I actually tried a print server about five years ago and it worked terribly, but now I’m willing to give it another shot as I really want our Canon i9900 to work on network. If you can believe it, here is actually an entire web site that covers just Printer servers called “Print-server-reviews.com”:http://print-servers-reviews.com. The main thing is that those reviews are a little old and Pricegrabber has a good list of the “popular”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/print-servers/p/2036/ print servers.
We have two printers, an HP 4250 and a Brother which have an internal print server, while a little expensive, they definitely work. The current state of the art are wireless print servers http://www.print-server-reviews.com/print-server-guides/wireless-print-server-guide.html which use wifi, so you can literally put your printer anywhere in your house. That’s kind of cool. The only thing is they are kind of expensive, so if you have a wired ethernet, get the el cheapo wired print server.
The main thing is that the consumer oriented network guys really make stuff that is quite flakey, so caveat emptor. The Linksys PSUS4 has a USB port for the printer plus four network ports. Here are some good choices according this site through their reviews, http://www.print-server-reviews.com/print-server-reviews/print-server-reviews.html
* “HP Jetdirect en3700”:http://www.shopping.hp.com/scat/storefronts/printer_networking/external_print/2/storefronts. This is $300 list b ut support USB 2.0 and works with the Macintosh. “Futurehardware.in”:http://www.futurehardware.in/512990.htm has a good review of this and says you should make sure you are using V28 firmware. It streets for $300, but you can get it off of eBay for $70 or so and “Pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/print-servers/m/1695494/sort_type=bottomline has it for $181 from a reputable reseller.
* “HP Jetdirect ew2400”:http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/storefronts/printer_networking/wireless_print/4/storefronts/J7951G%2523ABA this is $200 and uses 802.11bg and works with the Mac
* “HP JetDirect 310x”:http://www.print-server-reviews.com/print-server-reviews/hp-jetdirect-310x-usb-print-server-review.html this is expensive at $200 and only has USB 1.1, but it does support the Macintosh and I’m sure is more likely to work than no name print servers. Its nice it support Apple Talk and also that it works with various forms of Unix.
* “Linksys WPS54gu2”:http://www.print-server-reviews.com/print-server-reviews/linksys-wps54gu2-wireless-usb-print-server-review.html This thing is just about everything in terms of features. It is $100 and has an older parallel and USB 2.0 interfaces plus a single wired port. It also support 108.11bg
* “Linksys PSUS4”:http://www.print-server-reviews.com/print-server-reviews/linksys-psus4-usb-print-server.html is the printer server to get if you don’t need wifi. It include a 4 port ethernet switch and is just $50. Biggest issue is they don’t formally support Macs. “Pricegrabber Reviews”:http://reviews.pricegrabber.com/print-servers/m/1255040/ shows it to be just a terrible product though. Main thing is that it won’t work with the Mac.
* “Linksys PPS1UW”:http://www.print-server-reviews.com/print-server-reviews/wireless-usb-print-server-linksys-etherfast-pps1uw.html This actually requires a separate WPC11 wifi card in order to be completely wireless. One major point of confusion is only the WPC11V3 works, not the V4, so be careful. Otherwise it has nice specs, $70 for USB Print Server but you won’t know if your printer works with it until you buy it 🙁
* http://www.print-server-reviews.com/print-server-reviews/hp-jetdirect-175x-usb-print-server-review.html It is $120 list with a USB 1.1 port, so a bit slow and doesn’t support Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) which is pretty standard now a days as is USB 2.0
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