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Options for remote printing.

Bugsy

FPCH Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
56
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#1
Hello.

I have a Dell Inspiron 530 running Vista and an Epson Stylus Photo RX620 all-in-one printer sitting next to it. All is working happily (after downloading Vista drivers!)

However, the Epson is not a compact or handsome beast so I wish to confine it to another room. I'm looking at my options for doing this and would welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

Oh, the as-the-crow-flies distance will only be around 15m, but a wired solution would be around 25m. My computer has a Broadcom 802.11g thingy (not used at the mo') and an Ethernet connection (connected to broadband modem), as well as the other usual stuff.

So far I've found the following possibilities:

1) Use a wireless printer server which will have a USB connection for the printer. The printer will plug in this unit and will then happily communicate with my computer's 802.11g thing.

Problems with this are: they seem to cost one arm and one leg - £60+ - which is completely stupid for what they contain and do. I'd happily buy 2nd hand except few seem to work with Vista, and those that do - with updated software - have a lousy reputation for reliability and can also be a nightmare to set up. Also, not all will work 'both ways' - ie: send scanned info back to the computer.

This would, however, be my preferred solution.

2) Connect lots of USB cables together with a 'booster' (or whatever they are called) every 5m or so - I understand this is essential? Sounds overly complicated and I don't like the idea of 4 or 5 booster devices sitting consuming power and getting warm up in my loft eaves...

3) Go the Ethernet route. For this I would need an Ethernet-to-USB adaptor at the printer end, and would also need to do something similar at the computer end as my Ethernet port is currently used for my broadband modem (and I hate wireless broadband having seen the slowness and hassle with other peeps.)

Anyone know of a good value wireless unit that would do the job, or how would I go about the wired solution?!!

Many thanks in anticipation.
 

Tootech

FPCH Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,618
#2
If someone asked me to do this for them, as paid work I'd not do it any of those ways.

You've pointed out all the shortfalls I would have thought of - whichever way you do it will cost a fair amount of cash, and it may or may not work.

I'm aware of minimal printing functions using some print servers also.

I'd hook up a wireless router, and buy a wireless printer. That way it will work, no question. All functions will work and the investment you make will be worthwhile.
 

Bugsy

FPCH Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
56
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#3
Hi Tootech.

Thanks for the prompt reply.

I appreciate the reluctance you'd have in doing this as a professional job - you know the weird risks and problems involved and the last thing you want is days of de-snagging what should have been a straight forward task!

Having also set up a proper wireless printer for my nan, I can confirm your suggested route works - although even that gave me a few 'not connecting' moments.

Cost is an issue, and a new wireless printer with a similar photo and scanning quality of my current aio would be prohibitively expensive.

I'm happy to go the 2nd-hand route with the network components, tho', and therefore take some risks and spend some time sorting it out.

On this basis, any ideas what a decent wireless print server would be? Or what I would require if going the wired route (running the actual cable itself is not a major problem)?

Thanks.
 

Tootech

FPCH Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,618
#4
If pushed, this is what I'd do.

Buy a wired Epson print server, USB to ethernet. Buy a cheap router, doesn't have to be wireless.

Connect up the print server to printer using a USB cable, connect your Internet and computer to the router.

Run an ethernet cable from the router to the print server.

Buy Epson because you can check compatibility.

Buy a router because really you need a local area network with DHCP - your broadband modem does not work in exactly the same way.

Print server is here - there are a few on ebay at a reasonable price

Welcome to EPSON UK Ltd
 

Bugsy

FPCH Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
56
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#5
Thanks Tootech - not just for the info, but for delivering it so clearly!

I shall explore that option in more detail. A further Q if I may - my single Ethernet port is being used for my broadband modem - would I need to change that to, say, wireless (using my 802.11g thingy) so as to free up the ethernet port, or are there other options?

Cheers :)
 

Tootech

FPCH Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,618
#6
If would be useful if you can confirm your internet supplier, and that you do have cable broadband.

Leave your wireless connection to one side - you don't need it using this solution.

Have a look at this

Linksys by Cisco EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 4-Port Switch BEFSR41

Its an example of a 4 port wired router, basically your cable modem (which is what you have I believe) plugs in to one port of the router. Your computer also plugs into the router. You then can connect to the Internet as usual.

The print server ethernet cable would also plug into the back of the router. That would allow you to connect from your computer to your printer.

Using a router in that way creates a local area network that you can connect other computers and equipment to, and also allow Internet access.

Also, doing it that way means you can pick up a cheap cable router from ebay.
 

Bugsy

FPCH Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
56
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#7
That's brilliant, Tootech.

My broadband ISP is TalkTalk, and I do have a cable modem - a SmartAX MT882 - which all works well.

So, I'd need a router like the one you linked to - computer ethernet plugs in, SmartAX modem plugs in, and then I can run a looong ethernet cable to my printer and use a USB print server there to adapt the ethernet to USB for my printer?

An ethernet cable can run 25m+ with no problems?

Thanks!
 

Tootech

FPCH Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,618
#8
100 metres for 10/100 ethernet, which is what you will use.

I'd go for a Netgear router, rather than a Linksys - the Linksys was just an example.

Cable routers have 1 ethernet in and 4 ethernets out.
 

Bugsy

FPCH Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
56
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#9
Absolutely brilliant help - really appreciated!

Thanks and best wishes.