Connecting 2/4 computers to 1 printer?

  spuds 13:18 28 Dec 2010

Having had a few problems recently with my computer set-up. I am now seeking advice on the simplest way of connecting 2 to 4 computers to 1 printer.

I can go wireless, but would prefare going cable.

XP Home and Pro on computers. USB on printer.

  bremner 13:20 28 Dec 2010

Do you already have the printer, if so does it have an ethernet connection?

  bremner 13:20 28 Dec 2010

.....and do you have a router with available ethernet ports

  spuds 14:01 28 Dec 2010

Bremner, thanks for the prompt response.

Printer doesn't have ports but router as 4 (1 in use to another computer).

  bremner 15:44 28 Dec 2010

Using a print server like this click here will let you connect your USB printer to your Router which will then be accessible to ant computer on your network.

  hastelloy 15:47 28 Dec 2010

You need click here. It will connect up to 4 pcs with up to 4 USB devices. I happen to have one which won't work with W7. I used it with 2 pcs (XP Home and Pro) and 2 printers for some time. If you are prepared to pay the postage, I'll happily send it to you. You can pm me if you are interested.

  Batch 16:52 28 Dec 2010

As long as you are prepared to have the PC that the printer is connected to whenever you want to print, just install the printer as a directly conncted printer on that PC and install the printer as a network printer on the other PCs.

  bremner 17:02 28 Dec 2010

With the limitations on the maximum length of USB cables (without repeaters) Ethernet is by far the best option.

  spuds 21:02 28 Dec 2010

Thanks everyone for the help and advice, and the very generous offer from marvin42 (I might still need to hold you to that!).

I think that I will try a the Belkin F1U401, which fortunately I have just won on eBay for £4.50 inclusive,new with warranty from a local retailer, so hopefully I should receive it in the next day or so.

I'll leave this open for now, and return when I have a fixed result.

  hastelloy 10:09 29 Dec 2010

If length of cable is an issue, I think bremner is right. Otherwise the switch you have bought serves the same purpose as mine but will only take 1 peripheral, which is all you want. I hope it works for you as mine did for me. It's just a shame that Belkin don't seem to be adapting for W7.

  spuds 12:51 29 Dec 2010

Thinking about this, as uncovered a couple of further questions.

When you install the Belkin device, do you have to install the software provided with the device on all the computers that you are connecting to the printer.The same applies to the printer software cd, do you need to install this on all the computers, or is it a case of 'add printer'?.

Would also mention that the Belkin device suggest that cable length of 30 feet is acceptable, but I will be using about 2/3 metre lengths.

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