I need a decent print server

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by physicsnerd, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. physicsnerd macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I'm looking for a print server to use in a mixed home network of 2K/XP/10.3 boxes. My printer can support either USB or Parallel concetions.

    I've been looking at products like:

    and the Netgear PS101 Mini Pocket Print Server.

    I'd prefer one that supports usb for future printers. Does anyone have any recomendations? Are there any I should stay away from?


  2. verb macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2004
    The only logical reason to get a print server is if the printer cannot be placed near any of the computers like in an office environment. The reason I say this is that invariably, print servers are more difficult to set up than a shared printer in your OS of choice.

    I'm assuming you own a Ink Jet printer or home-grade laser printer. In either case your printer probably does not support Postscript and therefore your macs would not be able to print from the printer through appletalk. This is the case for both of the print servers you mentioned.

    I have an Epson print-server that came with my C80(N) printer. It is the only one I've found that supports non-postscript printers through Appletalk. It also has to be reset every day...literally. For some reason, even though all the green lights are on, I have to unplug and plug it back in before any of my computers can see it on a daily basis. After resetting it, I can use it for the next few hours, but usually the next day the cycle begins again.

    Trust me, mixed environment printing is a hassle, but a printserver is not the easiest solution. Look into sharing the printer from either a PC or a Mac and printing from the other environment first before you buy anything.
  3. physicsnerd thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Actually, it's really easy to print to a non-postscript printer using a network print server as long as you're not running OS 9. Don't bother with apple talk at all. All you have to do is use IP printing (LPD/LPR). OSX / Windows / Linux all support this method of printing. In OSX all you have to do is select the IP of the printer server and tell it which connected printer you want to print to. Then select the type of printer you have. As long as you have the drivers availble for the printer it works like a charm. I've done this many times with large scale print servers that handle several high volume printers in mixed enviorments. I've just never had to buy one before, let alone a small home office version.

    I'm currently sharing the printer off of an XP box, which works ok even if it's a little slow. The problem with this method is that I have to boot the xp box any time I want to print from another computer, or just leave the computer on all the time which is noisy and sucks power. For me it's just not worth the hassle and so I'm looking for a dedicated print server. I just don't want to buy a lemon.

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