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how to connect printers via lan networking? Answered


Ok I have quite a bit of experience here. There are basically two ways to do this. And since 90% of people use a Microsoft OS I'm assuming you are too. A little background, I'm a Senior Network Administrator for a VERY LARGE bank, you probably use us. I do however use Linux at home and have experimented with MAC's.

1. Hook it up to a computer and share it on the network.

No problem with drivers. You load the driver on the computer you are using to share the printer on the network and it just works. Plus you can share ALL the capabilities of the printer (IE multifunction devices) with everyone on the network.

The computer you have it hooked up to has to be on all the time for anyone else (read computer or any electronic device that can send a print job) to print.

2. Get a small device known as a "Print Server"

Only the small print server and printer have to be powered on to print from any device that can print and is on the network.

In a word... Drivers. Not all the special features of that fancy little whiz bang printer will be available to anyone on the network. So say you have a Multi-Function printer, it can scan, print, fax, copy, call your wife, make an excuse to your boss on why you can't make it into work today, blah blah blah. Well in my experience those extra features are notoriously difficult if even possible to use via a Print Server.

In the corporate world we use HP print servers almost exclusively. But I don't really see any problem with Netgear, or Linksys Print Servers

Oh and there is a third option... only purchase printers that are already network aware. That is the best option and pretty much how big business always purchase a printer.

What network, what OS, which printers?

(Or is this a general homework / essay question?)


First, figure out what operating system you're using. Then go to google and search "add network printer xxxxx", where xxxxx is the name of your operating system.