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How to encrypt an attached HD drive?

Discussion in 'Asuswrt-Merlin' started by snowcrash101, Oct 16, 2019.

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  1. snowcrash101

    snowcrash101 New Around Here

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    Hello

    After installing XWRT on my [NG-R7000/AC1900 - EDIT sorry, will be getting an asus AC68U or AC85U router - I plan to add a HD for data storage to the router (and get rid of my Qnap).

    Though I'm not clear if it's relatively easy to encrypt the HD. I've seen these threads:

    (i) https://www.snbforums.com/threads/usb-drive-encryption.30476 /
    (ii) https://github.com/RMerl/asuswrt-merlin/wiki/LUKS-Encrypted-USB-Drive-HOWTO
    (iii) https://www.snbforums.com/threads/encfs-arm-version-entware-is-ready-for-testing.33508/

    The LUKS method looks complicated, applying patches etc.
    And I can't find further on using ENCFS

    Any help/advice for a newbie will be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  2. Jack Yaz

    Jack Yaz Part of the Furniture

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  3. snowcrash101

    snowcrash101 New Around Here

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    Oops. I was given this router. I'll exchange.
    Any help with with original question will be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  4. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    You will regret moving the QNAP out of your network and using the router for your external HDD.

    The question here is why get rid of the QNAP in the first place?
     
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  5. snowcrash101

    snowcrash101 New Around Here

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    I find it frustrating to use the qnap, slow, bloated software. I only use as a storage for music (for a sonos system) and movies (via kodi box). And some encrypted personal docs. Don't need raid or external access etc. I did think about converting the qnap to be used as debian/ubuntu server or via openmediavault, but it's still over-kill for my needs. I'm thinking an external HD with an asus router will be simpler option. Though encrypting doesn't seem that straightforward.
     
  6. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Depending on which QNAP model you have and how it's set up and configured, you will most likely still be very disappointed in any router-attached-storage even more. Even via USB 3.0.
     
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  7. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

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    Forget about it, doesn't work properly, not even close to NAS. Good only for small volume file shares every now and then. For large file transfers, especially multiple small files, you'll see slow and inconsistent performance, overload of routers hardware, system starts to terminate running processes due to full memory, up to the point basic router functions are disrupted.
     
  8. dosborne

    dosborne Senior Member

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    +1 if recommending that you keep the QNAP. While possible to run storage off the router, it is not the ideal device for doing so. It takes considerable resources away from the primary function, which is routing.

    Can you? Yes. Should you? Up to you, but when you already have something that does the job, why wouldn't you use it.

    I have a couple QNAP devices and have stripped out almost everything that I don't need. I run an older firmware version as I don't need the bloatware. The run quite well.

    On top of the strain of using the router as a NAS, depending on how heavily you use it of course, adding realtime encryption / decryption will be an additional hit on the limited resources.
     
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  9. cmkelley

    cmkelley Very Senior Member

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    Advice: Don't. Seriously. I've become convinced that two things you should never have a router do is act as a file server or a web server. Probably not as an FTP server either except for very occasional use.

    If you're bound and determined to dump your Qnap, you'll get better performance (but still nowhere near your Qnap) connecting your HDD to a Raspberry Pi. Given Raspbian is a full-fledged Linux distribution rather than the severely trimmed down Linux/Busybox system your router has, it should be comparatively easy to create/use an encrypted HDD with it. A simple search for "raspberry pi encrypted file server" turned up a bunch of promising hits.

    If you're having performance problems with your Qnap, you're almost certainly much better off determining what's causing that and fixing it (assuming it isn't physical damage).
     
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  10. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

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    I did some tests recently with RT-AC86U router, much faster hardware than RT-AC68U and with double the RAM available. I knew it was not going to end well right from the start, so tests done just for fun. The results exceeded my expectations... in a negative way. An SSD drive was attached to the USB3 port, in USB3 mode, file transfer through WiFi with 2x2 AC client 866Mbps link speed:

    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/s...-cat-6-cable-with-rt-ac87u.59444/#post-518441
     
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  11. snowcrash101

    snowcrash101 New Around Here

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    Thanks for the all the responses.

    It's convinced me not to pursue this!

    Back to the NAS or I'll replace the qnap qts software with something else.
     
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  12. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Which model QNAP are you using? Is it possible to replace where QTS is installed with an SSD? Can you add more RAM to it? ;)

    This would require a complete re-install of the NAS of course, to do it properly, but it will be worlds better than anything you can replace QTS with. :)
     
  13. Blacklistedcard

    Blacklistedcard Regular Contributor

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    I upgraded my QNAP and I have 12 CPU threads and 16gigs of memory. It run max at 4-5% with about 15% memory usage. I have a 5MP 60fps camera streaming to it. All my music, movies and documents on it. A couple of VM running.

    Keep the QNAP. It's a great NAS.
     
  14. snowcrash101

    snowcrash101 New Around Here

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    I have a TS-251 (2 gb). After a bit of testing, it seems the home-plug network is slowing things down - need to upgrade that. On the nas, I'm only using 1-bay for the HD. And have a spare ssd. Is it worth using this as a cache and/or worth expanding the ram? I guess I can try the ssd first.
     
  15. snowcrash101

    snowcrash101 New Around Here

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    Additionally, I'm torn between saving a bit of money and purchasing asus AC68U or paying more for the AC856Urouter? I don't have many devices needing to connect/stream.

    Is the AC68U near to end of life, will it continue to be supported by asuswrt-merlin for years to come?

    I do have problems where the current ISP modem/router is located with wifi reaching the end rooms of my house. Does the AC856U have a better range?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  16. thelonelycoder

    thelonelycoder Part of the Furniture

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    First time I see the model AC85U mentioned here and I doubt it is supported by Asuswrt-Merlin.
     
  17. snowcrash101

    snowcrash101 New Around Here

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    My typo: AC86U compared with AC68U
     
  18. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

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    RT-AC86U has similar range to RT-AC68U, but offers faster speeds on lower signal levels. My router and most of the WiFi clients are always in the same locations. When RT-AC68U was replaced with RT-AC86U, some clients got about 30% boost in throughput (good 2x2 AC with external antennae), some even 100% boost (older 5GHz 1x1 N clients, I still have 2 older Galaxy Tab 4 tablets). TX power is limited as per regulations, so newer routers must have more sensitive radio modules resulting in better speeds on same distances.
     
  19. dosborne

    dosborne Senior Member

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    Ultimately, it depends on the model. There are many great ones, many good ones, and many not so great ones :)
     
  20. dosborne

    dosborne Senior Member

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    Definitely worth trying the SSD but I wouldn't bother expanding the ram unless you have the correct modules sitting around already.

    The 251 is a basic unit. Decent enough, but not worth investing money in it.

    The router is probably a better place to spend the extra cash. The 86U is likely to be noticeably better than the 68U so, IMO, the better option.