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Tutorial Guide to Turn Normal Hard Drive into NAS

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: NAS Recovery & Hacks • Proven solutions

"I wanted to have NAS storage. But, I am very low on budget. Can I turn the external Hard Drive into NAS? My friend told me that you could turn a portable Hard Drive into NAS. But I have no clue how to do that?" -User question on the internet.

Are you also looking for a much cheaper way to get NAS storage? Do you wish to turn an old Hard Drive into NAS? If Yes, then you have come to the right article.

The popularity of NAS storage is booming. Therefore, you need to know how to turn a USB hard drive into NAS. This article will help you understand the prerequisites of turning any hard drive into a NAS. It will also help you with a step-by-step guide to turn your normal Hard Drives into a NAS device.

In this article

Can I Turn My External Hard Drive into NAS?

A need to turn your external Hard Drives into NAS for better storage and sharing purposes is justified. But the big question here is whether it even possible to turn external Hard Drives into NAS.

The answer to your question is, YES, you can turn your external Hard Drives into NAS. Although the conversion process might seem tricky to you, the goal of this article is to help you turn your external Hard Drives into NAS in more manageable steps.

To turn an external Hard Drive into NAS, you need to have a Wireless Router and a NAS Adapter. You will learn the process of conversion in the subsequent sections.

Principle of Turning External Hard Drive into NAS

using external hard drive as nas

Since you know that you can turn your regular Hard Drives into a NAS device, but you must be wondering how this whole complicated-looking process works.

Making or building your own NAS setup is a straightforward process. First of all, the process is simple. A NAS (Network Attached Storage) is nothing but your storage drives shared over a network. All you have to do is connect all your external Hard Drives to a computer. Once they are connected, share those Hard Drives using any network-sharing facility provided by your computer.

Necessities Before Starting

Before you are introduced to the steps needed to turn your Hard Drive into NAS, you must know some perquisites for the whole process. Below are a few things that you need to begin turning your Hard Drive into a NAS system.

1. Wireless Router

a wireless router with usb ports

One essential item to turn your external Hard Drive into NAS is a Wireless Router. You probably have one with you right now. A Wireless Router (Wi-Fi router) with a USB port is necessary for the process.

All you have to do is plug your external hard drive into the Wireless Router's USB port. Your external hard drive is available to everyone attached to the network created by your Wireless router. A pretty simple way to convert your USB Hard Drive into NAS, isn't it?

2. NAS Adapter

a usb supported nas adapter

If your Wireless Router does not come with an in-built USB port connection, a NAS adapter solves that limitation. NAS Adapter helps connect your computer system (with storage devices) to your Wireless Router to begin the storage sharing.

Consequently, A NAS adapter helps to set up your NAS system successfully. But, make sure you have an excellent NAS adapter. See the below list to find some of our recommended NAS adapters that you can buy yourself.

Recommend 1: Addonics NAS 3.0 Adapter (NAS30U2)

addonics nas 3.0 adapter 

Addonics NAS 3.0 adapter is one of the most efficient NAS adapters out there. It can handle a tremendous amount of storage. Not just can it help you with NAS; it also provides other features such as FTP, multimedia streaming, and BitTorrent management. It has a robust steel interface which makes it resistant to external damage. Its purchase starts at $65.

Buy Addonics Now | Amazon

Recommend 2: Seagate FreeAgent DockStar Network Adapter

seagate freeagent dockstar nas adapter

Seagate is a famous storage device manufacturer. Their FreeAgent DockStar is one of the easiest to set up and useable NAS adapters. It is auto-connect, so it figures out all the IP settings itself. It has a simple web-based interface to manage manual settings and create NAS users. Seagate FreeAgent DockStar comes at a meager price of $15.

Buy Seagate FreeAgent DockStar Now | Amazon

Recommend 3: Cirago NUS1000 Network USB Storage Link

cirago nus1000 network usb storage link 

Another top NAS USB Adapter in our list is Cirago NUS1000 Network USB Storage Link. It allows for a more straightforward NAS setup. You share and access USB Hard Drives, and even USB Flash Drives over a shared network connection. It supports mainly all of the file systems. The best thing about this adapter is that it comes with a built-in BitTorrent client for direct download. It comes with a price range of $59.99-$69.99, which makes it a bit high compared to other NAS USB adapters.

Buy Cirago NUS1000 Network USB Storage Link Now | Amazon

Recommend 4: Iomega iConnect Wireless Data Station

iomega iconnect wireless data statio 

Iomega iConnect is the leading wireless USB NAS adapter. You can access it wirelessly with your computer.

It has a very decent web interface for its configuration and usage. What makes it stand out over other NAS adapters is its ability for wireless connection.

However, some users have felt that it performs a bit slower with file transfer operation on a wireless connection than wired. But, with its price and features, it undoubtedly stands out to be much competition to other wireless NAS adapters in the competition. It comes with a retail price of $99.99.

Buy Cirago NUS1000 Network USB Storage Link Now | Amazon

These are a few of the market-leading recommended NAS USB adapters. You can buy one according to your needs. But buying one is necessary if you wish to turn your Hard Drive into NAS. Along with a NAS USB adapter, you must have a Wi-Fi router as well.

Step-by-step Guide to Turn Normal Hard Drive into NAS

Finally, you are all set to start the process to turn your standard Hard Drive into NAS. Before you begin, make sure you have the necessities. The essential prerequisite for conversion is a Wireless Router and a NAS adapter. If you have got both of them, then you are all set.

Also, to turn your external USB Hard Drive into NAS, you need to follow the basic procedure. Our article will help you quickly understand and perform it. The steps include setting up your NAS connections, logging into your NAS adapter, and creating users who can access your NAS storage. Once they are made, the users can log in and access your NAS setup.

Step 1. Set up Your NAS

nas usb adapter ports

nas usb adapter connected with router and external hard drive

Step 2. Logging into the NAS Adapter

After successfully setting up your NAS, you now have to log in with your NAS adapter.

logging into nas adapter

Step 3. Creating a New User

The primary purpose of the NAS system is to have shared storage; so other people on the network can use similar storage for reading/writing operations. The other people are called users that you have to create. Once the users are created, they can access your NAS setup.

Step 4. Logging into Your NAS

After creating the users, they can now log in with your NAS. For them to log in, make sure you share their username and password with them. Also, it is highly recommended that you change your default admin's username and password before giving access to your NAS to any user. Most users know the default password and hence can exploit your NAS server.

entering admin ip in the run command window

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Data from NAS Hard Drive?

deleted data recovery

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Detailed picture tutorials are all included in this article: Best Way to Recover Lost Data from WD My Book Live


Data storage, expansion, sharing, and backup are the ultimate needs in the internet world. NAS provides a top solution to all these. A powerful NAS setup helps people with private data sharing and even businesses to work with big data.

Unfortunately, buying a NAS device is not easy for everyone. The cost and complex configuration settings associated with it are not everyone's cup of tea. So, in my opinion, for personal home usage and minimal office use, turning your old USB hard drives into NAS is a much easier and cheaper solution. Turning your Hard Drive to NAS is easy; all you need is a router and a NAS adapter. 

Discover more solutions to NAS: Why and How to back up NAS to Cloud.
- 2 minutes to read it.


Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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