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The “cloud” has many advantages in terms of accessing your data from anywhere you’ve got Internet access, but it’s got lots of limitations – in particular if your Internet connection is temporarily unavailable and personal privacy concerns. I prefer my own “microcloud” – a privately accessible USB drive which all of the computers, smartphones, and other devices on my network can access and share data. It’s easy to set up, inexpensive, inter-platform, and can be expanded as your needs change over time.

Step 1: Requirements

1) The key component in the microcloud is a router with NAS – Network Attached Storage. This basically means a USB port that can be hooked up to a USB storage device. The USB port can also be used for a printer which can be shared among the computers on your network.
2) A USB storage device – anything from a 32Mbyte USB stick to a 2 Terrabyte hard drive (or even larger).

I’ve got a Belkin Share N300 wireless router. It has four hardwire ports and is B/G/N wireless compatible. “Share” is Belkin’s buzzword to indicate that the router has a NAS port. It retails for about $60. Other brands routers will also work as long as they’ve got a USB port which is capable of Network Attached Storage.

One thing I especially like about this router is the capability to set up multiple passwords. Whenever friends visit with their laptop computers or smartphones and I want to give them WiFi Internet access but don’t want them to have the capability to explore around on my network I give them the guest access password. When a computer needs to be integrated into my network to transfer files or have access to the microcloud I give them the full access password, and (if necessary) set up a user account for them on each of the computers they need to access.

<p>We're working on an Indiegogo project to make a directly cloud connected flash drive that you might be interested in: [http://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/e7778a67] [http://KatanaUSB.com]</p>
verry good instructable..and well covered. I disagree with your choise of Belkin Store but this i will keep it for me.....
A friend had a spare Belkin Share router so I was able to get it inexpensively.<br><br>As I noted in the text any brand router will work as long as it's got NAS (Network Attached Storage).

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Bio: Writer, engineer, techie. I've been using computers since the original Apple II in 1978 and have always been interested in technical topics. Check out ... More »
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