Questions re: Printer/USB sharing on Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by freddyaudiophil, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. freddyaudiophil macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2008
    Eastern Canada
    Hi folks:

    I think I already have amassed the answer to my questions but wanted to post them here to see how others have found sharing printers/USB devices on the AirPort Extreme.

    Some background: I have had several wireless routers over the last 2 years and neither of them seemed to work worth a crap in my particular house. My wife and I have a laptop each (Lenovo for me; HP for her) and we recently bought a new 3.06GHz iMac to replace our aging home-built AMD box. The best wireless router we had so far was a Linksys SRX-400 as it covered my house (and basement) very well. The only problem was that getting both laptops on the wireless network at the same time was pretty near impossible. If I sat both of them on my kitchen table and booted them at the same time, it was a literal crap shoot as to which one would see the wireless network and which one would not. I must have spent 3 or 4 nights reworking my configs, redoing the security settings, but no luck. They only way that I could ensure that both got on the wireless network at home at the same time was to use no encryption whatsoever -- WEP did not work and neither did any form of WPA2 (which is my preferred setting). So I returned the router to the local tech weenie store (FutureShop).

    Here is what I want to do: Share our printer (which works totally fine on our iMac and our laptops via USB cable) wirelessly in the house. My plan was to share the printer off the USB port of the AP Extreme so that the laptops can print to it wirelessly. I would hardwire the iMac into one of the GB ethernet ports on the unit itself and obviously connect our ADSL into the WAN port.

    From what I have read, everytime you change a setting in the AP Extreme, it needs to reboot, and this reboot takes a little longer than most other wifi routers out there. I have also heard that the wifi data transfer via a USB external drive is very slow. Since I don't plan to do it regularly, this might not become an issue for me.

    1 - From all I have read online and on the Apple site, this appears to work fine. Has anybody out there tried it and how did it go?

    2 - If I put a USB 2.0 hub off the AP Extreme, would I be able to share both the printer and a small USB external hard drive for backuping files, etc? I'm also considering buying a small Apple TV to store movies, music and stuff but I am not sure yet if you can use the Apple TV to store other stuff (like Word documents, as that seems to be more what the Time Machine is for).

    I must say that I'm finding life with an iMac better than my PC days (20 odd years of them). I only wish that I could convince my employer to get me a new black MacBook and I'd be really off to the races! I usually spend my lunch break on this forum to learn as much as I can about Macs, Leopard, etc. I've convinced I have a superior piece of technology in the iMac (now that I have my screen backlight issue fixed!). No more fighting with Vista.

  2. southerndoc macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    I have my hp LaserJet 2200 set up just as you want to do. My iMac G5 is linked to the AEBS via an ethernet cable, and my laptops access the AEBS wirelessly. The printer is connected via the USB port on the AEBS.

    I did have to reconfigure the printer (delete the profile, then add it again). It found the location as a Bonjour printer if I remember correctly.

    I am now trying to set it up so that I could use Back to my Mac while on the road so I can print articles to the printer in my home (while I'm away). Any help on how to do this?

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