USB switch for external hard drive.


New Member
I know that I can simply share an external drive on a network but would like to connect it via a USB switch to 4 computers.
All the usb switches I hae seen are advertised as, for example, "2 to 4". Are they in fact bidirectional, so that one can both read and write to the disk?


Well-Known Member
While a USB switch is not a network device, whichever computer is connected to the USB devices can do I/O with the device(s). All the 2x4 designation means is that one of the two computers connected to one side can use up to four devices connected on the other side. A physical button (normally) causes one computer or the other to be connected to the devices.
As stated by jglen490 the usb switch is not a network device. if you want to connect 4 computers to an external drive you probably need a NAS (Network additional storage). You will need something like a Netgear gigabit switch so each computer has access to the drive, and software to avoid collisions when the computers are writing to the harddrive. There are NAS available that you just hang off of your network and give each computer the address of the NAS and they should be able to access without a problem.

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