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Why do you need a router with a USB port

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Why do you need a router with a USB port

Why do you need a router with a USB port

18.05.2023

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Determined to buy a new router? About half of the router models that have been released in the last few years have USB ports. Not all users understand why a router needs such a technical feature, and in this article we'll find out what USB ports can be used for.

Connecting an external storage device

First of all, you can connect a thumb drive, an HDD, or, if you like, an SSD to your router. This is the most common use of the port. In this way you can access the information on the drive from any Wi-Fi device connected to the network. Similarly for a computer connected with a network cable.

If you have not changed the basic settings of the router, you will not have to change anything to access the files. On the computer, you will just need to go to «Network» in «Explorer» and turn on «Network discovery and file access». After that, a router access icon will appear, and when you log in, you will see the contents of the drive. If you need to access from a mobile device, you will need the ES-conductor app.


If you go further, you can set up an FTP server and access the drive not only from within your home network, but also from the outside.

You can also deploy a DLNA server. Read about what this is here.

If the router will have space for writing, you can download files from torrents (but we did not advise you to do that :), bypassing the computer. This is convenient if you need to download a large file, for example, all the seasons of your favorite TV series. Just schedule the download for the night time. By morning, the files will be on your flash drive. Connect from any device and watch.

Work with 3G/4G modem

Users who use 3G/4G modems for Internet access will find a router with a USB port very handy. Of course, you can distribute modem Internet from a laptop (we wrote here how to do it), but if you have a computer without an adapter or a laptop with a weak antenna, you need a router.


Connecting a printer

If you connect your printer directly to your router, you can send a file to print from any device connected to the network. This is convenient for small offices or if you and your family often print documents at home.


What to consider

When you are going to connect the hard drive to the router, make sure that the router will supply power to the drive. Compare the amperage needed for the hard drive and the amperage given by the port in the specifications.

The version of the port also matters: USB 3.0 will write much faster than USB 2.0.

And don't forget that having a USB port doesn't guarantee that it will be able to create a Wi-Fi network when you connect a modem. So carefully look at the technical specifications before buying.

By the way, there can be several ports, so we recommend thinking in advance how you would like to organize your home network in order to choose the appropriate router model.

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