Printing wirelessly at school? What hp printer? How would I set this up?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lgreen, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. lgreen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #1
    Ok, I've been search and I think I have found bits and pieces of this puzzle, but now I need some help putting this all together.

    I just bought an apple macbook (the intel core 2 duo!) and am looking to buy a new HP photosmart printer to go with it.

    My college has a network that you can access both wirelessly and by ethernet jacks just about everywhere on campus, including in the dorms and classrooms.

    Basically what I would like to do is have a printer in my dorm connected to the school network by wireless or ethernet jack and be able to print from my macbook anywhere on campus that has wireless access and have it print in my dorm.

    For example, if I am in class and the prof tells us they have posted an assignment online for us to print out, I'd like to be able to whip out the macbook, connect to the wireless network, open the assignment, click print, and have it waiting for me in the printer tray when I return to my dorm.

    I know I can do it somehow because I used to have my hp laptop setup so that I could print to the printers in the science building from anywhere on campus were I had wireless access. I just don't know how to setup my own printer on a network or do it using an apple computer.

    Apple computers work on the school network and we are allowed to install printers on the network.

    Basically I want to know what would be the easiest way to do this?

    Can I just buy a network ready hp photosmart and connect it to the network via ethernet cable and be able to access it from anywhere on campus like that?

    What if I get a printer that is usb, and doesn't have networking capabilities? Sounds like I would need a wireless print server? Perhaps use an Express base station?

    My other concern is making sure other people on the network can't access and use my printer with out my permission. I don't want people printing out 40 page term papers if the printer in the dorm computer lab runs out of paper or toner.

    Also this is my first apple computer and I know don't know much about networks.

    Thanks
     
  2. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #2
    Don't take me that seriously, I don't know *that* much about this.

    I believe if you get a network ready printer, plug it in over ethernet in the dorm it will assign the printer an IP address and then you can print to it.

    Hope this helps.

    Kevin
     
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #3
    That's correct, but you might run into problems if your school dynamically assigns IP addresses, meaning your printer's IP address could change randomly and without warning.


    Why not connect your printer via USB? What's the point of printing when you aren't there to pick it up?
     
  4. zflauaus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    #4
    I don't believe you can print anywhere from campus directly to your personal HP printer. The science lab printers are probably using a JetDirect bridge that costs about $300. That's how we do ours at high school.

    I would help you out more, but I've only dealt with networking USB printers through a computer and only on a local network.
     
  5. lgreen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #5
    I could do that, but if I can set this up at no additional cost, then why not have the option?

    It is sort of an efficiency thing. If a prof says we need to print something out and read it that night or whatever, I can open and print it right then, and it will be at the dorm waiting for me. Perhaps it is dumb, but other people I have talked to about it thought it was a cool idea.
     
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #6
    One thing to remember is that you need to make the printer private. There is a recent thread where someone's printer was visible to other people in the building and pretty much anyone could print to it.
     
  7. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

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    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    American living in Canada
    #7
    I don't know how you would go about it being secure, but it shouldn't be too hard to set up. I know that at my University I can see numerous printers on the network as Bonjour printers. But this doesn't mean they are secure. I personally use an Airport Express and print wirelessly since I don't have room for the printer on my desk and it's under my bed, but that only allows me to print from within range of my airport express. It's password protected because I have to be logged onto my Airport network. If I wanted to, I could print to any of the other student printers that are activated on the network, there is really no way for them to password protect them. So unfortunately, I don't know if what you want to do would work all that well. One thing to keep in mind is that it is possible that your school may have wireless and ethernet on separate networks so that if your printer was on ethernet you wouldn't see it from wireless. That's just my experience, I'm not sure how it work for you.
     
  8. lgreen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #8
    Ok. Well I think the best thing for me to do would probably be to go talk with one of the students who works for the IT department and see what they advise.

    Now about picking a printer. I was thinking about getting one of the nice white HP photosmart printers that match the macbook. I currently have an HP P1000 photosmart, but figured if I'm getting a new laptop, I might as well upgrade the printer too. My only concern is, perhaps a photosmart printer would be inefficient for using at school.

    Would a refurbished HP color laser jet be a better option? The major down side would be that is is heavier and takes up more space, but would it be worth it if I could get one that is network ready for not too much more than a brand new photosmart? Or should I stick with the photosmart, which is much smaller.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  9. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #9
    Depending on the size and arrangement of your school's network, you may need Internet printing, rather than network printing. Most sizeable schools will have multiple subnets and the switches between you and your printer may have the necessary ports blocked off along the way (if their network setup is any good, you can expect this to be the case). If you need to use IP printing, you can pretty much discount the entire plan. You'll be able to use a networked printer from your own dorm, but I wouldn't count on that being true of the lecture halls, and I would almost bet money that the wireless and wired networks are kept separate.
     
  10. lgreen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2006
    #10
    I don't know. Like I said, I was able to print to network printers from my hp laptop while using that on the wireless network. I just had to go to "add printer" thing and search for a printer on the network. I believe our wired network is based on windows servers or something like that and the wirless is cisco systems. It is extremely secure to the outside world, but if you are a student/faculty/staff and have access to wireless, you can do quite a bit of stuff with out needing any admin passwords.
     
  11. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #11
    Right, it's easy to set up HP print servers and network services to make printers available to all network users when you're in charge of the network. That's not the same as a student being able to connect to his printer from anywhere--something that is not generally possible, by intentional design, without additional hardware (either a second computer or a print server). Unless you can get your printer registered on the Windows domain on your campus (popsicle's chance in Hell), it won't be accessible from the entire campus, again assuming a medium to large university infrastructure.
     
  12. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #12
    I have a small wireless network at home and print to a wireless HP printer. Even this setup becomes very complicated at times. ...Trust me, stick with USB.

    ...You could even "print" the documents while out & about, building up a queue, and the minute you walked into your dorm and connected the printer all the documents would print right out. ...This would probably be a lot quicker in the long run.
     
  13. lgreen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2006
    #13
    Nevermind. I'll just set it up like I had it with my hp so that I can print from my laptop onto the pre-existing printers around campus, and then just use the one in my room by usb or something. That will work fine. I don't know what I was thinking there.

    Thanks
     
  14. seanf macrumors 6502

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    Aug 8, 2006
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    UK
    #14
    Probably because they know they'll be able to print on it if you set it up on the wireless connection ;)

    Sean :)
     
  15. Anna macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #15
    you can only print to the printer if you and the printer are connected to the network and are operating under the same subnet and IP range. ...hmmmm perhaps you could do the dodgy and bypass the router and print direct using the JD bridge... ill have a look around and get back to you
     
  16. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #16
    Idea: What if you picked up an old PowerMac G3 (For under $100) and then shared it under there somehow? Like you could hook it up in your room over wifi or ethernet then just connect the USB printer and share over Bonjour or something. Would that be a possibility?

    Kevin.
     
  17. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #17
    Not really related, but I've got an iMac G5 and Macbook connected to the same router at school. My printer is connected to the iMac, and printer sharing is on. I can print wirelessly whenever I'm on my network, which has worked great for me.
     

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