I do home user computer repair. Basic set-ups, network, email, tweaking, reinstalls, data recovery, etc...
I had a call tonight from someone who got my name from a friend. This person is setting up a small business, 6 pc's, and wants a wireless network + able to access data between them. I got the idea she wants a repository where everyone can read/write to. The work is going to be basically documents.
In my home, I use a Netgear DGND3700 modem/router. It has 2) USB 3 ports to allow for the addition of external HDD's as storage accessible through the router.
I also have a Linksys Mediahub which is plugged via ethernet- this is also web accessible & has the option of RAID. I'm on the fence with RAID as if the unit fries, both drives go. If there are 2 HDD's, however, the odds of both dying at once are slim.
So, the question is: would a modem/router as above work? Is this a viable way to go about this? I have limited working knowledge (as in, hands-on) with "servers" in the technical sense- I know what they are & what they do- but not sure the difference between this scenario & a true server.
Also, what would be the best way to back everything up assuming 6 pc's saving to an external device via router?
Sorry this is sort of vague- I had a very quick conversation with her & just said I'd research & let her know. I'm still Googling, but wanted to post this here in case someone had a great idea.
If a a small business has 6 computers then you want to avoid a home network and get a MS-windows SBS server in there and create a Domain. If you are unable to do this then i would strongly suggest you advise this company to go to a professional to do it for them. The advantages of this are endless.
I (unlike you) would also strongly suggest RAID storage, After all you say that if the unit fries both drives fail... Hello! If your single HDD failes your screwed, If you have RAID it creates redundancy thats the whole point; if a drive fails it can be rebuilt using the other! You dont want the collapse of a company to be on your back do you? No, so either create a working solution which CAN NOT FAIL (because at the end of the day these guys will turn to you and ask why the hell has it gone wrong and you will have to answer to them! Or tell them to go elsewhere!
answered Oct 26 '12 at 07:45
It's very easy to do. I'm assuming that you're basically saying that you want all 6 PC's to be able to connect to the hard drive connected to the router, and all be able to write and read files to that hard drive?
That's not even networking, just set up the computers as normal like you would at home, with access to the router, or make sure that the router is somewhere plugged into the network, then connect the hard drive as followed in the routers instructions to the router, and then tell every computer to go to the IP of the hard drive that the router will assign it using Windows explorer.
Netgear tell you how to do this on their website. It's no different for one computer than for 6.
Note that this doesn't work with all routers, some routers even with USB ports only suport printing, not hard drive reading, although the Netgear DGND3700 you mention does.
With regards to backing up, for legal reasons I now prefer using cloud based backup solutions, as insurance rarely covers you in the event of data loss from a fire, if your external hard drive gets melted too! Whereas with cloud storage it's secure, accesible from anywhere, you get almost infinite space, for a few dollars, and it's all automated and there's tonnes of tested and proven options, however if you insist on using that hard drive connected to the router then Microsoft produce folder syncing software called SyncToy which can sync every day for example, and just update new changes, such as when stuff is added to a word document, similar to Time Machine on a Mac. There's also many other paid for backup options, but they may not enjoy working with your chosen router hard drive setup over a network.
Hope this helps! I'm happy to help further if you have more questions.