T3200 router: Can I connect an external storage drive to the USB port?

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Blorchito
Friendly Neighbour

I just signed up for fibre, and got the dual band T3200 modem which has solid wireless transfer speeds (600 Mbps on 2.4, 1.7Gbps on 5). And it has a USB 3.0 port and Telus has confirmed enabled. Would it be possible to connect my Seagate backup drive to the router, and create a new network drive? This issue has been raised a couple times on this forum, but never definitively. I found one post mentioning DLNA and Samba, but there's no details on how to get this to work.

 

I see when logging into the router that in "Advanced Setup", there's a section called "Storage Service", and the router does recognize the Seagate under "Storage Device Info". There's also a subheading called Samba Configuration, but beyond enabling it, I don't know what to do. There is a reference to WORKGROUP, but I don't have any Homegroups enabled at the moment.

 

Is it possible to plug my external drive into the router and share the drive across my network? If so, how?

 

Thanks.

Community Power User
Community Power User

To my knowledge, no one has had success with this. All previous Telus gateways which allowed a USB drive to be connected, needed the drive to be formatted FAT32, so not particularly useful with the large drives we use today.

 

If you want a network drive, the easiest ways are either to purchase an ethernet connected NAS, or attach your USB drive to one of the computers on your network, and create a share.

 

NFtoBC
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kogenesis
Resident

Hey Blorchito,

I have just set this up at home so I'll share my experience to hopefully save you some of the pain that I went through.

I have a 3TB hard drive connected to my T3200M that my family members use to share documents, music, movies, etc. We connect with samba (mounting drives through finder on mac) to share (Finder) or view (VLC) on macOS devices. We also use ps4, xbox1, and roku stick for watching via DLNA.

Firstly, in testing the T3200M only recognized FAT32 or EXT3 formatted drives for me. FAT32 works with practically everything (ps4, xbox, roku) but has a 4GB file size limit. EXT3 is supposedly recognized by Roku but not much else and requires special drivers on mac. I tried EXFAT and HFS+ but had no luck.

Secondly, when enabling drives in Storage Device Info, note that your formatted drive will usually take the second volume called disk1_2 (see below image). You'll want to select this in Samba Configuration > Device Name and DLNA > Media Library Path as well. If you are only seeing disk1_1 with a fairly small size, then it usually means that your drive format is not recognized by the T3200M.

Lastly, and most annoyingly of all, I was supremely disappointed to learn that in order for my ps4, xbox, roku, or other DLNA device to see new files I've added over Samba, I need to login to the router, disable and re-enable the DLNA server. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. This really slowed down the time it took to test which formats would be recognized initially since often the format should have been recognized by my DLNA device but the files were not showing up because of this hiccup. OH and weirdly the user name that you log in with over SAMBA will be the name of the folder where files are placed, at least this occurs on mac. Hence all users in my house login with the name share so that our top level folder on the drive is called share.

My previous router was a Linksys1900AC which did not have this problem, while supporting more format types, and also supported file transfer over FTP which was way faster. I may switch back since the T3200M feel so limited in comparison.

Let us know how you make out with it though and post any questions you have.

 

disk1_2

 

Blorchito
Friendly Neighbour

kogenesis: thanks for the very detailed response, this is exactly the level of detail I was hoping for. Unfortunately, the way you describe means I won't be bothering with the router - far too limited compared to what's possible connecting the drive to another computer in the network. Anyway, thanks for getting me up to speed.

BrandonBerner
Neighbour

I SUCCESSFULLY created a Network Storage Solution using the T3200 and an External Hard Drive! Smiley Happy

 

I used an 2.5" 1TB Western Digital USB External Hard Drive...Formatted using NTFS

 

I am able to access this network drive on ALL MY DEVICES (Windows Computers, My Google Pixel 3 XL Phone, iPad, Plex Media Center, Kodi (XBMC), Raspberry Pi running linux.


How To Attach & Setup Your Network Drive.

1. Attach the external hard drive via USB to the T3200 Telus Modem/Router. 

  • The external hard drive can be formatted as NTFS (recommended), FAT32, and ExFAT.

2. Using your web browser, go to 192.168.1.254

3. Login to your modem

  • Default Username is admin
  • Default Password is written on the side of your T3200 Telus Modem/Router.

4. Click Advanced Setup

5. Click Proceed

6. Click Samba Configuration

7. Click Enable

8. Create any password of your choosing

  • This will be used when you try to access this network drive on different devices.

8. Click Apply

 


 

How To Access The Network Storage On Other Devices

Each device is slightly different, however they will all follow the same structure. Ill explain how to access the Network Drive on a Windows Computer.

1. Right Click on an empty part of your Desktop

2. Click New

3. Click Shortcut

4. Type \\192.168.1.254\admin

  • Pay attention to the direction of the \

5. Click Next

6. Enter whatever name you would like.

  • I called mine "Network Storage"
  • Now you should have an icon on your desktop named either Network Storage (or whatever you wrote in Step 6).

7. Click on the shortcut, and it should prompt you for a Username & password.

  • The username is admin
  • The password is whatever you wrote on step 8 of How To Attach & Setup Your Network Drive.
  • Now you should be successfully connected to your Network Drive!!!

Notes: When you connect to the network drive, you are NOT in the Main Directory (ex: C:/ or D:/). Instead, you are in a sub-directory called admin. It should be empty by default. Now is the time to drag and drop any files from your Windows Computer to your brand new Network Drive!.


I hope this helps you! ...If it did, let me know with a ♥ Like

 

Brandon Berner

Customer Service & Sales- TELUS Corporate