Configuring shares and permissions on hard drives connected to the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router

With the new Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router, you can now easily share more photos, music files, and documents within the network at a faster speed.  You may also use the USB port or storage link to connect your hard drive or USB printer.

QUICK TIP:  For instructions on how to configure your USB printer, click here.

This article will help you configure shares and permissions for a hard drive connected to the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router.

NOTE:  The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1750 HD Video Pro, EA6500 which is capable of simultaneous dual-USB support is used here as an example.

Things to remember before you begin:

  • There is no device installation required since USB storage drives are plug and play devices.  It should be automatically detected once connected to the USB port on the router.
  • Your Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router must already be configured and is working properly.
  • The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers with USB storage feature only supports FAT, NTFS and HFS+ format.  Make sure to check your storage device’s format before proceeding with the steps below to prevent configuration issues.  Your device may not be detected if it is in a different format other than what the router supports.

Step 1:
Connect your USB storage device to the router’s USB port.

NOTE:  If you’re using the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router, EA6500 then you can connect two USB storage devices at most.


Step 2:
Access the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router’s interface through a browser such as Safari® or Internet Explorer.  To learn more, click

NOTE:  If you want to use the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router's local access interface instead, click here.

Step 3:
Click on the External Storage Tool on the left panel.

User-added image

Step 4:
Once your hard drive is detected, it will automatically appear under the USB Storage section.  When two hard drives are detected, a dual USB Tool will be shown on the screen. 

IMPORTANT:  Ensure that your storage device is properly attached to the USB port of your router.  Otherwise, you may see the following message and you will not be able to configure any settings:

Step 5:
On the USB Storage screen, you can select among the four tabs to configure the hard drives.

Folder Access
FTP Server
Media Server


The Status tab has a drop down menu when two hard drives are detected.  You can select the specific hard drive to get USB drive information.

NOTE:  You can rename the drives on their computer by going to Properties to make it easier to identify if needed through the USB Tool.  However, if you toggle between the router and the computer, any mapped drives on the computer may need to be remapped if the name of the drive is changed.

Folder Access

The Folder Access tab will give you the option to secure your hard drive files and give permissions to specific users of your choice.  If you turn OFF the Secure Folder Access option, all content is accessible to all users on your network.  Turning it ON lets you select the content available to specific users.

Follow the steps below to configure permissions of a user for a share:

Step 1:
Select the hard drive from the drop down menu.

Step 2:
Create or edit a user.

Step 3:
Click on Shares or Select share.

Step 4:
On the new window, you can select an existing share or share the entire storage device.

FTP Server

The FTP Server option is global even if you have two hard drives.

Media Server

The Media Server tab (UPnP/DLNA) lets you share media content across your network using a media-enabled device, such as a tablet or a network TV.

To do this, select the appropriate drive to configure the media server shares first.

NOTE:  Scan Folders and Scan Now options are accessible for both drives.

After both drives have been properly configured, you will have access to both drives by entering the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router’s IP address via Windows Explorer.



Related Article:

How to map a drive on your Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router

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