How to share two printers in an office?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by yalag, May 11, 2012.

  1. yalag macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #1
    We have two printers that are tugged away in the office corner that is quite hidden. We want to share these two printers with all the macs in the office. What is the cheapest way to do this? I know with 1 printer, we can purchase an airport express. But with two we can't. Also, buy a mac mini just to share printer is way too expensive.

    Any ideas? (These printers are not airprint capable).
     
  2. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #2
    You could use print servers but they'll probably cost as much as Airport Expresses.

    So get 2.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #3
    A USB hub plugged into a router with a USB port should do it.
     
  4. yalag thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #4
    how does that even work? The macs can somehow detect the usb over tcpip?
     
  5. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #5
    What sort of printers are they? How do they connect? Model numbers would tell us a lot.
     
  6. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #6
    I don't know the technological background behind it but it works, i have printers shared using a usb hub from my time capsule
     
  7. yalag thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #7
    They are regular USB printers.
     
  8. M0esmac macrumors 6502a

    M0esmac

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I'm pretty sure that you can share two like on the Airport extreme with Y splitter.
     
  9. yalag thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #9
    Really? Can anyone confirm? What about an express?
     
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    No, that is not how it works. The host Mac is the print server for the two printers. Other computers detect the Mac acting as the print server. The simplest communications protocol is Bonjour which is based on TCP/IP. The print server handles USB or whichever protocol is used to connect the printer to the print server Mac.
     
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #12
    I have two plus a hdd for time machine pluged into my airport extreme. Works just fine.
     
  12. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #13
    I can absolutely confirm that you can connect multiple USB devices onto an Airport Extreme. I currently have two printers and a dual-bay hard drive connected to a 7-port hub. One of the printers has a bunch of flash card slots, and they show up in the Airport Utility as well.

    I can't confirm whether the Express can do multiple printers. I do know that the Express doesn't support hard drives/flash drives on the USB, though.
     
  13. itickings macrumors 6502a

    itickings

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #14
    Head over to Apple and read Uses for the USB port of Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express.
    If we're talking about the newer 11n Express, a hub should be fine:

     
  14. tom1989 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Location:
    Singapore
    #15
    Do your company have two printers are also worried about distribution is not reasonable, my company and another small company share a printer will be a very painful thing. You only need to put it in everyone convenient place. Don't tangle!
     
  15. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #16
    Take a look at the USB servers made by Silex :http://www.silexamerica.com/products...ity/index.html.

    I have one of these on a LAN (can also be WiFi) that connects all my USB devices to my MBA. It connects : Printer, Scanner, DVD drive, iPad, iPhone, Camera. All this stuff sits on another desk away from my desk, with powered USB hub connecting to the Silex. It also shares all this stuff with a Win7 PC.
     
  16. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #17
    The CHEAPEST way is to pull the printers out of the corner. Hook them to computers on the network via USB cable. Activate printer sharing through the Sharing pref pane in system preferences on each of the host computers.

    If AirPrint is desired, load handyPrint on each host computer so iOS devices can also use the printers.

    http://www.netputing.com/handyprint/
     
  17. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #18
    The AirPort Express supports "several printers connected to the base station via a powered USB hub", so yes, that would work. As far as the hub goes, the Macally Mini hub comes with an AC adaptor and has a rather small footprint.
    [​IMG]
     

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