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There are many WLAN routers currently available which have a USB port to connect external HDDs. These are than easily available on Windows machines directly in Windows Explorer, they look like common network drives.

If I used an Android-based smartphone or a tablet which support WLAN, would it be possible to access these network drives somehow? I'm entertaining the idea of getting a tablet, and it's important to know if I can access a larger storage than what would be available locally via an SD card (if such a slot even would be present on a particular specimen).

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I believe most of these routers mount your drive as a network samba share (like windows file sharing), which android phones can access with apps, like ESFilexplorer or AndSMB. They can stream off it or download files to SD card.

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I used ES File Explorer on Android phone to access a hard disk attached to a Wi-Fi router and it was able to play content directly without copying to my phone.

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  • Can you please add details as to how you achieved this? Oct 28, 2015 at 6:19

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