Oh God... Anyone on campus can print to my printer!!!

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
1,813
7
Rochester, NY
Haha yes it's me, I'm back again with yet another college woe! I have my Airport Express plugged into the college's ethernet, wirelessly sharing the internet connection to me and my roommate. I can wirelessly print to my printer, which is also connected to the airport express.

To my surprise, my roommate could also print to the printer. I guess this wasn't too weird, as he was also connected to the wireless network. This got us to thinking though, who could print to my printer? So we went across the hall to our neighbor's room and asked him if he could print to it. (Remember, he's just plugged into the ethernet, like every other college kid.)

The printer showed up in his "Bonjour Printers..." and he then printed a webpage. We ran across the hall, only to find the page spewing out of MY printer! So this means... Any single person on campus can easily detect, add, and print to my printer!

So what I'm looking for is a way to password protect it, or hide it so it's only accessible to the wireless users. I hope this makes sense! :eek:
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
don't know if this will work.

but if you create a closed and password-protected wireless network, would they still be able to find it then?
 

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
1,813
7
Rochester, NY
PlaceofDis said:
don't know if this will work.

but if you create a closed and password-protected wireless network, would they still be able to find it then?
Yep. It's closed, and password-protected. Still shows up under Bonjour Printers on EVERYONE's computer. (I just checked with a couple more people.)
 

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
1,813
7
Rochester, NY
swingerofbirch said:
I'm not on a Mac right now, but I think if you go to Apple menu--->system preferences---->Sharing...there should be a checkmark for printer sharing...I thought it was turned off by default though. But that should do it, as long as I have remembered that setting correctly.
Yea, I know there's a way to turn off printer sharing, but then I wouldn't be able to print to it either. :D ;)

What I was looking for was either a way to password-protect the printer, or to set it up so only wireless clients (who would then need a password anyway) can print to it.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,124
2
North Carolina
I think you just need to adjust the security settings on your airport express. Set up a password-protected network, then only give the password to people you want using your printer.

edit: oops, I see the problem. Are you sure others are accessing your printer via the wireless network, and not the campus network?

edit again: nevermind. Hmmmm...
 

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
1,813
7
Rochester, NY
wordmunger said:
I think you just need to adjust the security settings on your airport express. Set up a password-protected network, then only give the password to people you want using your printer.

edit: oops, I see the problem. Are you sure others are accessing your printer via the wireless network, and not the campus network?

edit again: nevermind. Hmmmm...
Yea, apparently people on the wireless OR campus network can print to it. Hasn't been a problem yet, but it still scares me that someone could print a 1,000 page photo to my printer at 4AM and kill my ink.
 

Edot

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2002
432
0
NJ
Until you get this figured out, why don't you just turn off the printer when you are not using it.
 

swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
It sounds like Bonjour makes your printer available to everyone on the network. Perhaps there's a way to make it available to only people on the subnet.

You could ask your IT department, unless you know they have a rule against wireless routers (which a lot of universities do).

Or you could call Apple. They're usually pretty smart.
 

adamget

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2006
19
0
North England
Seems odd that others can still see your printer over the campus network... Bonjour maybe, but wired seems odd, but I'm no expert. My AE is a relay from the main base station and therefore behind the main base station firewall. Under Base Station options (in the Airport Admin Utility) however, I have disabled - Enable Remote Printer Access

I found this in the Apple Discussions for Airport Express:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=1117376&#1117376

Says that it's not possible to secure the printer from anyone who can access the Airport Express.

Guess you may need to turn it off at night.

Adam
 

erikamsterdam

macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2006
183
0
amsterdam
the only thing that comes to mind is installing an extra firewall between the Airport and the college network that blocks the ports that Bonjour uses.
 

abbottpc.com

macrumors member
Apr 25, 2005
87
0
You could always connect it to the compter itself and share that way. It would suck if you had a MacBook. There has to be a setting in the express that you can change.
 

mikes63737

macrumors 65816
Jul 26, 2005
1,133
246
MAC address filtering might work. Wired or wireless, it's still the same network, so it's not that weird that it's showing up on wired PCs.
 

Chef Medeski

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2005
975
0
New York, NY
Littleodie914 said:
Yea, apparently people on the wireless OR campus network can print to it. Hasn't been a problem yet, but it still scares me that someone could print a 1,000 page photo to my printer at 4AM and kill my ink.
I'm sure there is someone stalking you at every moment... waiting for you to sleep ... just so they can drain ur catridge..... mwahahahah


im sure its not that big of a deal... i mean if they can't access the printer why would they print to it? Just for fun....

I would actually use it to ur advantage... tell people they can print to it and then pay $.05 per page. ;)
 

RichP

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2003
1,573
11
Motor City
Its college, someone will print out a 1000 page paper to it..why? because they can.

Check out the attached screengrab. Is that "Enable Remote Printer Access" checked off? Seems like everything in that settings window is related to what the AE allows to happen through the ethernet port, and if there is an answer, its in there. (this window is in aiport admin utility)
 

Attachments

RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,021
316
.. London ..
Yup, you need to put a firewall between your airport express and the collect internet. Simply regard the college internet as part of that 'big bad internet"

I suspect that you might not know exactly how to do that.

Get a simple router with a firewall.

http://www.firewallguide.com/hardware.htm

That page seems a little out of date, but the principles are there.

You might be able to get a cheap router for about $30 or pick up a second hand one.

You don't need a modem in it or wireless, just make sure that it has a firewall in it. And make sure it allows that firewall to be configured via a webpage in your browser (safari or firefox)

How to set up the firewall?

Connect the router to your mac (you don't need an internet connection, just make sure the router is powered up and connected to your mac), point your browser (firefox or safari) to the router's config page (address will be in the instructions), and set it to deny anything incoming that you don't specifically want. Usually there will be some useful presets.

Having done that, plug the college connection into the router's incoming internet port, and your airport express into one of the other ports.

Or, save some money, don't buy the router and just turn off your printer when you don't want to use it.

Hope that helps. Corrections welcome.