How to connect computer to a large network printer

Posted on 2011-05-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
     This might seem like a very elementary question but what is the most efficient way to connect any computer to a network printer (I have a Dell Precision 690 and want to connect it to a HP 8150 with a network cable connection.jet direct card installed)? I have a Jetdirect EX Plus3 print server but am unsure how this works. It has 3 standard printer ports on the back and a network port. Now, is the network port an input or an output, or both? And the 3 printer ports-are they inputs, outputs, or both? Is the Jetdirect made to connect 3 computers via their printer cables to one network printer or to a network of printers via cat 5- or one cat 5 network cable as an input out to 3 seperate printers? And I have always been a little confused with the Jetdirect connection on the 8150-since the only network connection I have on the computer is where I plug the Internet cable from the router into. Should there be a usb to server to printer connection, a computer network card to jetdirect card connection, or a printer port to server to network card connection? What is the most correct way to do this? Can I use this print server by connecting the computer via  standard printer cable to one of 3 ports on the print server as an input and use the network connection as an output from the server to the jetdirect card in the printer or would this be connecting this up backwards? Thanks!
Question by:greywolf01
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Okay how this works is that the ethernet cable connects from the data drop to the JetDirect and then from the JetDirect to the Printer is either via parallel or USB cable.
    When you first hook this up, there is a test button on the JetDirect card.  Press this and it will print what the IP address of the JetDirect card.
    If the IP address is on a different subnet then what you are on, the easiest way to do this is to change the IP address of your PC to something on the same subnet and then put in the IP address of the JetDirect into a web browser.  Go to the configuration settings and then change the IP address of what you want it to be then click the OK or Apply button on that screen.
    Count to 10 and close out of the web browser.  Change the IP address of your PC back to what it was.
    Now to add the printer.  
    Go through the standard adding of a printer.  Even though this is a network printer, according to Microsoft it is a local printer because you will be creating an IP port.
    When you select the port, select create port and then select Standard TCP/IP.
    for the IP address just put in the IP address of the JetDirect card and it will prefill in a port name which is fine.
    It will then ask what type of network card it is and you will select a JetDirect 8150 (or JetDlirect 3 port) and then you will select which port your printer is in (port 1, 2 or 3)
    Then it is just normal adding of a printer.
    A few more steps but that is how you do it.
    Kelly W.

    Author Comment

    OK, I may have questions on the technical software things before I am done,but what I don't completely understand is the most efficient way to connect the HARDWARE first as I have a network cable input on the printer and only USB and printer ports on the computer. What is the MOST EFFICIENT way to get from the computer to the printer and through which ports?

    Author Comment

    In other words, I have one input from network to the computer which is from the router. Do I need a separate network card such as a PCI type card to output to the printer, can I go from the USB to some device with a ethernet out to the printer, or from the parallel port on the computer to some device with an ethernet out to the printer? I know this sounds elementary but I am not up on networking at all-Thanks!

    Author Comment

    K. Wilke:
         When you talk about a data drop, exactly where and from what equipment is that coming from? How does it connect to the computer? Would somebody please answer this for me? Thanks.
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    No you will need to connect the computer to a switch and the printer (jetdirect ethernet) to the same switch.
    The printer does not attach to the computer at all, if you want to use the JetDirect card.
    If you want the printer to attache to the computer then it would be a USB or parallel cable from the printer straight to the PC.
    Thank you,
    Kelly W.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks alot!

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