RT-AX86U -- can I use a USB 3.0 hub to connect multiple external HDDs?

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Qbcd

Regular Contributor
Hello. The title says it all. The router comes with two USB 3.0 ports, but I have 3 Seagate Expansion drives and I'm wondering if I can use a USB 3.0 hub to connect them all. I've read that on some Asus routers, if you use a hub, the spec drops to USB 2.0 which wouldn't be good. Can anyone please confirm if this is the case for the RT-AX86U or if I can safely use a USB 3.0 hub?

And please don't tell me to get a NAS, the idea is that this will be the NAS. I don't want to spend more money and I also don't want to shuck the drives. I don't need them to be in RAID.

Thank you!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Can you? Yes. (You may need to find the right USB hub though).

Should you. Definitely not.
 

Qbcd

Regular Contributor
Can you? Yes. (You may need to find the right USB hub though).

Should you. Definitely not.

definitely it should be Active HUB but this is bad idea.

even AX86U should not be used as NAS - router should be router :)

Why not? The alternative is to connect it directly to my PC, but then it gets pinged a lot by random processes and spins up when I don't need it to. I don't need it to be fast, I don't need it in RAID, why do I need a dedicated NAS? They're expensive.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member

Because you are going go end up in this satiation, sooner or later:


Not everything Asus offers as firmware options works as you expect it to work.
 

Qbcd

Regular Contributor
Because you are going go end up in this satiation, sooner or later:


Not everything Asus offers as firmware options works as you expect it to work.

I see. Well I'll try it, hopefully this doesn't happen. The AX86U has beefier specs. I mean the easiest thing is to say get a NAS, but they're pricey.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
Beefier specs for a router. Not enough for a NAS. Bad software on top. You'll get a NAS when you lose data.
 

Torson

Senior Member
How about a Pi4 (or even 3+) for maybe just a bit more than an active hub?
 

Adooni

Senior Member
AX86U is not even beefier spec for router but it is spec that is even to good for most users. Beefier spec for router is mini PC with i7/Xenon CPU :)

you have 2 option to go with cheap NAS
1. Used mini PC and Xpenology - you can use Celeron PC and made it relatively cheap (same spec configuration that have loader for or as VM)
2. Pi4 and OMV - this will not be fast, you have very good router and you want to have slow NAS?
 

Qbcd

Regular Contributor
Hm well I do have Pi3, but it only has a 100 mbps port, so that's no good. I have an old case and PSU, I could put together a $200 PC and run Unraid... Or maybe I'll just plug the external drives into my PC and forget about, it's always on anyway. Spending $500 on a Synology NAS is just too much, that's more than the cost of the storage.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
I'll just plug the external drives into my PC and forget about, it's always on anyway.

DIY low-cost home NAS idea for you:
I'm using an HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Mini PC running Windows 10 with 2x WD Easystore 8TB drives, standard NTFS and synchronized in software. It's a very small and power efficient PC, offers full Gigabit speeds and in case of drive failure the surviving drive is readable on any other Windows PC. You can get one off eBay for the same price as RPi4 kit. Most come with i5-4570T CPU and 8GB RAM - much faster than any RPi. For silent operation you can disable Hyperthreading and Turbo Boost in BIOS. Plenty of processing power with 2x cores/threads up to 2.9GHz. Standard is 2x cores, 4x threads up to 3.6GHz.
 
Last edited:

atomicRPM

Occasional Visitor
Because you are going go end up in this satiation, sooner or later:


Not everything Asus offers as firmware options works as you expect it to work.
I don't even bother with any of that.

killall -9 smbd
killall -9 nmbd
killall -9 miniupnp
killall -9 minidlna
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Pi 4 2 GB would work well for you. Even has USB 3 ports. I ran a 2 TB USB 2 external drive on a Pi 3 B+ and it worked very well,
 

Qbcd

Regular Contributor
DIY low-cost home NAS idea for you:
I'm using an HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Mini PC running Windows 10 with 2x WD Easystore 8TB drives, standard NTFS and synchronized in software. It's a very small and power efficient PC, offers full Gigabit speeds and in case of drive failure the surviving drive is readable on any other Windows PC. You can get one off eBay for the same price as RPi4 kit. Most come with i5-4570T CPU and 8GB RAM - much faster than any RPi. For silent operation you can disable Hyperthreading and Turbo Boost in BIOS. Plenty of processing power with 2x cores/threads up to 2.9GHz. Standard is 2x cores, 4x threads up to 3.6GHz.

That's a good option. Or an old Ivy Bridge or Haswell Dell Optiplex, you can get them for under $100 on Ebay. What OS are you running? I am thinking about using Unraid. And is there an issue with the drives being connected via USB vs. SATA, does that present any challenges?
 

Qbcd

Regular Contributor
Wow, I just bought a Dell Optiplex 3020 SFF PC with a Core i5 4590, 8GB DDR3 and a 500GB HDD, and a full license of Win 10 Pro for... $90 shipped. That's unbelievable. I wasn't planning on buying it but I bid on it fully expecting be outbid and I won. It's total overkill for a NAS, I mean with a GTX 1650 it's not a half-bad gaming machine. But for that price, I don't mind it being overkill. No SSD, but Unraid boots off of a USB stick, so that works out great, and I can add an SSD later for cache. Now I have to decide if I want to use my external HDDs via USB or shuck them, put a SATA controller card in the mini PC and then just run them outside, maybe get a 4xHDD cage and just have it next to the PC with the power and SATA cables running to the drives.

I mean a Synology NAS has way worse specs and costs 5 times more.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
But the firmware/software (on the Synology) is at least100x better out of the box than most can configure a bare-bones computer to protect data with.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
Wow, I just bought a Dell Optiplex 3020 SFF PC with a Core i5 4590, 8GB DDR3 and a 500GB HDD, and a full license of Win 10 Pro for... $90 shipped.

This is a much bigger unit and more power hungry. I was talking about this:

103299-69847-i_rc.jpg


My drives are in original WD Easystore enclosure, no issues with USB 3.0. I run Windows 10 (other things are running there), but NAS software options for x86 hardware are available. Once you have the hardware you can run whatever works best for you. Commercial NAS boxes are expensive, but they provide ready to use hardware/software solution. This one you have to DIY.
 

Qbcd

Regular Contributor
This is a much bigger unit and more power hungry. I was talking about this:

View attachment 34805

My drives are in original WD Easystore enclosure, no issues with USB 3.0. I run Windows 10 (other things are running there), but NAS software options for x86 hardware are available. Once you have the hardware you can run whatever works best for you. Commercial NAS boxes are expensive, but they provide ready to use hardware/software solution. This one you have to DIY.
I know, but I wanted SATA and the price was very good. With Intel SpeedStep and C-States I think I can get the idle power consumption (excluding drives) to be within 10W of the 4570T.

I would avoid USB sticks. My PC boots off a small 120GB Kingston SSD. It's like $30 on Amazon now.
Unraid can only boot from a USB stick, but it immediately gets loaded into RAM, so it doesn't really matter.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
How would it know (or care) that it booted from a USB attached SSD?
 

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