5 cool things you can do with your router’s USB port!
Look at the back of your WiFi router and odd are pretty good that your router has at least one USB port. Why? Why are there USB ports and what are your router’s USB ports?
Here are 5 cool things you can do with your router’s USB port
Usage 1: Printer
Today’s printers are usually networked ready. They connect to the WiFi and anyone on your network can print to them. But what if you have one of those “old” printers that doesn’t have this feature? It’s frustrating to have to plug it into a computer just to print.
Just plug it into the USB port on the back of your router and it becomes a network printer!
Usage 2: Storage.
When you want to share files with someone at home or in the office, you might email the file or you might copy the files onto one of these USB Memory flash-drive stick things and hand it to them. If the files are large you might even upload them to a Google Drive or a Drip box and let the person download the files onto their computer.
While these methods work, they are pretty inefficient.
That is where a NAS or Network-Attached Storage comes in.
In its simplest form, a NAS is a glorified hard drive that connects to your network. You can then store your files on the NAS and share your files with people on your network. Your router’s software will allow you to set security levels so that only people with the right access can view or edit files.
Connect an external hard drive or a large Flash Drive to your router and you instantly have your own NAS. Note that for most households this is fine, however, if you want to really restrict access and store large files then you need a “real” NAS like this Synology
Usage 3: Media Server
If you want to share your family’s photos, videos, and music, your router’s software can create a Media Server. This means that when you upload these onto the shared hard drive, devices like Smart TV and other laptops on the network can access and stream those videos and music!
Usage 4: Backup
Now that you have your hard drive connected to your router’s USB port, this is a perfect time to set up your backup. You can use Windows 10 internal backup software to set it up or you can just free apps like SyncBackFree which is just incredible.
How to set up Windows 10 Backup:
- Go into Windows Settings
- Find Backup
- Select the hard drive you want to back up to
- Now select how often you would like the backup to run and how long it needs to be retained for
- Pick the folders you want to automatically back up
Usage 5: USB cellular modem
This one comes with a bit of a disclaimer as this only works if your router has that facility. If you have poor internet service in your area but have amazing cellular service, then try this:
If you have one of those unlimited data plans, you can connect a cellular USB modem into the router and set up the router to use that. This was your entire network gets a nice fast internet and not just your phone!
Remember that this will eat up a lot of data so make sure you do this wisely.
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