Is a print server really worth it in a home environment

Posted on 2006-04-09
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have Windows XP home and pro.  I have a couple of printers I want to share in a 4 system wireless network.

One of the printers is a multi purpose printer that is almost impossible to configure using a Print Server.  So, just to make things simple, cant I just do a share printer on the network and let all systems access it.  Then, I can do the scan copies printer on the multipurpose printer (that were not available when it was behind a print server)

The printing is not sensitive in nature.  Rather, it is mostly my kids and their school stuff.  I put them behind a print server orginally because my cousin said they were more secure behind the PS (but then that blew away the multi function capibilities).  

Question by:bob733
    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    Only real advantage to a print server is that you don't need the PC switched on that the printer is connected to.

    As you have discovered the only way to get the best out of a multifunction printer is to connect it to a PC and share it.

    Forget the print server.
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    MFP's are not easy to share with a print server.

    You can install a MFP directly on your computer while connecting it with USB or LPT.
    And after a successful installation you can change from within the printer driver the source of location (port) from USB/LPT to a TCP/IP address.

    Printing always works this way but faxing and especially scanning can be a issue.

    Some MFP’s have a scan-to-email functionality so you can email your scanned copies.

    What type of printer do you use?

    Author Comment

    HP 5500 series  and it is a bear to configure for MFP.   I am going to bag the Print Server (there goes 100 bucks down the tube) and direct connect it to my main system and share it on the network (so the kids can use up my ink after they have used up theirs on their own printer)
    LVL 14

    Assisted Solution

    all correct; literally...

    It does become a question of need and how that need is answered.  If you have a bunch of PCs at home that everyone uses to print on a daily basis; then the cost and need is justified.  If you print once a month from a random computer, well... then it may not be.  

    My situation is the latter, and I have 2 networked printers; 1 HP L4, and a Konica Minolta color printer.  The HP is 10 years old, I haven't finished using the second toner cartridge I've brought for it.  The Konica; I've only printed on 3 separate occassions and one of them was the test print.  It was dog-gone nice and convienent when I needed it.  So it wasn't cost effective for me, but I like it especially in a pinch...


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