I changed routers from my Linksys EA6300 to the Portal and the Portal definitely seems to be an improvement in wi-fi strength, but the way it handles the USB ports is a mystery to me. On my Linksys, I just plugged it in and it showed up under my Network. Then I just mapped it as a new drive. I have no idea where my external drive is showing under Portal. I have two external drives, both formatted as NTFS and neither are showing up anywhere. I verified that they are connected under the "Storage" tab. It displays the space remaining, etc and Samba and FTP are enabled. This is the only feature of this router that I'm really disappointed with. I had to remove my drives and just kept them as local usb devices. I used to run Emby off of my old setup because it showed my device as a network drive and it doesn't show up at all with Portal.
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