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reliable way to print to remote offices w/o VPN

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Is there a reliable way to share printers w/o a complicated mess?  Maybe a printer with an onboard printserver that is designed to be on the public internet?
We have alot of remote offices.  we want to put printers in some of them, and print to them from the main office.  It needs to be up anytime the remote internet connection  is working.  it needs to be somewhat secure.  the print data is not sensative.
These are very small offices w/o any technical people.  The offices are to small to put in a hardware VPN. they used a vpn client to get email etc..
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Question by:Eric
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by:mikey1h
ID: 24102481
You could either replace your routers in the local offices with one that has a built in print server, or buy new printers that support IP capabilities.      The former is much less cost and time consuming as you only need a $100 router instead of buying new printers.   The printer you are currently using will plug directly into the router and you configure the setup from there.     the latter option is better if you need longer cable runs rom the router to the printer as it uses standard network cable.   In this scenario you must configure the printer with an IP on the LAN, and then set up port forwarding in your router to direct traffic to the printer.     Don't forget, in either circumstance you are either going to need a static IP from your isp or a service such as DynDNS to direct your print jobs to, otherwise, the printer will stop working everytime your internet IP address changes at the remote location
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by:Eric
ID: 24102585
I need to buy printers anyway.  I prefer printers with a internal NIC. much simpler solution.

I dont want to deal with special routers etc.. these are dsl/cable type access. some of them already have isp provided hardware.  if i were to port forward the printing port i guess that couldwork if its efficent for WAN speeds.
I would have to restrict access so some jerkoff on the internet dont print to it.
this is an ok solution.  It involves more admin overhead than i wanted.
i was hopeing for a magical solution. :o
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mikey1h earned 500 total points
ID: 24102627
Sorry, but without VPN, this is the best solution I can offer you.    When you look at printers, check to see, some of the internet based printers DO offer an option to have to enter a password, or can define permissible prints to only certain computers/mac addresses
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