Share printer between multiple computers

March 19, 2011 at 09:00:41
Specs: Windows Vista
I need to hook up the three notebooks to one printer and one scanner. What will I need to do this?

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#1
March 19, 2011 at 09:27:14
You can share the printer with the other computers by connecting the printer to one of the computers, setting it up and configuring it as a shared printer. The other two computers to use this printer over the netwrok with the first computer effectively acting as a print server. This is a assuming that the three laptops are connected in a local area netwrok.

That is the quick and easy way. You could purchase a printer server and connect that to your netwrok if you have one.

You cannot do this with the scanner though. The difference is that the printer is an output device, the scanner is an input device.

Stuart


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#2
March 19, 2011 at 11:15:25
While I agree with Stuart for the most part I would state that IF you have a network capable scanner or all in one printer you can use it for multiple computers. How convenient it would be is another issue. The link below is an example.

http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/...

You could also setup a print server instead of using one of the laptops. How convenient it would be depends on how you intend to use the scanner.


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#3
March 19, 2011 at 12:07:39
Ok so what if the scanner is a separate device like the printer and there is only one scanner available. Is it possible to hook up the three notebooks to the scanner like with the printer using the one notebook as the server?

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#4
March 19, 2011 at 12:16:05
Think about it for a minute. You will need to physically go to the server laptop to perform the scan. Once you have done that you can share the results with any computer on the network.

Scanners are pretty useless by themselves. You need productivity software to use them fully. That software most likely can only be installed to one computer.

Anytime you make a computer a server it must be available (on) any time the others need to use the devices that are connected.


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#5
March 20, 2011 at 11:04:49
Then maybe buy another laptop and that one will act as the printer server and scanner server for the other three. Will I need wireless adapters for this to work?

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#6
March 20, 2011 at 11:20:58
You will need some kind of netwrok connection between the computers, wired or wireless it makes little difference. Wired would be more reliable unless portability is required. It would be a lot cheaper to buy a print server that is designed to do the job.

A print server and three computer connected through a four port switch will do the job at a fraction of the cost a new laptop.

Even if you do connect the scanner to this new computer you will still have to got to that computer to do the scan. You cannot scan from a remote computer to a scanner connected to another computer.

Stuart


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#7
March 20, 2011 at 11:53:36
I would go for the wired but I do not like wires all over the place where I might trip over them. I am only dealing with $100 so I need the most cost effective way of doing this. So I will need a wireless router, a broadband connection, wireless adapters, a print server and a scanner server,and the four port switch.

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#8
March 20, 2011 at 12:20:36
Basically yes. If you buy a wireless router it will have a four port switch built in so you can eliminate that. You would only need a broadband connection of you wanted to have Internet connectivity.

I would consider having at least one of the computers wired to the wireless router. It makes setting up and maintaining the router a whole lot easier.

Stuart


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