I have a fairly extensive collection of movies, TV series, as well as personal pictures and home videos. I would like to make these avaialbe to my kids, one of which lives in another city, as well as a couple of friends, as well as myself being able to access them when I am either on holdiays or at someone else's home.
Of course security is a major issue, and while I want to make the above available I don't want them to have access to my entire system, or network. In addition I want them to be able to view the media but not change, delete or rename anything.
From my limited understanding of networking I believe there is 3 choices.
The first would be to buy network drives hooked directly to the router and only have the shared media on these drives. I would assume this would be the preferred way of doing it but the problem is that network drives are quite a bit more expensive and I would have to buy a second router as I would not have enough ports available on my existing router.
The second would be to have external USB drives attached to two of the computers in my netwrk but am unsure if these could be accessed through the interent. Assuming they can be will having someone access these drives slow down the systems they are attached to? How do I allow sharing of the media files only while still having shared access to other files and printers on my network only and not avaiable to people I want to give access to the media files only? Would the speed be adequate to permit watching video over the itnernet without freezing?
The third would be to buy a router with a USB port. The problem here is that I have only seen routers with one USB port. Even with a 3TB drive I would not be able to have everything on that drive. I was looking at the Belkin router which has a USB port but from reading one of the reivews of this router it was noted that access to the drive connected to the USB port was very slow. They didn't go into detail as to what "slow" was, so don't know whether it was simply slow in comparison to what the performance would be if connected direcdtly to a computer, or if it was "slow" to the point that one could not really watch video as it would be freezing all the time. The upside of this setup is that it allows a guest password and that you can set it so the guest only has access to the drive connected to the USB port on the router and nothing else on the network. I also read a review on a D-Link with a USB port and one of the criticisms was that only one user could access the USB drive at a time. This may also be the case with the Belkin however the review didn't mention it so don't if that is the case, but if it is then that would not be the answer either.
I would appreciate knowing whether this can be done and what would be the best way to do it while maintaining security and not killing the performance on the network or computers the drives are connected to.