Network Your External USB Hard DriveSomeone once asked the question if they could network their external USB hard drive so other computers could share and store information on it. Surprisingly it isn’t that hard. There is no need to build a NAS (Network Attached Storage) server or configure NAS software on a host computer. All you need is changing some privileges to the USB external hard drive.
Granted, this solution isn’t for the hard-core network user(s) environment, nor is it ideal for business applications where large or frequent data storage transfers are required or networks where users are accessing storage via a remote server. Rather, this is a simple solution for a home network or small business office. Simply use the file and printer sharing setting in Windows to network a USB external hard drive. Or you can use the Windows mapping tool to map and share a drive to other computers on the network. File and Printer Sharing: Connect the USB external hard drive, right click the drive and select “sharing and security.” From here click the tab “Sharing” and configure the drive to be used by other network users. Once you’ve made the settings anyone on the network will have access to the drive. Windows Mapping Tool: Windows mapping an external drive is nice because it allocates a drive letter to the USB drive. This helps if another storage device is connected (say a flash drive) and that drive letter is now the same as the external USB drive – you would no longer have access to the external device, just the local one. So to map a drive simply open Windows Explorer (click “My Computer”) and from the drop-down menu select “Tools.” Next, select the “Map Network Drive…” option and follow the Windows wizard. Once done, the drive is now mapped and ready for sharing from anyone on your network who also has access to that computer.