Connect to two Netgear Stora NAS, also with mobile…

Yippee! As an avid NAS user I just found out how to, and actually did, access the Albums and Media Library sections of my Stora from my mobile phone! All the files on it are available; pix, music, vids, the lot! There are only four things to remember:

The last three items are set by the user, so need noting somewhere. For computer browser access the same three items are required, but for home browser access on the same LAN as the Stora, the last two items are required and access is quite quick – I’ve got a Gigbit network which can usually be easily installed – swap out the router and WLAN with the faster 802.11a/b/g/n performance if you need Wi-Fi, replace all cables with CAT5e or better CAT6 and swap the Ethernet (LAN) hub, if one is used, for a Gigabit version. I can only recommend Apple Airport products, which I use, as they are powerful, use multilingual software so wherever you are and whatever language you understand there’s no problem, and they are easy to set up through Mac or Win AirPort Utility – use Wine with Linux.

Stora Remote Access can be through a mobile phone, tablet (there’s are Android & iOS Apps for that!) or computer – indeed any device connected to the Internet after setting up your home Stora to allow access from outside. This means (after first checking for and installing all Software Updates available) making a few settings in the Stora Preferences interface page under Server Preferences:

  • At Network Services (4th down) and under Available Network Services set Enable FTP access to your local LAN and Enable FTP access to the Internet to Yes. The former probably was set to “Yes” but the latter blocks access and setting it to “Yes” unblocks access and lets you get in, password protected, from the internet.
  • At Remote Access (7th down) check the box next to Enable remote access and enter the Stora Name.

That makes all the files on your Stora at home available from work or anywhere else for that matter. I know the browser interface is very dark, but with some use I’m not liking it (Purple text on black background. Yikes!) but having to accept it as there’s no other option than to work with it. I now have two of these Stora boxes – and both are available through my file manager. I searched a while and found in the Netgear forum from 2010/2011 that there is a Device Services Rename Tool web-page that simply changes the device name from Stora to whatever you called the device at set-up by entering the Product Key (Home screen, bottom left About Stora). Brilliant! HIPSERV          After renaming, the utility asks for a Stora reboot so the changes can be applied. Running recovery brings the Stora name back – watch for album and contact data changes when recovery is run. Some help with recovery is available here. Oh, and should you wish to increase the HDD size that, in summary, should be done as follows: copy all data off Stora to some other place, format both new, bigger, drives in the Stora (or just one if you’re hard up), copy data back to new drive(s) in Stora. It’ll take a while, but that’s part of the joy of low-cost hardware… If you don’t follow those steps your new and bigger drive(s) will have the same size partition as the old one had! So take the time and do it right – this is not an upmarket device. Finally, I must admit that going with the Stora NAS solution was not the best of decisions as things are not as they are with ReadyNAS NV+ & NVX, or even the newer RN-104 or maybe the D-Link DNS323 and Buffalo LS-WSGL-R1 LinkStation Mini! All those have easier to use, more standard interfaces, are generally visible to files managers, but don’t always come with free Remote Access ability. One last thing though, the Stora boxes work.

P.S. The hardwarehackers and openstora sites are both down, neoangelus has some ideas and utilities, but is no longer updated… My suggestion: if you have two of these boxes, change the Stora names with the above utility and otherwise use them as is – unless you’re really into tinkering.

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