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USB Printer -> WiFi?

Old 11th Mar 2008, 11:01
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USB Printer -> WiFi?

I have a USB Epson printer and a spare 3Com USB WiFi dongle. If I plug the dongle into the USB port on the printer will My Win XP PC detect it and allow a wireless connection? If so it would make 'networking' the printer a lot easier!
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Old 11th Mar 2008, 11:07
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No it won't work. The USB dongle needs to be connected to a host computer, which the printer isn't.

There are devices that allow you to do that though. Some wireless routers have USB ports on them, and have a built in printer server function, allowing computers on the network to share a printer. They rarely, if ever, work with multifunction printers though.
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Old 11th Mar 2008, 11:11
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Thanks for quick reply! I feared as much, and yes, it is a mf printer.
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Old 11th Mar 2008, 14:09
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There are printers with WiFi and/or Bluetooth, but to be honest I wouldn't pay the extra for that. My little portable one has InfraRed, as does the laptop, and that's nifty on a hotel room coffee table. I carry a USB cable anyway, just to be sure.

My router has a USB printer port, but it's not bidirectional so the computer doesn't see the messages from the printer about "need ink" or "need paper" or "wrong paper size, twit!". Both printers are connected to the desktop PC and networked from there - so anything on the network can use them and gets full bidirectional info.
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Old 11th Mar 2008, 15:46
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Yes, Keef - likewise, all networked - it was just so Mrs B could print from her swanky new laptop without having to fire up the boilers on the desktop PC. My Epson IS 'bisexual'
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Old 11th Mar 2008, 15:48
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My Epson IS 'bisexual'
Ah, prints on both sides of the sheet...



SD
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Old 11th Mar 2008, 16:28
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.....at the same time, of course, and enjoys it................
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Old 18th Apr 2009, 16:32
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Ah! Success with the "Search" function (thanks Saab )

I also have the desktop upstairs to which the printer is connected, and would like to print from the lappy downstairs... Any developments since last year on the WiFi printing front, in the form of new dongles or bodge-boxes?

On a related note, is there any way to WiFise an external HD? Again, this is connected to to the desktop upstairs, but is there any way I can access my music stored on the HD through my laptop? I like the SONOS solution but Mrs. Maxbert has nixed that one...

Maxbert
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Old 18th Apr 2009, 17:20
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I bought a Belkin wireless print server to use with my HP LaserJet. Unfortunately the HP is a little fussy, and the Belkin is designed for a multi-function printer (so all functions work over wireless).

It's brand new, cost 50, sat on the kitchen table doing **** all. 20 gets it if you're interested.
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Old 18th Apr 2009, 17:21
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I also have the desktop upstairs to which the printer is connected, and would like to print from the lappy downstairs...
You can Share the printer on the desktop and then print to it over the network from the laptop. Obviously both the printer and the desktop PC have to be on.

You can buy standalone network print servers (including wireless) which will do the job, but they don't really work with MF devices (apart from basic printing), nor do most support bi-directional capabilities (status reporting and other printer functions).

is there any way to WiFise an external HD
Again, if the desktop to which the USB hard disk is attached is switched on, you can share the hard disk and access it over the network from the laptop, just like sharing the printer.

There are some wifi router / access points that have a USB connection for an external hard drive (I had a Netgear one for a while, but didn't think it was all that great). You can also buy dedicated NAS (network attached storage) devices. You can even just buy the enclosure and add your own hard disk - like this.

SD
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Old 18th Apr 2009, 18:03
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Thanks for that, SD- I'm particularly taken with the gubbins which turns an external HD into a network drive, I will investigate that solution further!

Problem is the desktop is off when it's not in use, Mrs. M. having some definite views on saving power (not totally unfounded, IMHO, as we both work and are out of the house for most of the day...)- Also, I once spent a weekend of high blood-pressure ans prodigious swearing trying to get the two 'puters to network wirelessly, and failed miserably. I guess one XP OS and one Vista OS (also one in French, t'other in English) don't help matters.

Still, remote printing is only nice to have and by no means essential, but the network HD may be in the realm of the possible (my router has no printer or USB port capability). I will let you know how I get on.

Maxbert

PS shunter, thanks for the offer, but my printer is also a single-task HP, also nearly 10 years old, come to think of it... So I will give this one a miss
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Old 18th Apr 2009, 19:50
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BOAC - I have an Epson RX560, multifunction/all-in-one. Tried a Belkin Print Server but with no joy. Now I have an Edimax PS 1206MF connected via usb to the printer and wirelessly to the network. It allows printing from mac, macbook and vista laptops and scanning.

::: EDIMAX Technology :::
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Old 18th Apr 2009, 20:26
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I have a Belkin Print server on my Belkin wireless network connected to an old HP 1220C deskjet. Desktop with Belikn USB dongle connects effortlessly to it at any time, however my laptops have a much more flakey time connecting to it.

The laptops are also less reliable at getting a good connection to the internet as well. Seems the Belkin kit is not so good at interfacing with other kit.

This print server is my second, replaced to go from WEP to WPA. A bit involved setting up with security, but does work and is very useful to be ableto print from any computer without reference to whether other computers are switched on.
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Old 18th Apr 2009, 21:53
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Thanks for reviving the dead I gave up and just have it as a network printer with Mrs B briefed on how to switch D Top on in her profile to print from the 'galley' on her L Top. I'll wait until I replace the printer to advance, I think. Amazing, isn't it, that a new printer with a set of ink carts (not 'full', of course) is, however, only a few 10's more than a set of carts alone.
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Old 22nd Apr 2009, 11:35
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BOAC, you want to see my HP colour [email protected] It's 50 cheaper to replace the whole printer !!
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Old 22nd Apr 2009, 12:58
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The sneaky bit is that the new printer comes with "super-small" ink pots containing a tiny fraction of the amount in a "replacement" cart.
They make the profit on the ink.

That's why most ink carts have chips in them, and many printers refuse to work with "non-genuine" supplies.
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Old 29th Apr 2009, 12:38
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The Mrs just bought an HP photosmart something or other and I just have gone through the whole nightmare of connecting it via a USR wireless router.

It finaly worked after a days worth of grief and after I reduced the protection to WPA from WPA2. But in the process, I mucked up my internet access point so that was the main cause of grief.

It works great after I sorted that and managed to install the printer on three computers (each one involving a completely different proceedure).

Now come the fun part of pricing replacement cartidges

Having experienced sucess, I now have decided to connect a portable drive to the routers USB port.
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