Thank you for the replies.
Please note; In the OP, I stated the external HD is plugged into the router, not one of the computers. This is where I have some concerns. Is the router's firewall enough protection? I will read about full disk encryption. In the mean time can anyone give any advice in this area maybe some pros or cons to doing this or the best method?
I am going to be networking my home computers and I am looking for the best protection from intrusion from the internet & viruses. As stated, I use Norton Security Suite on the Computers. I also scan often with Trendmicro housecall, SUPER Anitspyware and Malwarebytes. If anyone has any better suggestions, I am open to advice.
packetanalyzer, I did change the default name and password ( 18 mixed characters ) and used WPA2 on my router. I like to know more about some of the answers you gave.
You asked, "did you close unnecessary ports, does your router offer stateful packet inspection, etc." I am using a LINKSYS EA8500 MAX-STREAM™ AC2600 MU-MIMO SMART WI-FI ROUTER.
I am not sure how to close unnecessary ports or even determine which ones are unnecessary. Additionally, I have no idea what stateful packet inspection, etc is or how to achieve it. Might you or someone else be willing to advice?
I am assuming from the replies, that it might be better to plug the external HD into one of the computers and then share it with the rest of the computers through networking? That way I would be using the benefits of the computer's Norton Security Suite?
I have also just read in a few places that my Seagate Freeagent 500 GB and my Hitachi 1TB Touro might not work when I finally decide to switch to Win 10 down in the future.
Thanks for any help!