NAS Help Required

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geokilla

Occasional Visitor
Can someone guide me on how to set up a secure NAS within my LAN on my ASUS AC66U B1? I plugged in the external via USB 3.0 and have Network Place (Samba) Share / Cloud Disk enabled with guest login disabled. The router warns not to have guest login enabled but if I leave it disabled, when I double click the router in Windows Explorer, there's no username or password prompted and so I can't access the files on the NAS. I enabled and disabled SMB 1.0 in Windows 10 too.



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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Nothing you do on the router will be a 'secure NAS'. On the contrary, and it may (will) make your network less stable too.

What are your expectations for this USB drive? How will you or your users interact with it? How big (capacity) is it? What file system is it using?
 

geokilla

Occasional Visitor
Nothing you do on the router will be a 'secure NAS'. On the contrary, and it may (will) make your network less stable too.

What are your expectations for this USB drive? How will you or your users interact with it? How big (capacity) is it? What file system is it using?

I just want to store and play anime off the NAS. My plan was to have my family and I be able to access the drive like we do in Windows by just clicking the folders and opening the files accordingly. As per ASUS and YouTube instructions, the drive is formatted in NTFS.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
You want it to be a media server then. How big is the drive you want to use?
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
First, all of the files you want to access on the USB drive will need to be in folders. Files in the root of the drive will not be visible. In Samba each folder will need to be assigned read/write permissions for each added user (the router admin user has read-write access). Make sure you create at least one new user to be able to access the files. The media server should scan the drive for video/audio/pictures and make them available via media streaming protocol.
However, your AC66U_B1 is a great router but to do justice to running even a moderately sized drive with NTFS you should also use a USB thumb drive with a swap file or partition. Otherwise the router could run out of memory and have issues.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
14TB! Lol... I recommend buying a proper NAS instead. Even a 2-Bay model with a single drive installed will let your router route and your storage serve files.
 

geokilla

Occasional Visitor
Wait so you're saying my router won't be able to handle the 14TB drive? I won't completely fill it up, but I got the drive on sale so I figured why not give it a try? I have only about 2TB worth of movies and anime. Also the files won't be accessed more than a few times a month. If this doesn't work, I'll just shuck it and use it as an internal drive on my desktop.

I followed this tutorial to set up the media server but I initially didn't create a folder called "123" or "test" cus when I had guest enabled, I could see the root (sda) folder. I checked and on the Samba router page, there's also a default user called "geokilla." Using the same username/password as my router, I can now access the folder called "123" via Windows Explorer, so I guess I did it properly?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Doing my best Jack Nicholson impersonation:

A 14TB drive? Your router can't handle a 14TB drive!

Or buy a 2-Bay NAS to put it into. :)

I'm sure you did it properly, but any consumer router available today is burdened beyond its capabilities when asked to also assume NAS duties from a USB port (in addition to routing, Wi-Fi, AiProtection, scripts, etc.) and depending on how fast the ISP speeds are too (and how much you want everything to work at the max).

Go ahead and use it if it suits your purposes. But when the network begins to get shaky and unreliable, you'll know it's time to stop, then.
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
See: https://event.asus.com/2009/networks/disksupport/
The max drive size for your router is 4 TB. With that said you can partition the 14 TB drive into three 4 TB and one 2 TB segments. However, you can invest in a Raspberry Pi and make a NAS that you can use with the 14 TB drive. Pi 3b+ would work very well.
 

geokilla

Occasional Visitor
See: https://event.asus.com/2009/networks/disksupport/
The max drive size for your router is 4 TB. With that said you can partition the 14 TB drive into three 4 TB and one 2 TB segments. However, you can invest in a Raspberry Pi and make a NAS that you can use with the 14 TB drive. Pi 3b+ would work very well.
I wonder if Merlin removed those limits. The router formatted it no problem and is showing 13038.507GB free space right now. How would I create multiple partitions and use it with the router? Or do I just create the partitions in Windows?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
I wonder if Merlin removed those limits. The router formatted it no problem and is showing 13038.507GB free space right now. How would I create multiple partitions and use it with the router? Or do I just create the partitions in Windows?
Those are not hard limits but the maximum sizes that Asus is willing to support. The issue specifically with NTFS formatted drives is that once they start filling up the router doesn't have enough memory to perform a filesystem check (the process crashes) and the performance of the router is heavily impacted. Samba in particular requires lots of memory to get any kind of speed out of it (and before you ask a swap file won't help) and the RT-AC66U_B1 has very little (256MB). The router is "OK" if you're only occasionally moving files of a few hundred MB.
 

