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Network Printer


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5 replies to this topic

#1 lakefever

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 07:48 AM

I'm not sure if this is the correct section to post this question but I will start after not finding an answer by searching. I want to use our current printer on our home network as a network printer so that several different devices and computers will be able to use it. The printer/scanner is a Canon multifunction laser. It is currently connected to the network by cable. We have as many as 4 different computers connected plus the usual 2-5 cell phones and 1-4 tablets at different times.  Cell phones and tablets are ios and android. Computers are Windows XP, 7, and 8.1. some are cabled, some wireless. I don't know enough about this as to know if there is a print server? or other device that will work as I would like it to. Replacing the printer isn't an option since this printer operates well  and isn't what I would consider a throw away. Any help or ideas are surely welcome.



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#2 smax013

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:11 AM

Do you use the other functions, in particular the scanning?

If so, then that may limit options.

There are two basic options: 1) enable printer sharing on the computer the printer is currently connected to; and 2) buy some sort of network device (the list includes a new router, a NAS device, or a stand alone printer server device) that connects the printer in essence directly to the network. There is actually a third option (but a new printer), but you said that was not an option for you.

The first option has the advantage of being free (no need to buy any new hardware), but the downside is that you would need to leave the computer the printer is connected to running all the time (or at least any times you want the other computers to be able to print to it). The other positive is that it would still be easy to scan things.

The second option does not require a computer to be on all the time, but will cost you some money. You it will also be difficult to keep the scanning function operational if not impossible...at least without temporarily hooking the printer back directly to a computer.

The other question is do want/need to print from any of the phones or tablets. You did not specifically state that, but your mentioning of them suggests that maybe you do.

#3 lakefever

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:33 AM

I do want the option to print from any of the phones or tablets. Option 1 or 2 will work but I'm not clear on how I get an iPhone or android device to print through the desktop. We have one computer that is on 24/7.   The printer is currently connected to the network by cable and I can print from computers that I can download drivers onto. Of course that isn't possible with ios or android.



#4 CaveDweller2

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:57 PM

So your real question is, how do I print from my iOS and android devices? since you print just fine from the computers. There's an app for that

 

for iOS - http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smartphones/how-to-print-to-a-non-airprint-printer-with-ios/ - is one

 

for android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.jsecurity.printbot - is one

 

I have not used either of these so I can not say if they work well or not. But you get the picture....find an app that works =)


Edited by CaveDweller2, 06 March 2014 - 12:58 PM.

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#5 smax013

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:58 PM

There are two basic ways to print from an iOS device or Android device to a printer.

The first requires a "compatible" printer. For iOS, this would be a printer that can make use of AirPrint (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4356?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US). For Android, this would require the printer that can make use of Google Cloud Print (http://www.google.com/cloudprint/learn/printers.html). The third way is if the printer has some sort of generic Internet printing option (for example, I know that some network connected HP printers can be setup to have their own email addressyou then can sent things to be printer to that email address). Basically, you will need to check to see if your printer supports any of these options. If not, then you are "forced" into the second way.

The second way is with a third party solution. This will require a program to be running on your computer and may also require a app on the phone or tablet. The idea is that you install a "server" program on the computer. That "server" program then does the "translating" between the printed content from the phone or tablet into something that the printer can understand. There are two basic types of "server" programsone that works with the built-in printing functionality of the phone or tablet (i.e. AirPrint in the case of iOS and Google Cloud Print in the case of Android) or the second type that also requires a third party app on your phone or tablet. This is method that CaveDweller2 talked about. As he noted, there are LOTS of different apps for this. FWIW, for this option, it will require the computer with the "server" software to be on anytime you want to print something from a phone or tablet.

#6 lakefever

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:11 AM

  • Thank you to all for the responses with suggestions and answers.





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