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Adapting Your USB Drives To Work Cross-Network

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With only a few steps and the expenditure of about a hundred bucks, you can share your USB drives throughout your Windows network. Kulvir Singh Bhogal walks you through the process to show just how quickly you can share those handy USB drives cross-network.
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If you own a USB memory stick or a USB hard drive, or followed the approach in my Informit article to convert a conventional hard drive into a USB drive, you might consider investing in a USB-to-Ethernet network storage adapter so that you can easily use your USB drive throughout your network. In this article, I'll show you how to use the D-Link Express EtherNetwork DNS-120 Network Storage Adapter to share a USB storage device on a Windows network. The DNS-120 runs about $100. I opted to go with the DNS-120 over a competing product by Linksys called the Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 (NSLU2). The Linksys uses a proprietary disk format for USB IDE drives that you connect to it, rendering the disk no longer directly attachable to a computer via USB. The DNS-120, on the other hand, lets you connect your existing drives to the unit.

Of course, you could opt to plug your USB storage device into a computer and then share the drive by using the sharing facilities provided by the operating system. However, creating such a share requires that your hosting computer be powered on for the rest of your networked computers to be able to access the shared drive. The D-Link DNS-120 doesn't require your USB drive to be connected to a hosting computer for you to use it.

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