After reading our series on setting up a personal cloud at home, a reader had a question:  “I was wondering if there is an adapter for an external HD to make it personal cloud? That is, since so many of us already have an external HD could we some way connect it to our Wi-Fi instead of our computers?”

A personal cloud is a wireless hard drive in your home or business that your PCs and other devices can access for storage. Normally, this is accomplished by starting with a drive with wireless capabilities. I’d actually suggest starting with a good wireless external hard drive, because that’s the only way you can be sure that it’s probably going to work for you.

But there are devices out there that promise to make your external drive WiFi compatible. The Toshioba Canvio Wireless Adapter runs about $26 and works with Mac and Windows USB hard drives. It does require an AC power source in addition to the power required by the drive. And they can’t guarantee compatibility with anything but Toshiba Drives. It also doesn’t seem to work with any drives larger than 2 TB.


The reviews on the device seem mixed. Some love it and others had a really hard time getting it set up.

There also wireless UB hubs that allow devices in a house to share USB devices. I found one in the $75 range.

I can’t promise that this would work with an external hard drive. And it doesn’t seem to be app supported. Again, the reviews are quite mixed on this item. It seems to work great for some things and not well at all for others.

So, if you aren’t interested in doing a lot of troubleshooting, your best bet would be to buy a device specifically designed to function as a cloud drive.  The initial expense will save you a lot of time and aggravation.

~ Cynthia