Attacting the Drobo to a Wireless Router


I have recently purchased a Drobo v2, and I’m looking for some options to share it over a wireless network. Droboshare or attaching it to a dedicated machine aside, I’ve found that there are a number of wireless routers that support external USB drives, but I’ve also heard that these often have problems recognizing drives with very large partition sizes.

Has anyone out there had success attaching a 16tb ntfs formatted Drobo directly to a wireless router? I know that the Airport extreme supports that partition size, but I’m primarily a PC user, and I’m not sure that I want to be tied to the HFS+ format for the foreseeable future.

It’s nearly impossible to find detailed info on the maximum partition size that a router will support, so any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

We’ve tried to hook up several different leading 802.11n 1Gigabit ready routers to the Drobo & DroboPro & the only model currently available in the market today that we are aware of & fully supports Read/Write NTFS 16TB is the Netgear WNDR3700 unit. It supports various file formats & most importantly can read/write NTFS. Both NTFS (2TB & 16TB). We thought the Cisco/Linksys WRT610N would support everything except its StorageLink only supports FAT32. We had two of the version 1.3 or 1.4 firmware. So, not sure firmware (i.e. v2.0) will upgrade that to support NTFS. So, buyers beware!

rambo - how is the USB performance on the WNDR3700 unit? I was looking at it, but the forum posts I read made it seem like it only gets 10-15 MB/sec over USB to GigE?

Thanks Rambo, but I’m a little confused about that last part. Do you mean that the WNDR3700 only supports FAT32, or were you referring to the WRTN610N?

Oops, sorry abt the confusions. I was referring to the WRT610N. It only supports FAT32 meaning 2TB. The WNDR3700 supports R/W NTFS 16TB. Don’t take my words for it! Pls test out the config yourself. Btw, our recommendation is solely based on the product spec & our experience. We are not associated w/ Netgear by any means nor do we resell ReadyNAS products. Cuz we love our Drobos & DroboPros![hr]

I’ll get you some numbers later this week. Agree! I don’t expect any decent throughput from both the Netgear or the Linksys, especially we are using the wireless feature as a convenience. We are not looking for performarnce!

Thanks rambo, look forward to seeing your test results!

BTW: I ended up getting the WNDR3700. It’s a great router. Haven’t attached my Drobo to it, but I might attach a loose USB drive.

For those Mac oriented, The Apple Extreme Base Station also supports WiFi and USB disks (Airport Disk), formatted with HFS+, and likely all 16TB of it; Jumbo Frames are not supported.
With the same constraints as usual for any external router :

  • loss of Dashboard alerts
  • (much) lower performance than when direct attached[/u]
  • likely a single partition seen

I have not personally tested it because the loss of Dashboard alerts is a nogo for me.