One of the advantages of a network computer is that we can share the printer with other users on the network. Traditionally, you can share access to a printer with connecting to the computer (either via USB or
parallel port) and configure it to become accessible to other users in the network either through peer-to-peer or with the Windows server AD network. With this method, the machine should live and use less computer resources for sharing the computer. If the computer off, then the printer can not be accessed. However, the print server, you do not have to share the printer via the computer. Simply connect the printer to print server and printer you can access them at any time over the network. At home, the printer prints the document is a tool that is very important. And in the home computer wireless network, wireless router is the main component in building your network to be able to share the Internet connection and a printer. You can share a printer via a traditional computer, or through a separate print-server, or through your wireless router is also equipped with USB ports. But not all wireless routers are equipped with USB ports can be used for
printer sharing. Some wireless routers come with a USB port can only be used for sharing access to external storage only, or can be good for printers or storage interchangeably. If you do not need a wireless print server (where you can put in place according to the will of your printer without going through the cable network) in your wireless network at home or in your small office, then choose a wireless router with print server.
Print servers are external or internal products that allow the connection of printing devices to a network requiring the need for a host computer system where it is physically connected to. Using a print server delivers greater flexibility to the network environment.
This allows the printing device to be placed virtually anywhere in the Local Area Network; thereby, reducing the cost of deployment and implementation aside from providing an alternative way of managing printing operations. With the increasing popularity of wireless networks, network device manufacturers have also introduced wireless print servers that supplement the functionality of these wireless networks allowing for the use of mobile printer stations, faster set-up of printing devices for workgroups, delivery of printing solutions that compliment the wireless network, and providing exact functionality as those delivered by wired print servers. Network clients connect to the Print Server device via the network printing protocols of the Microsoft Windows Operating System platform including, NetBIOS, LPD/LPR, IPX/SPX, NetBEUI, and TCP/IP among others.
Here is some common wireless router that comes with a USB port for sharing printers or external storage.
1. TRENDNET TEW-634GRU Wireless-N Gigabit Router
TEW-TEW-634GRU 634Trendnet carried with 802.11n wireless technology is also equipped with 4x Gigabit LAN autosensing ports and one WAN port 100Mbps. This router comes with a USB port for sharing printers or
external storage. Equipped also with a USB software utility control center for storage and printers, but can only run on Windows 2000/XP/Vista.
With only one USB port, you can only share a printer or storage in turn – can not simultaneously. If you need to be able to share printers and storage simultaneously, then you can choose TEW-637GRU series is equipped with two USB ports. With two USB ports you no longer need to turn to sharing printers and storage.
2. ASUS RT-N16 Wireless-N Gigabit Router
Asus RT-N16 RT-N16ASUS wireless router is still carried with draft 802.11n technology. We know that the IEEE has to approve the draft 802.11n standard has become the final version in September 2009 last.
There is not much real change from the draft version only a few options only. Router is equipped with LAN and WAN interfaces and Gigabit Ethernet is also equipped with two USB ports to allow you to share printers and storage at the same time.
The Asus RT-N16 multifunction wireless router has impressive specs including Gigabit Ethernet and two USB ports. It performs well and works great with third-party, open-source firmware.
The Asus RT-N16 is bulky and doesn’t support dual-band communication.
Its USB ports don’t provide enough power for bus-powered portable hard drives. When running Asus’ stock firmware, the router is buggy and has an unstable wireless signal.
The bottom line:
The Asus RT-N16 is a great, fun router for networking enthusiasts who want to use it with third-party, open-source firmware, such as Tomato or DD-WRT. However, everyone else should wait until Asus provides a
more stable version of the firmware.
3. DIR-632 D-Link
Not like ASUS RT-N16, D-Link DIR-632 is carried with the latest 802.11n wireless technology, the final version. And good is that the router is equipped with 8 100Mbps Ethernet LAN ports and one USB port.
8 x ports are very profitable for those of you who want a collaborative work or for home offices with a shared printer via a USB port.
It supports Windows Route 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP3, or Mac OS X (v10.4). Of course, if you want high-speed wired connection, you can use D-Link DIR-665 version with dual-band selectable, gigabit
interfaces (WAN and LAN ports).
4. Belkin New Max Play
Belkin HD MaxBelkin introduces the newest series routers Surf, Share, Play, and Max who carried the final version of 802.11n technology.
Apparently the Belkin will replace the draft version of 802.11n routers ranks him with the ranks of this version. Everything is using MIMO technology dual-plane for a wider wireless coverage of your home.
Router2 is equipped with Genie Torrent app that lets you download from the torrent into your storage even if your computer shutdown or asleep. Router2 is equipped with a USB port (2 ports for Max Play) with Gennie Print App for easy sharing your printer. Belkin also introduced two series of HD N600 is also equipped with a USB port, the first series with a USB port and the other 2 pieces of USB ports for printers and storage.
The Belkin Play Max Wireless Router is compact, supports true dual-band, Gigabit Ethernet, guest networking, network storage, and USB printers. It offers fast wireless performance and a long range.
The Belkin Play Max Wireless Router requires the Belkin Router Manager software to be running on a computer for its advanced features to work. It is confusing to set up and use, doesn’t have any status indicator lights, and its network storage performance is slow. The router gets hot when used for an extended amount of time, and its firmware is buggy.
The bottom line:
The Belkin Play Max Wireless Router seems like a simple and fast wireless router, but its useless desktop software and cumbersome USB-related features make it less appealing than other options.
How to Connect a Print Server
- Network router
- Ethernet cable
- Computer to function as print server
- Printer without built-in network support
- Existing LAN
Here are the steps:
To set up the print server to a network running on the Microsoft Windows Operating System, attach the printing device to its respective communication port which for newer printers is usually the USB
Upon detection of the host system, the corresponding driver will be installed either manually or automatically. For manual installation, the accompanying CD may be required. Click on the ‘Start’ button and select the ‘Control Panel’ option.
In the Control Panel windows, select the ‘Printers and Other Hardware’ category. Click on the ‘Printer and Faxes’ icon.
In the Printer Tasks, click the ‘Add a Printer’ option. Follow the prompts to install the printer device attached to the machine.
Upon completion of the process, a new printer icon will be displayed in the Printer and Faxes window. Right click on this icon and choose ‘Properties’.
From the Printer Properties window, select the ‘Sharing’ option and click on the ‘Share this Printer’.
Indicate a Shared Name which will be used to identify the printing device across the network. Other attributes like printing preferences, priorities, color management, and other properties can be set from this window.
Once the configuration of the Print Server is completed, the client must be configured prior to gaining access to the functionality of the printing device. On the client machine, follow Steps 3 to 4 but instead of specifying a local printer, select network printer.
Browse for the appropriate printing device from the list of detected network printers and follow the prompt. A new printer icon will appear in the Printers and Faxes window. The client machine is now ready to connect and use the Print Server.
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