Wireless Printer Server – Will this work?

Hello Everyone, I simply want verification and/or advice on the following idea. I have not researched this yet because I wanted other people's opinions. Here's the scenerio: - An office with two PC's and three printers - All three printers are connected via USB onto one of the two PC's and being shared out - Obviously the PC needs to be on in order for others to printer to these printers How can I share these printers via USB without having to move them? Here's my proposed resolution: - Buy a Wireless USB Printer Server (small Linksys box) and configure all printer via this device Will this work?

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In this scenario the usb print server should work fine. I would have a print server with a utility window that can tell me the ip address of the devices because in a dhcp environment address’s will change. I always configure a block of static ip’s for printers and scanners myself.

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  • Bigshybear
    If at all possible go wired, not wireless for the printers. The wireless print servers will disconnect periodically and you'll end up resetting them up. My average for a wireless printer is about once every two months.
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  • J88tru
    Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: I agree with bigshybear about going wired. If you are close enough to run USB cables now, it should be a snap to run a network cable from the print server. Assuming you have a router to the Internet, set it up for DHCP server for your PC's. It should have 4 - 8 switch ports at 10/100 Mbps, so you can connect one cable to the print server. Now, set up the print server for a Static IP that is out of the normal range of the router's DHCP. I use .200, .201, etc. Depending on the model of print server, you can usually do this in the setup program for the print server. I have used Netgear, Linksys, and Airlink. Models are available with 1 - 4 printer ports, and some can handle both USB and parallel (gee, what's that?). Try to find a print server that is USB 2.0, but keep in mind that if it "hubs" the USB ports, it will run at the lowest speed of any connected device, so if you have a USB 1.1 printer, it will slow down to 1.1 for all devices. If you have that situation, you are better off using a separate print server for the faster/slower USB printer, so not to affect all printing. Do remember that these things occasionally get confused. I have mostly found that with the Airlink. The symptom is that print jobs seem to spool normally, but never print. The cure is power-off-reset, normally only for the print server, not the printer. Setup is a little strange. Load the print server control program first (with the print server connected to your router) and assign your static IP. If the print server software does not have it's own add printer routine, you must do it manually. You will probably have to do this from the other computers manually. Remember, you are NOT installing a USB printer, but an IP printer. Go to Add Printers, choose Local Printer (not Network), UNCHECK "automatically detect", click NEXT, Choose Create a new port, select standard TCP/IP port, and enter the IP address of the print server (like Either choose "have disk" or select your printer from the list when you are prompted. On some of my printers, I must first install a "dummy" printer on LPT1, then add the IP port for the printer and select a driver from the list, instead of the disk. I have this problem on my Samsung 1210. It simply will not install either USB or IP first. Print servers are great. Works fine, all the time.
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