Minhbach's Weblog

September 1, 2012

How to – content sharing Thomson Router/O2

Filed under: IT, O2 — minhbach @ 7:20 am

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The Thomson TG782T has the ability to share on the network a USB drive attached to the USB port on the side. However, the Help files are not helpful on how to do this and the Bigpond website says they’ll charge extra to help with this built-in feature (nice one, Bigpond, it’s a built-in feature, why charge?).

Anyhow, after a bit of fiddling around, I managed to get a USB drive shared both onto my local area network (LAN) and to the internet too. It’s relatively straightforward, but there are some built-in software ‘errors’ to get around (nice one, Bigpond, so it’s not ready for home consumption yet, or are you just gouging because you can’t write decent Help instructions?).

Here are the steps I used, if anyone’s interested…

1) Format your USB drive with FAT32 formatting, or with a FAT32 partition
2) Attach the drive to the USB port on the TG782T router and turn it on
3) Enter the router management system, usually by typing 10.0.0.138 or 192.168.1.254 (yours may use a different address) in a web browser, using whatever username and password you’ve set (often the default is ‘admin’ for username with a blank password – change the default!)
4) Select Toolbox-Firewall and set the firewall to Standard, if it’s not turned on already (necessary for decent security, but don’t bother if you’re not setting port forwarding – see later)
5) Select Toolbox-Content Sharing and turn on FTP server. The TG782T will tell you that the server address is something like ftp://admin@55.155.411.31 (I made that IP address up, don’t use!). It’s correct, but it won’t work yet… Read on.
6) The USB drive should now be available from the LAN at (in my case) ftp://192.168.1.253. Note that the IP is 1 less than the instructions say in the Help file and one less than the LAN IP address you used earlier in step 3 to log on to the router (nice one Bigpond, first game-breaking error)
7) To make the USB drive available on the internet at the address given in 5, it needs to be port-forwarded through the router firewall. This sounds tricky, but it’s not.
a) Select Toolbox-Game and Application Sharing.
b) Click on Create a new game or application.
c) Then choose Manual Entry of Port Maps, give it a name and click Next.
d) Enter 21 into the two Port Range boxes
e) Enter 21 in the Translate To… box and click Add
f) Select Assign a game or application to a local network device
g) Choose your newly created ‘Game or Application’ in the drop-down
h) Choose in the Device drop-down (the drop-down will show all devices connected to your router). [This is where it got curly for me – selecting that item did nothing. I eventually got round it by selecting my Airport Express device, and the correct field for entering the IP address popped up. Nice one Bigpond, another error, or did you lock this one down to stop users?]
h) If you get a field displayed as a result of selecting , enter the LAN IP address of the FTP site. In my case, this is 192.168.1.253 (see point 6 above). [If you don’t, try choosing all the other devices one by one, until you get the field you need, then enter the IP address]
i) Click Add
8) Now you’re ready to go. You should be able to FTP to your USB drive from the internet using the address displayed by your router at step 5.

Your mileage may vary. It took much fiddling with the router settings to get this far, and a fair bit of luck. Bigpond recognise that this is not easy to do, because they charge a premium to help you with this. In my books, this is sharp practice. They sold the TG782T with the USB drive feature: They shouldn’t charge extra to help you get it working, when the help file and software have errors and the steps are actually quite straightforward.

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