Sharing hd and 2 printers on PC and Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Arkangil, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Arkangil macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    Here's the situation. My wife has a PC laptop. I currently have a PC desktop, however I am considering my first mac in the form of a base MBP.

    22" Samsung monitor - to be attached to the MBP when not mobie
    HP LJ2110 AIO printer - for scanning, copying, etc.
    Samsung CLP 315 colour laser - for printing my business items
    Seagate 250GB external hdd - For backups

    Is it possible to use a USB hub or some form of print sharing to allow the hard drive and BOTH printers to be shared wirelessly for both the PC laptop and MBP?

    Can I use the Airport Extreme? Do I *have* to use the Airport Extreme? Is there maybe a more cost effective solution.

    Further to that, if I use Time Machine to backup the MBP onto the external, can I use something like vice versa to backup the PC to the same drive? Can they both access files, or do I require some kind of file server for sharing music, etc?

    Thanks for all your help Mac Forum!!
  2. fiatlux macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    I know the Airport Extreme Base Station supports a USB hub with multiple hard drives and printers. I don't think it is such a common feature. My Synology NAS, for instance, only supports one printer max.

    The Extreme Base Station can quickly become cost effective if you consider it saves you from getting network printer servers or NAS boxes for you hard drives.

    However, I'm not sure you can effectively use your AIO printer on the network. When connecting such a USB AIO on the network, you typically loose scanning capability (copying may still work though).
  3. Arkangil thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    Do you know if there is some other method of being able to use both printers and the hard drive? A different router? Perhaps some kind of mini wireless print server hardware?

    I don't want to go make the switch to Mac and find I've hobbled my setup in some way. I am hoping that ultimately my wife will like my Mac, and want one for herself. That will make everything easier, I think, that having both on the network.
  4. fiatlux macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    Of course there are other otpions. There are routers with print server capability (but usually only one printer), there are wireless or Ethernet print servers, and there are network hardrives that offer print server capabilities (such as my Synology, but again only one printer).

    In my previous setup, I had a 802.11g router, a Synology NAS supporting a laser printer and an HP JetDirect print server for my HP Photosmart inkjet printer. It worked, but I could basically replace all of this with an Apple Extreme Base Station, a USB hub, and a plain USB disk.

    Note that you don't need a Mac to use an Apple Extreme Base Station. You can use and administer an AEBS from a PC as well.
  5. Arkangil thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    I think you are the only one who looks through this forum! Or at least this thread.

    So what I will likely do is get a router, possibly airport, possibly something more cost effective, and then have a usb hub with my external hard drive and my laser for normal printing. If/when I need to do any kind of scanning, I'll just plug in the AIO directly to whichever laptop needs it, and go from there.

    Can you recommend any routers besides the Airport extreme that can support wireless Time Machine to a hard drive AND a shared printer if they are both on a usb hub? Must work with PC/MAC. Maybe the Extreme is just the best option....

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