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Configuring USB Storage & SAMBA/FTP Access with NETGEAR WNR3500L

A NAS (network attached storage) interface is used, right within the router's firmware, to access a mass storage device connected to th USB port of WNR3500L.  This is an easy and inexpensive way to share files over your network and across the Internet, without the need for any additional devices - and is called ReadyShare.  Read on to learn how to set up and configure this for your home setup

Step 1:  Attach a mass storage device to the USB port of WNR3500L.  You can use a USB hard drive or flash drive, if you like.

Step 2:  Open the GUI of board and click at “Basic Settings” under “USB Storage." This shows where the USB device is mounted as a network folder.  In my case, it is readyshare/USB_Storage as shown below:

Fig 3: Mass storage device is mounted at /readyshare/USB_Storage

Step 3: This step is optional, and is needed only if one wants to access the NAS via an FTP or HTTP connection.  To enable FTP or HTTP access click at Advanced Settings under USB Storage and select corresponding options and click apply as shown below:

Fig 4: Enable FTP and HTTP access of ReadyShare.           

In the host PC, the default gateway and DNS server should be set to - which is the IP address of WNR3500L.

The ReadyShare drive can be accessed using SAMBA, FTP or HTTP protocols.

Accessing ReadyShare using SAMBA:

Note: the manual steps below may not be necessary, as the ReadyShare drive may show up on a Windows PC in the "My Network Places" menu, or on a Mac in the sidebar of the Finder.

At the host PC, give the command:
mount.cifs  <>/USB_Storage  /mnt (or an alternative directory.)

Accessing ReadyShare using FTP:

  1. from host PC run the following command:  ftp  HYPERLINK "ftp://readyshare.routerlogin.net" ftp://readyshare.routerlogin.net 
  2. Then: cd USB_Storage
  3. Now, you can read or write from host PC as per your requirement

Accessing ReadyShare using HTTP:

Step 1:  Click on Advanced Settings under the USB Storage section of the router's firmware GUI.

Step 2:  Click on the link that is shown against http.  It will show the NAS folder that you want to access:

Fig 5: NAS folder shown as USB Storage

Step 3: Click on  the USB_Storage link and enter username and password to access your ReadyShare drive.

SAMBA File Transfer Performance

Given below is the summary of ReadyShare performance over 802.11n and 802.11g that I was able to achieve using the SAMBA protocol:

Tags : ftpNASsambausb storagewnr3500l

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-16 of 16 | Latest Comment

January 6, 2010 6:02 AM


Which file systems are supported. The manual says FAT, FAT32 and NTFS. But being Linux based would it support EXT2 and EXT3?

Which file system is used in this test and would it perform better with another file system or on LAN?


March 17, 2010 10:38 PM

That seems almost unforgivably slow.

Is USB storage data transfer also this slow using alternative firmware?

April 29, 2010 12:48 PM

Was your test done with the external drive formatted NTFS? Could you test some of the other formats and post the results?

View unverified member's comment - posted by ht

December 8, 2010 1:02 AM

ummm, your performance results have no units. Is it Mb/s, MB/s, seconds, hours, MPH?

January 26, 2011 5:03 AM

I use the router DGN3500B and there is the same GUI for configuration.

My Problem: How can I configure that a device such like a linux based tv-receiver with pvr is able to use the readyshare device (to play videos or music
from readyshare device).
The access to readyshare device is only possible for computers in the network.
But my tv-receiver needs a USERNAME and PASSWORD for network ressources.

What can I do? There is not a possibility to set a USERNAME or PASSWORD in router setup. The authentification of the router does not work. Blancs dont work. To set rights or a share for readyshare device via MS Windows XP does not work.

Any ideas?

March 23, 2011 6:19 PM


The Username and Password is the same one that you use to logon to the router.
typically: username=admin and the password is whatever you have set it to. You did remember to change it from the default right?

Cheers, Jon

April 21, 2011 6:57 AM

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April 21, 2011 9:04 AM

Hi Jon,
good idea but not good enough! That does not work. No access to ready share device with router login data.


April 21, 2011 10:33 AM

Hi Digune,

I would probably try setting up a specified Share via the normal interface, and see if you can access it that way. Also, one thing that caught me out when trying to specify a share, is that the window that pop-up was being blocked whenever I clicked to add a new share. Don't be caught out like I was.

