RT-AX88U USB Application questions (New user)

billrenn

New Around Here
This is my first post here--I'm new to this forum, which I just discovered during a problem-solving quest this week. Looks like some very helpful and knowledgeable users here, and I'm excited to learn from you all.

My RT-AC68U (apparently) died last Sunday, 1/9 and my only option to get back online was to visit the local Walmart and find a decent replacement. Ended up with a Netgear Nighthawk AX4200 (AX5). Long story short, it's working okay now, after my accidentally blocking a couple of devices in the house, but I'm not a fan of what strikes me as a dumbed-down Web interface and I miss the granularity of the ASUS interface and the permanent TrendMicro security. So, I have an ASUS RT-AX88U ordered that will arrive in a couple of days.

Beyond initial setup and device labeling, which is pretty sraightforward, two things that I want to accomplish are 1) sharing an external USB 3.x drive among the three Windows 10 computers on the wireless network in the house, and 2) sharing a USB 2.x non-networked HP LaserJet printer.

It looks like this router is designed with a printer server, so I'm guessing that won't be a problem. If you know of any quirks that I should be aware of about this, maybe you can let me know.

Then the main question comes to the drive sharing. The NetGear router was amazingly simple, using their "readyshare" access. Will the ASUS access be as simple as plugging in, and is there further setup involved? The documentation I've found in the manual only refers to FTP access via their AiDisk concept. I don't want to share the hard drive over the Internet--only on my WiFi network. Could someone please advise? Is there a different model that I should have chosen?

Thank you! I'm really glad that I stumbled onto the snbforums site.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
USB printer sharing seems to be hit and miss between different people. It either works or it doesn't.

USB file sharing options are SMB and/or FTP (and NFS if you're using Merlin's third party firmware).


Performance can be a problem for USB drives attached to the router if you're moving large volumes of data around. Using an SSD rather than HDD can greatly improve things but YMMV.
 

billrenn

New Around Here
USB printer sharing seems to be hit and miss between different people. It either works or it doesn't.

USB file sharing options are SMB and/or FTP (and NFS if you're using Merlin's third party firmware).


Performance can be a problem for USB drives attached to the router if you're moving large volumes of data around. Using an SSD rather than HDD can greatly improve things but YMMV.
Thank you for your reply. I'll study the documentation you referred to.

The external drive is a 4TB HDD formatted as NTFS that's half full, so it might be out of range for this application. Starting to wonder whether the ASUS is the wrong choice for the drive & print sharing capabilities after all. Would appreciate suggestions for a more appropriate router for those capabilities. I'm impressed with the Netgear readyshare simplicity, and wish ASUS could do something similar.

Will also look into the Merlin 3rd party firmware--I've been seeing Merlin references in reading the forum discussions, but was unfamiliar with what that was.
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
This is my first post here--I'm new to this forum, which I just discovered during a problem-solving quest this week. Looks like some very helpful and knowledgeable users here, and I'm excited to learn from you all.

My RT-AC68U (apparently) died last Sunday, 1/9 and my only option to get back online was to visit the local Walmart and find a decent replacement. Ended up with a Netgear Nighthawk AX4200 (AX5). Long story short, it's working okay now, after my accidentally blocking a couple of devices in the house, but I'm not a fan of what strikes me as a dumbed-down Web interface and I miss the granularity of the ASUS interface and the permanent TrendMicro security. So, I have an ASUS RT-AX88U ordered that will arrive in a couple of days.

Beyond initial setup and device labeling, which is pretty sraightforward, two things that I want to accomplish are 1) sharing an external USB 3.x drive among the three Windows 10 computers on the wireless network in the house, and 2) sharing a USB 2.x non-networked HP LaserJet printer.

It looks like this router is designed with a printer server, so I'm guessing that won't be a problem. If you know of any quirks that I should be aware of about this, maybe you can let me know.

Then the main question comes to the drive sharing. The NetGear router was amazingly simple, using their "readyshare" access. Will the ASUS access be as simple as plugging in, and is there further setup involved? The documentation I've found in the manual only refers to FTP access via their AiDisk concept. I don't want to share the hard drive over the Internet--only on my WiFi network. Could someone please advise? Is there a different model that I should have chosen?

Thank you! I'm really glad that I stumbled onto the snbforums site.
Only caution with using an external USB drive is make sure the drive is externally powered if it is a conventional hard drive. USB SSD's or thumb drives are OK. Also do not exceed the max partition size for the router: https://event.asus.com/2009/networks/disksupport/

With that said, a NAS is much better for storage than the router. Many NAS can also support USB printers.
 

billrenn

New Around Here
Thanks @bbunge --the external drive is a powered drive, and it looks like it might fit according to the compatibility list, so I'll give it a try. I appreciate your advice about a NAS w/print server capability being a better choice. I'll start looking into my options there.
 

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