Printer USB Cable Splitter

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by davidjearly, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland

    Looking for some help. We have two Macs in the study, one at either side of the USB printer. What I would like is a cable which connects to the back of the printer (USB) that has two ends for connecting two standard USB cables.

    So basically I just want to be able to have the two computers cable connected to the printer at all times without having to continually swap the cable from one Mac to another.

    Can someone point me in the direction where I may buy such a thing?

  2. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    Are these Macs both connected to the internet?

    If so, you can use printer sharing...

    On the Mac that has the printer plugged in: System Preferences-->Sharing-->Check off Printer Sharing.

    On the Mac that doesn't have it plugged in, but you want to print, go to file Print in an application and in the "Printer:" pull down, go to shared and select your printer. Print.

    Hope that helps.
  3. tilman macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2006
    You can't do this with just a cable. IOGear makes a "USB 2.0 Peripherals Sharing Switch GUB 201" that will do the trick for $50 or less. It has a button on top, and two lights. One computer at a time will see the device. To switch it to the other computer, press the button, and wait a few seconds. I'm using one, and it works great.

    Are your computers networked? Then you could just share the printer over the network.
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I don't think you can do that... as far as I know, USB is a master/slave sort of design. Meaning that the printer (slave) needs to have exactly one computer (master).

    You have a number of options... here are the major ones:

    1) If the macs are connected to the same network, you can plug it into one and then share it with the other. The second computer will print over the network. System Preferences -> Sharing -> Services -> Printer Sharing -> Start turns it on, on the computer to which the printer IS CONNECTED. System Preferences -> Print & Fax -> Printing -> (+) sign below the white box -> Default Browser should reveal the printer on the second computer, and then you can add it as your default printer. The first computer must be on to print from the second computer.

    2) On the off chance the printer has an ethernet port, you can connect it directly to your router and have both computers print via network. If it doesn't have an ethernet port, but you do have an Airport Extreme Base Station or Airport Express, you can plug it into that and print wirelessly over the network.

    3) You can buy a third-party wired network adaptor to put the printer on the network. This and option two do not require a hosting computer to be on in order to print from the other computer.

    4) If the printer has a bluetooth adaptor, you can print wirelessly that way from both / either computers.

    5) You can buy a USB printer switch like this: Belkin 4 port switch
  5. davidjearly thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Wow. Now I'm no newbie to OS X, or Macs in general, but I honestly just can not believe how simple it was to do the 'shared printer' thing (and that I had no knowledge of it).

    So from now, I leave it connected to one Mac (as long as it is not asleep - no big deal anyway because the other Mac is in the same room so it only takes a second to wake it up) and print from within the 'shared printers' drop down list in applications.

    I'd heared of the whole printer over Airport thing before, and I knew about Bonjour/Rendezvous but never this. Even when you guys mentioned it, I thought it would be a pain to set up or that the Mac connecting wirelessly would take ages to send its jobs to the printer. However, this is not the case!

    Thanks guys!

  6. eholtz macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2008
    Help with MAC and PC operating system sharing a printer

    Is there a way to have one HP printer set up to print from a MAC and a PC?
    Id prefer to not purchase any equipment but don't know how to set up the network to share a printer.
    Thank you.
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    if you look at the sticky at the top of this forum (top of the list), you'll see it's titled "Printing to a Shared PC Printer"
    that should get you going.
  8. HollyQueen macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    Printer splitter

    I have a Canon MX310 printer, a Pro Mac without airport card, and a Mac book. I use airport extreme for my mac book for printing and internet. But the printer can not be used for wireless scanning. I need a splitter for my printer to connect to the airport extreme and to the Pro Mac. Would someone please give me advise.

    Thank you.
  9. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    The link mkrishnan provided in his post in this exact same thread should do the trick...

    Edit: On second thought, if your Mac Pro is always on, you should connect it to that and share it over the network... as mkrishnan suggested...

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