Using your DD-WRT router for NAS storage

One of the great things about a DD-WRT router is that you can do lots of things with it (as well as using it for VPN of course!). If your router has USB slots (as the RT-ACU66U does), then you can plug in a USB hard drive and use it as Network Attached Storage (NAS) - a centralized storage hub that every authorized person on your network can access.

If you'd like to know more about DD-WRT, we'd also recommend reading our huge  DD-WRT Guide.

This is great for sharing files or resources in the office, or acting as a centralized media streaming server in the household, so that family members can view or listen to a shared library of movies, music or photos, using any computer, smart phone, smart TV, tablet, or other network connected device.

How to set up NAS storage on your DD-WRT router

For this you will need:

  • A DD-WRT router with a USB slot
  • An external USB hard drive or USB memory stick (as far as your router and computer are concerned, these are identical)

1. Attach your USB storage to the router and power it up (if needed).

2. Enter your router config page by typing the router IP address (usually http://192.168.1.1/) into your browser address bar. Click on the ‘Services’ tab, and then the ‘USB’ tab.

3. Enable ‘Core USB Support’, ‘USB Storage Support’ and ‘Automatic Drive Mount’. If you have a spare USB port and want to connect a printer for wireless printing, you can enable ‘USB Printer support’ as well. Click ‘Save’ and then ‘Apply Settings’.


USB enable

4. Details about your USB storage device should appear in the ‘Disk Info’ section. If they don’t, then re-start the router and come back to this page.

5. Click on the ‘NAS’ tab. We are going to use SAMBA for this, so ‘Enable’ it, choose a Server String (name), and add your Workgroup. To discover or change your workgroup:

  • In Windows go to Control Panel -> System
  • In OSX go to System Preferences -> Network -> AirPort -> Advanced -> WINS
  • In Linux / Ubuntu to install Samba, open up a terminal window and issue the command: sudo apt-get install samba smbfs (you will need to enter your sudo password). Go to the /etc/samba/smb.config file and look for the line 'workgroup = WORKGROUP'.


NAS 1

6.  Under ‘File Sharing’, click Add share, select a storage device or device partition from the ‘Path’ dropdown menu, and choose a name for the storage. If you want everyone who joins the network to be able to access the NAS storage then check ‘Public’, and decide whether permission is Read/Write or Read Only.

If you prefer to restrict access to named users then click ‘Add User’ and fill in the details, ensuring that ‘Samba’ is checked. Repeat for each authorized user (or less securely simply share a single User account details with all authorized users).


NAS 2

‘Save’ and ‘Apply Settings’

7. Your NAS drive should now be accessible over your Network:

  • In Windows go to Start -> Network -> [Router name] -> [drive or partition name]
  • In OSX go to File Manager -> Shared pane or Network folder -> -> [Router name] -> [drive or partition name]
  • In Linux / Ubuntu follow these instructions.

Here we can see the NAS drive-in Windows

Winodws NAS

Mobile devices should also be able to access the NAS drive, but the specifics depend on which app you use.

Written by: Douglas Crawford

Has worked for almost six years as senior staff writer and resident tech and VPN industry expert at ProPrivacy.com. Widely quoted on issues relating cybersecurity and digital privacy in the UK national press (The Independent & Daily Mail Online) and international technology publications such as Ars Technica.

62 Comments

Md. Mahfuzur Rahman
on January 23, 2020
Reply
Hi, my ddwrt netgear r6400v2 all setup is fine and i can access my nas drive from my local network. but the problem is i want to access my nas drive through internet. for your information i can access my router from internet.
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Md. Mahfuzur Rahman
on January 23, 2020
Reply
Hi Mahfuzur. A guide to doing this is available here.
GIOhnny
on August 1, 2017
Reply
hello i've configured how you showed. everything is fine on local but on dynamic DNS the share is not accessible
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to GIOhnny
on August 23, 2017
Reply
Hi GIOhnny, I don't have this setup at the moment, so test it for you. Sorry. I _should_ work fine on dynamic DNS...
Armando BG
on January 13, 2017
Reply
Thank you, I followed the steps and finally I can setup my HD USB 2.0 (1TB) with router Buffallo WZR-HP-G450H with DD-WRT 3.0 build 30949, it was only possible conecting in this way => Router HUB USB 3.0 HD USB 2.0 1TB.
Damian
on December 18, 2016
Reply
Hi, I just tried this tutorial and I got everything working, except that it mounts the drive as read only apparently. When I try to write to it it asks for a username and password (even when he already has my username and password from when I mounted the samba partition) and then I get an error that I have no permissons. I selected read/write in ddwrt webif. I can only see a Lost+found folder. When I click on the "public" option it doesn't ask for a username the second time, but I still can't write to the disk. The disk is ext3. Any clues?
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Damian
on December 19, 2016
Reply
Hi Damian, Have you tried Sharing the drive (right-click drive -> Properties -> Sharing)?
Robin replied to Damian
on January 2, 2017
Reply
I am having the very same problem. My permissions are set to read/write on both a Mac and Windows 10 desktop and still cannot drag n drop anything. I have to remove the Nas and connect it directly to the computer to move files. I have tried everything
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