How to Convert External Hard Drive to NAS

By Alexander Poirier

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • NAS adapter

  • Wireless router

External hard drives are converted to NAS using a simple adapter.
i external hardrive image by Photoeyes from

With the ability to squeeze massive amounts of data into smaller and smaller chips, hard drive sizes are increasing exponentially. It is now possible to fit terabytes of data into small external hard drives. These external hard drives can then be converted into a NAS (networked attached storage) device, allowing multiple computers to gain access to the information stored on the hard drive while they are connected to the same network. This only requires a simple adapter and some basic computer knowledge.

Purchase a NAS adapter. NAS adapters can be found online on a number of websites, including Addonics, SimpleNET and Patriot. Allow two to six weeks for your product to arrive.

Open your NAS Adapter. On one end, it should have an Ethernet port and plug for a power adapter. On the other end should be a USB 2.0 plug. Plug the AC power cord into the NAS Adapter and plug the adapter into the wall. When plugged in, the "Power" LED light on the side of the adapter should light up.

Plug your external hard drive into the wall. Using the USB cord that came with your hard drive, plug your hard drive into the USB port on the NAS Adapter.

Ensure your have a stable Internet connection. Using the Ethernet cable that came with your NAS Adapter, connect the adapter to one of the "Line Out" plugs on your wireless router. Once this step is complete, the "Link" LED should light up on the side of your NAS Adapter.

Power on your computer. Your NAS Adapter will detect your IP address automatically. Open up your Internet browser and type "Storage" in the search bar. You will be prompted to enter a username and password. The default username is "admin" and the default password is "admin" (note, once logged in you can change your password and adjust all of the settings for the NAS Adapter).

To create a new user, click the "Add" button from the menu and type in the new user's name and password. To allow this user access to the NAS, click "Modify," select the user's name from the list and click "Add" to add them to the sharing list.

Repeat Step 5 for as many users as you wish. Users will login by typing "Run" at the Windows start button. They will then type "\" followed by the admin's IP address, at which point they will be prompted to enter their username and password, allowing them access to your NAS.


Only allow trusted users access to your NAS. Change your password immediately after installing the NAS Adapter to prevent unauthorized access.