regular USB 2.0 port. At the other end, there should be an Ethernet port, as well as one for the power adapter. Plug the AC power cord (you should find this in your NAS adapter retail box) into the NAS adapter, and then plug the adapter into the wall.
  2. Depending on whether your external hard drive gets its power supply from USB, or whether it has a separate AC power cord that goes directly into the power source, you’re going to have to find another power slot for your external drive. Now plug your hard drive into the NAS adapter’s USB port.
    a normal external hard drive nas
  3. Check your internet connection. If it’s stable, connect the adapter to a “Line Out” jack on your router using the Ethernet cable that your NAS adapter should come with.

Logging into the NAS Adapter

Once you’ve prepared everything properly, you can power up your computer. The NAS adapter should automatically detect your IP address, but if it doesn’t, there will likely be a guide on how to do it manually in the user manual. Once the IP address has been detected, open the browser on your computer and type “storage” in the search box. This should prompt you to enter a username and password for connecting to the NAS adapter.

By default, both the username and password are likely “admin,” but if not, consult the NAS adapter’s user manual. Naturally, once you’ve logged in, you’ll be able to change the username and password, which is absolutely recommended.

Creating a New User

In order to allow other computers to gain access to a NAS hard drive, you’re going to have to create a new user. Each computer in the network that you want to give access to is basically known as “user.” To create a new user, simply click the “Add” button, name it, and create a password. Now, you need to give the new user access to your NAS. To do this, use the “Modify” option. Select the user you’ve previously added to the network from the list and simply click “Add.” This will add them to the sharing list.

Logging into Your NAS

You can add as many users as you like to your NAS network, but they’re going to have to know how to log into it. This takes a bit of getting used to, but it isn’t overly complicated. All they need to do is simply open the Run app in Windows by clicking the start button and typing “run.” In the window that pops up, your new users will have to type “\” and the admin’s (your) IP address. Make sure that you tell them the username and password that you assigned to them. This will give them access to your NAS.

Be careful when sharing your NAS. Only trusted users should have access to your network. Make sure that you’ve changed your password immediately upon logging into it using the “admin” username and pass because hackers and cybercriminals probably know that “admin” is the default NAS password.

make normal external hard drive nas 2

Conversion Complete

That’s it! You have successfully converted your regular external hard drive to NAS. Do you have any additional tips for converting HDD to NAS? Feel free to contribute by commenting below!

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