On my home network I've got a wireless laptop and a desktop (wired) connected to a Linksys 4-port wireless router. The desktop and laptop are set up to share files and the laptop can print while the desktop is on. I have a VoIP adapter/router connected to the Linksys router, with cable Internet through the Linksys router.
What I'd like to do:
The hard drive on my desktop crashed unrecoverably over the weekend (with no backup!), so I want to be able to do backups from my laptop and desktop on a networked drive, but I don't need hundreds of Gigs of storage - I'm not looking to backup my entire drive - just critical files and settings.
I also would like to be able to print from my laptop without having to turn my desktop on (which the printer is connected to currently). One thought along the printer lines was would putting the desktop in Hibernate mode when not using it still allow the laptop to print?
I'd appreciate it if someone could toss some ideas/solutions at me. For the backup storage is it just a matter of hooking up a USB drive to my router? I don't really have exactly unlimited funds to throw at this project, so I'd like to keep it as low-priced as reasonably possible.
If you need more info to help, let me know. If I gave too much info already - sorry!
You can pick up a Print Server fairly cheap, well under $50. A linksys print server for example. It'll hook up USB or parallel, and connect to your network via Ethernet. That way, it's not dedicated to either laptop or desktop. Ebay might be a good place to pick one up real cheap.
If you're able to hook up a USB hard drive to your router, if it supports USB, you may be able to use that a NAS (network attached storage).
Your best bet is to use a USB hard drive for your backups. If you can attach it to a network device and use it a remote storage, even better. You might need to check to see how it would install though. I don't normally do this, but it is an option.
Buffalo is actually a really good brand if you can find it. I don't see it in stores like I do Linksys in my area, but they're a high quality hardware company. I'd definitely recommend that device.
You won't need a network capable printer with this. What you'll do it hook your printer up via USB to this device. You'll just have to set up a printer to the IP address of this device, or it will share it out and you'll just need to install it. If you look at the online manual, it should show you everything.