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Decent, cheap print server?

Old 11-14-06, 02:50 AM
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Decent, cheap print server?

My fiancee's computer has always given me a headache trying to use either of its printers over the network. What's worse, when she VPNs to work, which she does quite frequently, I'm SOL. The last straw was my new Mac won't connect, at all, which I suspect is partly because of the funky setup on her computer and partly because Macs and PCs don't like each other. So I've decided we would probably be better off with a dedicated print server rather than relying on her computer.

I'm looking for something that gets the job done, nothing too expensive. Both printers can be connected via parallel or USB. Any ideas?

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Old 11-14-06, 11:22 AM
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Crazy idea, not sure if it will work. How about getting a USB hub for the printer and then connect both PC and Mac to it. Just make sure you two don't print simultaneously.
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Old 11-14-06, 12:16 PM
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One's a MacBook and they aren't in the same room, anyway. I agree with you, not sure if that would even work. Something like this but with two USB and/or Parallel Printer ports.
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Old 11-14-06, 11:42 PM
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Honestly, just about *any* name brand print server - HP, D-link, Netgear - should do the trick. I've used them all professionally, and haven't seen one outperform another. Most come with built-in web servers, so you just need to open a web browser to the server's default page and set it up from there (like you do with a router). Wireless ones *used* to be quite flakey, although I haven't messed with one in the past year or two, so they might have gotten better recently.

I actually like Netgear's "mini print servers" (, since they eliminate the need for a parallel cable. Just make sure that your printer has enough space for it - although it should (in theory) work with any parallel port, sometimes the space on the back of the printer is too cramped for the server to seat properly. I'm also pretty sure that these mini-servers are a bit more expensive than regular ones, but they sure look prettier.
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