After wasting two different off-days trying to get my damnable modem+router working, I want to return them both and get something entirely new. Any good recommendations for a solid, reliable DSL modem and wireless router set-up with decent NAS support?
THE STORY SO FAR:
- had an ISP-supplied hybrid modem/router for a few years that worked fine
- bought a new laptop last year and swapped the hard drive for an SSD
- decided to use the spare hard drive as an external drive for storing large media files and performing automatic backups
- bought an Apricorn USB hard drive enclosure
designed to support NAS stuff
- bought a Western Digital My Net N600 router
with a USB port designed to support NAS stuff (the old modem had no USB ports)
- ran into endless bizarre problems
trying to get the N600 maintaining a connection to the old modem in bridge mode
- discovered plugging in and using the external drive was crashing the router firmware
- exchanged N600 for a better-spec'd N750
- more bizarre problems; dropped connections; router web interface sluggish
- tried installing a firmware upgrade from the official website
- now the router won't even boot up, *not even after a paperclip factory reset*
There are just too many potential glitches and conflicts here for me to deal with any more -- the fact that the modem is old (and in bridge mode), the general bugginess of Western Digital's routers, the fact that I'm using a laptop hard drive instead of one purpose-built for NAS work.
So I want to start from scratch. New DSL modem. New router. Maybe even a new hard drive and/or hard drive enclosure if that might help.
What I need to know:
- What's the best option for a reliable dedicated DSL modem? No-frills is fine as long as it's reasonably fast and can support a PPPoE connection type.
- What's the best option for a reliable wireless router with support for an external USB hard drive? I'm willing to spend more if it can buy me quality, dependability, and a no-hassle set-up with a decent web interface. I'm seriously tired of troubleshooting unaccountable wifi problems via unhelpful router settings pages that crash often and don't tell me anything useful.
- What's the best option for a reliable external hard drive set-up? I'm not doing enterprise-level stuff here -- I just want it to store my iTunes, my movies, and have some space left over to automatically back up a ~256GB SSD. I already have a laptop hard drive in the Apricorn enclosure I mentioned, and it did allow me to (temporarily) access my files wirelessly. But I'm not sure if the crashes I mentioned were due to the Western Digital router being shoddy or the hard drive/enclosure set-up being inappropriate for that purpose. Should I maybe reformat the hard drive for use as a NAS? Or would it be better to just get a purpose-built USB NAS drive?
I'd also be interested in a decent combination DSL modem/router with NAS support if that would be easier to set up. My current, years-old modem/router hybrid works flawlessly, but just doesn't have any USB ports to plug a drive into (only a USB B port, which apparently can't support that kind of thing).
Any recommendations -- especially based on personal experience with the device -- very much appreciated!