Cheers, Jon

August 13, 2011 10:35 AM

You have to format the external hard drive to ext3. It's a linux based system, so it works best natively with this.

Took a while to figure this out for me.

March 25, 2012 12:41 PM

I see that I am about a year late on this thread but I would like to add a bit of my experience with the WNR3500L. I have a 1 T. HDD that I mounted in an external case. I have it attached to the USB port on the router. The HDD is formatted in NTFS. I use both Ubuntu 11.10 and Windows 7/XP successfully on two desktops and two laptops to connect to the Readyshare.

Windows7 finds the Readyshare when I do a Network search. With Ubuntu, (I use Mate Desktop, not Unity) under Places I use the Connect to Server option. I use Windows Share, not HTTP nor FTP. To access the USB just enter the IP address of the router. The default is I have a bookmark set so I don't have to repeat the setup.

I then mount the file folder on the desktop for easy access. The NTFS format allows both Windows and Ubuntu to read the folders and files. It is just like a native drive on the computers.

I find that this method also works in most of the other Linux distros I have tested. Mint 12, Vector 7, Debian, and some others.

April 10, 2012 8:47 AM

To also add to an old thread... (This thread is hit #1 in google for "netgear usb storage ftp server" so I guess this thread is a good place to discuss this topic)

As far as I can tell, the external FTP component of this feature SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK for anonymous access ("All - no password" mode).

This has to be quite the most abysmal implementation I have ever seen. If an IT admin such as myself cannot get it to work, I do not fancy the chances of the layman user.

And to clarify, connecting via ftp://readyshare.routerlogin.net is useless for external connections as this address simply redirects to the IP that the connection came from (So you do not need to know your own WAN IP)

For example, with a share set up with the following parameters...
USB Device: U:
File System: FAT
Folder: U:\misc
Share Name: test
Read Access: All - No password

... the following happens:
(Using command-line FTP, hitting ENTER for username and password)

C:\Users\evilC>ftp evilc.dyndns.org
Connected to evilc.dyndns.org.
220 bftpd 2.2.1 at ready.
User (evilc.dyndns.org:(none)):
331 Password please.
530 Anonymous user not allowed.
530 Login incorrect.
Login failed.

I also tried anonymous login, as well as guest/(blank) as in some netgear manuals it says that the username for All - no password mode is "guest".

Conversely, using the admin login, everything works:

C:\Users\evilC>ftp evilc.dyndns.org
Connected to evilc.dyndns.org.
220 bftpd 2.2.1 at ready.
User (evilc.dyndns.org:(none)): admin
331 Password please.
230 User logged in.
ftp> ls -al
150 BINARY data connection established.
226 Directory list has been submitted.
ftp: 8 bytes received in 0.00Seconds 8.00Kbytes/sec.

And before anyone says that you need to connect to evilc.dyndns.org/shares/test or whatever, FTP simply does not work like that - you log into the server as a whole and it then puts you in a "home folder" from where you need to traverse to the folder you require. If you put for example ftp://myserver.com/1/2 into a web browser or windows file explorer, it tries to connect to myserver.com, then once logged in will do an automatic cd /1/2
FTP is not like a web server where you can directly connect to a subfolder - eg connecting to an apache subfolder that is protected with htpasswd.

So without being able to connect to the server anonymously, I see no way that it can possibly work - you should be able to connect anon and have permission to browse to the shares folder, from where it shows the shares that you have permission to access.

Tested with a Netgear DGN3500

April 19, 2012 3:19 AM

i am using http to access my share but there seems to be no way to upload using the http interfaces. that's lame. you can only see files and download them. any suggestions?

July 25, 2013 4:29 AM


I am using Netgear EVG2000, I want to use the USB Port for External Drive. How can i do it?? if you could pls give me step by step method of working it..



October 17, 2014 9:18 AM

OMG this took me way too long to figure out. To the order of 15 hours. I'm no Linux expert, but I'm certainly no beginner either, and am pretty good at Googling to research. So I'm going to post what FINALLY worked:

sudo mount -vt cifs // /media/windowsshare2 -o user=guest,domain=WORKGROUP,password=,sec=ntl

It did not work without those 3 options. I sincerely hope this helps someone so that my 15 hours didn't completely go to waste.

I've had 3 Netgear routers in recent months provided by the ISP, all similar models. But this is the only one that gave me these issues.

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Back to Top | Comments 1-16 of 16 | Latest Comment

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