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Question Turn ethernet NAS to built-in WIFI?

dropofocean

Junior Member
Jul 8, 2019
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0
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Hello AT community, I am currently looking for large storage solutions which provide access not just through a home network but through internet. If I can share links to files to people over the internet, that would be great as well! Although, it is not a requirement for me. I have looked at a lot of NAS options and really like the WD Diskless My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS. The only thing is that I would like to make it built-in wifi.

I have heard of USB type A dongles which can add wifi abilities to NAS. What are the specifications in order to get this to work? Although I very much like the NAS device listed above, I am open to other options such as Synology if it means compatibility with the wifi dongles in order to make it accessible through the internet.

I appreciate any help or advice! :)
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,249
5,477
126
I know that my QNAP NAS units do or did support "supported" USB Wifi dongles. They used to allow "Ad-Hoc" mode on them too, but dropped that support due to (I guess?) security reasons. Still, I can't really think of any really good reason that your NAS should be on wifi, even connected to your local LAN wifi router/AP. NAS should be wired, period, IMHO. You can still offer wireless client access through your wifi router that way, same thing with an ethernet-connected printer.

I'm not particularly familiar with the "WD Diskless My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS", possibly it supports Wifi dongles too, check the manual and QVLs, I guess.

I do know from reading that my QNAP units do.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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dropofocean

Junior Member
Jul 8, 2019
6
0
11
I know that my QNAP NAS units do or did support "supported" USB Wifi dongles. They used to allow "Ad-Hoc" mode on them too, but dropped that support due to (I guess?) security reasons. Still, I can't really think of any really good reason that your NAS should be on wifi, even connected to your local LAN wifi router/AP. NAS should be wired, period, IMHO. You can still offer wireless client access through your wifi router that way, same thing with an ethernet-connected printer.

I'm not particularly familiar with the "WD Diskless My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS", possibly it supports Wifi dongles too, check the manual and QVLs, I guess.

I do know from reading that my QNAP units do.
Thanks for the info VirtualLarry! I actually have an interesting setup with wifi access. Basically, I am sharing wifi access with my landlord. He provides me access to it for free and he lives a floor up from me, so it is works out well connection-wise. Of course, I wouldn't burden him with asking him to plug in my NAS to his router, so I am looking for alternative solutions. I will look into QNAP and it's support for wifi dongles. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

dropofocean

Junior Member
Jul 8, 2019
6
0
11
If you get a NAS that doesn't support USB wifi dongles, one of these (or a similar device) will turn any Ethernet-only box into a wifi device, no drivers or anything required.


But it's way slower than a hard-wired connection.
Thank you for the rec dave_the_nerd! I never heard of these devices before. It seems like a good alternative if the wifi dongles don't work. My only question is how to get it to work through the software/firmware of the NAS? I'm wondering if there is a way to modify the software/firmware on NAS to recognize and setup the usb wifi dongle or ethernet to wifi dongle. I think especially if a NAS previously supported wifi dongles in the past, it makes sense that one could probably modify the software to recognize it again by enabling the older software... I'll have to do some digging on that end.

I found this while doing some Google searching: https://www.windowscentral.com/how-use-wi-fi-dongle-connect-synology-ds218-nas-wirelessly

There is a small note saying that Synology disabled their Wireless support from the NAS, but I'm sure there is a way to re-enable it...
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,249
5,477
126
If you are using "Wireless WAN", aka "WISP mode", then get a router that can do "WISP mode", and then it can offer you a local wired and also wireless LAN, while at the same time communicating "upstream" using Wifi with the WAN SSID. Then just plug the NAS into YOUR router, and not your landlords. That has the added protection (using NAT and SPI firewall), of isolating your PCs from your landlord, who could theoretically scan and access your PCs, if they are connected DIRECTLY to "his" wifi.

Edit: I think that it was either Tenda, or TP-Link, or both, that allow for "WISP mode" / "Wireless WAN".

You can also do that with Advanced Tomato or FreshTomato firmware, if you get appropriate hardware to flash 3rd-party firmware onto. (Asus AC68U / AC1900P are excellent for this, excellent routers too, and FreshTomato just released a 2020.1 version that works with Tenda AC18 routers, which is actually what I'm running now, though not in WISP Mode.)

Edit: This is, IMHO, a superior solution to sticking a Wifi USB dongle onto your NAS, as it provides protection/isolation for your own local LAN network, with wifi for your laptop, cell phone, tablet, etc., and your wired devices like your NAS, and then no-one upstream should (theoretically) be able to get into your stuff, like your Landlord or any of his guests, even.

OTOH, this adds another layer of NAT, and if you wanted to offer "personal cloud services to the internet", say so that you could access your NAS, while you were out using a wifi hotspot at say, McD's, then the additional layer of NAT might prevent that, unless the NAS provider has their own cloud services to access NAS units, that don't require placing your NAS directly on the internet with incoming connections. (I think WD NAS units, like the "MyCloud Home", might work that way.)
 
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Feb 25, 2011
16,546
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Thank you for the rec dave_the_nerd! I never heard of these devices before. It seems like a good alternative if the wifi dongles don't work. My only question is how to get it to work through the software/firmware of the NAS?
You don't. The device has its own configuration you have to do separately - it presents a normal ethernet network to the NAS and handles the routing/translation itself. So the NAS is unaware that it's wifi.

I'm wondering if there is a way to modify the software/firmware on NAS to recognize and setup the usb wifi dongle or ethernet to wifi dongle. I think especially if a NAS previously supported wifi dongles in the past, it makes sense that one could probably modify the software to recognize it again by enabling the older software... I'll have to do some digging on that end.

I found this while doing some Google searching: https://www.windowscentral.com/how-use-wi-fi-dongle-connect-synology-ds218-nas-wirelessly

There is a small note saying that Synology disabled their Wireless support from the NAS, but I'm sure there is a way to re-enable it...
Yeah, if you're willing to hack stuff, install custom firmware or drivers, etc., then the possibilities are endless.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,201
931
126
This is a horrible idea.
You don't want a NAS on Wifi period.
Your data transfers will be utterly disappointing which is the whole point in a NAS.
Move the NAS to a location where u can get it on ethernet.
The only viable solutions to wifi would be extremely costly enterprise solutions, like Air Fiber.

You want your NAS on the fastest possible connection, with the lowest latency, for said transfers, or good luck with files larger then 1GB.
 

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