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Networkable printers?


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#1
Luxarnia

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After 10 years my basic laserjet printer has died. We've decided to get an all-in-one printer and share it between our computers. In researching what printer to buy, I'm a little confused over the networking issue. Some printers tout built in networking. Others have reviews that read absolutely for 1 computer only. If that is the case what are print servers for? If a printer has built in networking, just plug it into the network? So when would you need a print server then? I thought that was for printers without the built in networking? Of course I could be completely wrong on that. Can anyone point me to what I need to look for in the specs for a printer so that I get one that can be used over a home network? And I don't mind having to buy a print server if that is part of the answer, I just don't know if it is or isn't.

Thanks.
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#2
dsenette

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you've got most of this stuff right

a "network capable printer" bascially has a NIC in it and you can plug it directly into your network and install it that way

a Print server is an EXTERNAL NIC that you can connect a printer to (either LPT or USB) and then connect that to your network

and all printers are shareable...all you have to do is install a printer on a machine on the network then share it (of course...theory is always easier than practice...but you get the idea)

in short....if you'd like to go the easiest route...get a printer that comes network ready...it will save some headaches
print servers arent' that hard to deal with...it's just another device that has the potential for breaking

another great option for the home network is a NAS/Print server combo device like This this is basically a hard drive with a NIC and a USB print server built in...kills two birds with one stone, you get network shared storage and a network shared printer all with one box
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#3
Luxarnia

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Thank you! That is what I needed. And I really appreciate the idea of the NAS/Print server combo device. That might really work for us.
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#4
peterm

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Normally a multi function printer will not work with scanning etc across a network unless specificaly made to do that.
So make sure if you want to share the scanning function it will do that and not just share printing
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#5
dsenette

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peter...i've actually found a loophole in that at work! or at least a loophole in the method of installing the all in one on one machine and then sharing it out like a normal printserver method.....if you install it as a local printer on all the machines (using the disk) and use a TCP/IP printer port...they will actually scan and print across the network! took me ages to figure that one out
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#6
peterm

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Hmmmmmm Vey interesting
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