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Thread: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

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    Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    Hey everyone.

    I'm going to get an external hard drive for my laptop as my music has taken up pretty much all of the disk space, but I have 0 USB ports left on my computer. And as it's not great to plug anything except a mouse or usb flash drive into a USB hub I want to get a hard drive with an ethernet interface (also meaning I'll have faster connection speeds).

    So I was looking at the Network Attached Storage HDDs (I'm looking for something in the region of 500gb to a 1tb drive), but for the same capacity as a solely USB interface drive your going to be paying around £100 or $200 more.

    And so I looked I devised this set up...

    • Start with my laptop with an ethernet cable coming out, plugged into a ethernet to USB convertor, then that plugged into a female to female USB connector, then that plugged into a USB cable which is plugged into the (cheaper) USB interface HDD.


    And so finally (!) my question is: will this above set up work?

    One problem I have thought so far is that I will need to get a mains powered HDD not a USB powered one due to the ethernet port not supplying enough power (maybe?).

    Thanks to whoever had the patience to read through all of that!

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    Re: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    as far as i can woirk out that will not work. the "ethernet to usb converter" is a usb ethernet adapter and so needs a host pc to work. a better solution would be to get a powered usb hub
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    Re: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    If your laptop has a PCMCIA slot you could get an adaptor: Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    Other than that and the USB hub im not sure

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    Re: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    Awesome, thanks for both of your replies! That pretty much sorts then.

    I don't suppose anyone knows of any reliable external hard drives of around 500gb to 1tb with a cooling fan, USB interface and mains powered? Scan, dabs and ebuyer seem to be very limited on USB HDDs with cooling fans.

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    Re: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    What about USB over CAT5? These will work.

    It's an adaptor which allows you to use network (CAT5) cables to extend USB.

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    Re: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    that still needs a usb port. all it does is change the wire from usb to cat5.
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    Re: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    You wouldn't happen to have a Firewire port on your notebook, would you?

    If you have a PCMCIA port, you can pick up a PCMCIA > SATA or Firewire adapter, and connect up external SATA drives in eSATA/Firewire enclosures. You can either use an out-of-the-box one, or buy a single or multi-bay 5.25" drive bay (with power supply), or even convert one from an old SCSI tower (I bought one off eBay a few years back with 8 SCSI CD-ROMS still in it for about £20).

    Leading on from the DIY SCSI tower conversion, you can fit it out with a bridgeboard. Span have a selection of bridgeboards with almost every combination of USB, Firewire (400 and 800), eSATA and Ethernet connections. They also sell drive enclosures, though you can get them cheaper elsewhere. Multi-bay opens up the possibilities of RAID, too, though something like a Buffalo Drivestation Duo would be more convenient. With 750Gb drives for under £80 (Microdirect, Samsung 750Gb F1), though, DIY is tempting.

    In terms of speed/bandwidth, the order is eSATA>Firewire800>Firewire400>USB2>Gigabit Ethernet>100baseTX Ethernet. Moving files of any size over a basic ethernet connection would be an exercise in frustration, the rest should do fine.

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    Re: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by alsenior View Post
    that still needs a usb port. all it does is change the wire from usb to cat5.
    Ah, my bad. Didn't read the OPs post fully.

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    Re: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by wUgamBinOs View Post
    One problem I have thought so far is that I will need to get a mains powered HDD not a USB powered one due to the ethernet port not supplying enough power (maybe?).
    Ethernet ports won't power anything, and a USB port will only power a 2.5" HDD, not a 3.5". Firewire ports can if they're the larger 6-pin kind (only Macs really bother with such a port), though all the Firewire enclosures I've used needed mains power anyway. eSATA external drives would also need mains power.

    Having looked around, I see a lot of basic eSATA + USB2 external drive enclosures for under £20. Assuming your PCMCIA slot is free, eBay has loads of suitable adapters. Firewire is generally more expensive, but has the unique capability of daisy-chaining - once you fill the first drive, you can run another one off the back of it. Considering many of those PCMCIA adapter cards have 2 SATA or Firewire ports, that's hardly an issue.

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    Re: Ethernet to USB Convertor for External Hard drive

    Wow thank you so much guys that's a massive help, there's too many options now! . This forum's great!

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