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Network Printer server that supports VPN - is there such an animal?

Posted on 2006-04-04
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Last Modified: 2010-03-19
I need to attach a print server to a printer and have the print server connected to a VPN.
Does anyone know of such an animal, that has onboard support for connecting to a VPN?

Please let me know if I am not being clear.

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:Activar
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by:simonlimb
simonlimb earned 375 total points
ID: 16372610
Do you mean something like this: http://www.ovislink.com.tw/MU9000.htm

BTW: I found this in 10 seconds by typing "print server vpn" into google!  Lots of othe pages to look at also ;-)
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by:Activar
ID: 16372664
I saw that device also. It is much more than a print server and was hoping to hear from someone that has worked with a simpler device.

I could probably go with this device but would like to hear if anyone has experience with something else.

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:Activar
ID: 16372707
To clarify a bit (hopefully) - I want the print server connect to a VPN server like any PC client would. I do not want a router that establishes a VPN tunnel.
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by:giltjr
ID: 16373150
Define "print server" please.  Windows can be a print server, Linux can be a print server, all of the BSD's can be a print server, any Unix can be a print server, and even IBM's mainframe OS's can be a print server.  All of these support connecting to a VPN.

If you mean one of those standalone devices that allow a non-LAN enabled printer to connect to a LAN, then your are going to be out of luck.  I have never seen one, because normally people do not need data encrypted going to the printer.
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by:Activar
ID: 16373216
giltjr,

Thanks for the response.
Based on your reply I may be out of luck because it is just "one of those standalone devices that allow a non-LAN enabled printer to connect to a LAN" that I am looking for.

I simply want a prticular printing resource accessible from a network other than the one it is natively part of.

I'v never seen, nor heard of, one either. I'm going to hold out for a bit longer before I delete the question.
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by:dcsdave
dcsdave earned 375 total points
ID: 16373229
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giltjr earned 375 total points
ID: 16373336
Why not setup a VPN connection between the two networks?

They don't exist, yet, because normally most sites print to a "OS based print server" that then forwards to this device.  The OS based print server if needed can connect to a VPN.  They really don't need the data between the "OS based print server" and the "lan interface device" to be encrypted.
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Author Comment

by:Activar
ID: 16373360
dcsdave,

Thanks for the comment. I don't think this'll work for what I'm trying to accomplish, but thanks.
I'm trying to do some pretty tricky stuff with IPDS over IP printing.

Have you ever done the internet printing thing?
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Author Comment

by:Activar
ID: 16373443
giltjr,

Thanks again for the comment. I have a good understanding of how VPN's and printing works and I would definitely establish the VPN connection at the router level if I could.
Unfortunately I cannot go into more detail than that. I will say that this is NOT some odd hacking exploit.
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by:simonlimb
ID: 16373448
What about this then: www.edimax.com (product quick link PS-1203)
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by:giltjr
ID: 16373475
simonlimb, where do you see that it support VPN connections?
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by:slyskawa
slyskawa earned 375 total points
ID: 16373572
I, personally, wouldn't rule out the VPN router solution.  If you use the vpn router in conjunction with an IP attached printer or jetdirect device, you would be able to have a VPN connection that connects to a VPN server.  You do not have to create a VPN tunnel with a VPN router, you can connect to a VPN server or a VPN concentrator or another VPN router.  

Is your concern that the data would not be encrypted between the router and the printer or that someone would use the other open ports on the router to access  your VPN server.  Proper configuration of the router would prevent other people from using it for anything else.
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Author Comment

by:Activar
ID: 16373690
slyskawa,

That sounds pretty good. I only have experience with routers that connect as a VPN end-point and not as a client.
Do you have a recommendation on the router hardware that would connect to a VPN server as a client?
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by:dcsdave
ID: 16373908
I've never done internet printing .  I always configure VPN connections or RRAS conections to print through.  The idea of internet printing sounds great though.  Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
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Author Comment

by:Activar
ID: 16374117
no problem dcsdave,

I agree it does sound pretty interesting. One of these days when I don't have anything else going on I'll have to try it.
By the time that happens though it will likely be obsolete. :)
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by:dcsdave
ID: 16374259
I hear you loud and clear.  I think we can all agree that there aren't enough days in a lifetime to do the things we would like to with technology.  Good Luck.
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by:giltjr
ID: 16374364
I been doing some research.  Instead of trying VPN what about looking at encrypted IPP?  I have found a few print server devices that support IPP, but I have not found where they specifically state if they support encrypted IPP.

IPP is based on HTTP and  I found a few places that talk about how to setup a OS based print server to supprot encrypted IPP, but nothing yet about a standalone device that supprts it.
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by:Activar
ID: 16741540
Thanks for everyone's input. I'm just splitting the points among contributors.
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