jeff3820

Regular Contributor
A synology DS120j would be a perfect single drive media server as well as a backup solution. Only $107. The two drive version, the DS220j is $170. Add a second drive at some point to have raid 1 mirroring. Synology is a solid product in this marketplace. I have a two drive model for the last 6 years running 24/7.

Use your router as a router...it will not be a good media server.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@geokilla, and although I'm not endorsing it, amtm could help you create a few 4TB partitions (I think the maximum is 3 though). But NTFS is not a supported option via that method. It will have to be one of the Ext (Linux) file formats (Ext2, Ext3, or Ext4), with or without journaling.

Your least expensive and best long-term bet is the 2-Bay DS220j @jeff3820 suggests above (and add another 14TB drive when you can for RAID1 redundancy). But remember, NAS isn't a backup. Make sure you protect your important files accordingly.
 

geokilla

Occasional Visitor
I'll just shuck it and invest in a proper NAS for RAID 0 later on once I have a new computer and my own place. I don't really have much important data to store. I guess my anime and photos are important but they're not that important lol.

Thanks for your help guys!
 

PDinDetroit

Regular Contributor
Another vote for a Raspberry Pi, but I would go with a 4 B as the Network and USB are separated and can run at faster speeds. The following could be a potential solution for you:

 

Jeffrey Young

Senior Member
Another vote for a Raspberry Pi, but I would go with a 4 B as the Network and USB are separated and can run at faster speeds. The following could be a potential solution for you:

+1 on the RiPi 4B. I have one with Ubuntu 20.04 as the OS. On a 1gb Ethernet connection to the RiPi from a Win10 Client, I get 90 MB/s upload and download speeds.

I've also been playing around with an old Lenovo Ideapad 300 running Ubuntu 20.04 OS as host setup as an AD-DC with a Ubuntu 20.04 KVM Guest as a NAS (Domain member) and get about 110 MB/s read and 85-90 MB/s write using an attached NexStar Tx with a Segate Red Drive (4TB formatted Ext4) on USB3.

Lots of options with equipment just laying around. In my case, the IdeaPad was just taking up space in a closet.
 
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C.O.P.S

Occasional Visitor
I was doing this the way you are doing it, for years. But with 2tb. I had to manually trigger database rebuilds like every few days or so because tv's would say "file not found" even though it was there. Got tired of the slowness, buffering, the database rebuilds, and the impact on the routers processing capabilities, so I broke down and bought an asustor nas. Couldn't be happier.

However your question was how to make it secure. If you just want to make use of the drive LOCALLY, disable ftp etc. Also if I recall correctly you can set permissions level per user on the same page. Read only, read write, and maybe even block certain users (don't recall).

As for "allow guest login", just means everyone on the local side will be able to make use of the drive without requiring login credentials. Back when I used to use a drive plugged into usb on the router I had to "allow guest login" because if I didn't my tv's couldn't stream from it.

I really recommend getting some sort of a legit NAS sever, either purpose built or DiY.
 

bennor

Regular Contributor
Pi 3b+ would work very well.
A Pi 4 would be much better due to the use of USB 3.0 rather than Pi 3's USB 2.0. The USB 2.0 on the Pi 3B+ limits its max throughput on the USB ports, and even on the Gigabit networking port (300 Mbps max).

But back to the OP question. Get a cheap Synology NAS enclosure rather than trying to force the router to do something that it will not do well. Yes the router has the features that can create an NAS, but it is a router not an NAS. Right tool for the right job kind of thing if you want to do it right after spending cash on a 14TB drive.
 

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