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Print Servers

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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February 16, 2010 8:55:58 PM

I have printers that I want to use that are in another room from my main computer. I also have another computer in there that needs internet access and since I don't have cable serving that room, I need to do it wirelessly. I got a PCI wireless card for that computer, but I have to configure stuff everytime I start it up, and then it will not go into hibernation or sleep properly. It justs gets to the screen where it says it is going into hibernation or sleep and then will just sit there forever. I tried finding a fix for this, to no avail so far. Since I also needed a wireless print server, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone by getting the D-Link DLP-1260 as it states on the web page for that device at http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=DPR-1260 that it can be used as a to provide wireless connectivity to any ethernet-enabled device, such as a computer or network-attached storage. With this I thought I could get rid of the card and solve my computer connection problem. So I got one and got the print server to work briefly with my main computer, but then I found out that the scan function on my Canon multi-function MP810 would not work through this server. Now I can't communicate with this device at all for some reason, but I have not tried too hard to solve the problem as even if it is working properly, it won't do all I want it to do whick includes scanning and I'll probably send it back. Does anybody know if there is a print server that will communicate with my printer and do scanning as well, and also serve as a network bridge for my computer? I was looking at a Belkin Network USB Hub at http://www.belkin.com/networkusbhub/# and was wondering it that would do what I want. What is the difference between a network hub and a print server?

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February 17, 2010 1:37:27 AM

I assume this printer only has a USB connection. IOW, it doesn't have an Ethernet port for a wired connection to your router. In fact, just tell me the make/model # and that will make things go along a little faster.

As far the hibernation/sleeping issues w/ your computer, that’s beyond what I want to get into right now. Let's deal w/ that another time since it doesn't having anything to do w/ your network/connectivity issues.

The problem w/ print servers (which you’ve now discovered) is that they don’t work w/ all printers, and even when they do, they usually only support the most basic printer functions, so they are a poor choice for AIO (All In One) devices. I would only recommend them for laser printers. In general, I avoid them as much as possible. Just too much hassle.

But fortunately you don’t even need a print server. Since you have a working computer in the vicinity, THAT is your print server. You just make the computer wireless (perhaps w/ a wireless PCI/USB adapter), install the printer over USB to the computer, then SHARE the printer on your network via Windows.

The reason you got messed up is that you tried to drive the process from the perspective of the printer. But that’s backwards. You drive the process from the computer, make *it* wireless, and the printer effectively becomes wireless since it’s connected to that wireless computer.

It’s really that simple.


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March 1, 2010 7:58:41 PM

Yes, what you say would work, but then I would have to have the computer which is connected to the printer always on, which I don't want to do, which is why I wanted a print server.
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March 1, 2010 9:05:54 PM

tonyn1 said:
Yes, what you say would work, but then I would have to have the computer which is connected to the printer always on, which I don't want to do, which is why I wanted a print server.


Understood. It's just that you started off explaining your problems in using a dedicated computer; the constant reconfiguring, problems w/ hibernation, etc. So it sounded as if you were content (at least w/ that machine) using the computer if you could get past those issues. But now you're basically telling me that none of that mattered anyway. You want all your printers on a wireless print server.

The Belkin network USB hub just enables you to use your USB devices remotely, over the network.

IOW, you go from this:

[pc]<--usb-->[printer]

to this…

[pc]<--wire/wireless->[wireless router]<--wire-->[network usb hub]<--usb-->[printer]

or if you want wireless between the router and hub…

[pc]<--wire/wireless->[wireless router]<--wireless-->[wireless ethernet bridge]<--wire-->[network usb hub]<--usb-->[printer]

… but it would still be associated w/ a running computer.


As far as wireless print servers supporting multi-function machines, hmm…, anything is possible I suppose but I have to tell you it’s not likely. Maybe someone will happen along w/ a suggestion. You’d stand a better chance if they were high end machines from say HP, who produce their own print servers. But when it comes to the consumer models, I wouldn’t count on it. Even if you’re lucky enough to find a solution, it might just be easier and cheaper to replace those printers w/ network printers. That’s what I do. I never use print servers. If it’s USB, it remains attached to a running computer. If I *must* have a network printer, I buy one.

Anyway, good luck, that’s the best I can do.

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