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Network printer with cat5 and aircards for internet access...

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a site that has a network printer, and a router.  The 3 clients all have laptops with Telus aircards.

They need the printer network while still getting internet access with aircard which is clearly another network, and all 3 on their own self contained networks.

How do I allow them to printer internally while accessing the internet with aircards?  I am assuming setting up a routing table somehow?

Thanks experts in advance.
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Question by:savethehumans
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Expert Comment

by:madhatter5501
ID: 36719980
can you set up vpn on your network, I don't think you can be on the two networks at the same time unless the laptops have two network cards, their aircard and another wifi port that would connect to the work network
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Expert Comment

by:Deepu Chowdary
ID: 36719987
yes what madhatter stated is true you cant be on two networks at a same time with single network card installed.
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Author Comment

by:savethehumans
ID: 36720185
The cat5 and aircard(usb) would not be 2 different networks?
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Author Comment

by:savethehumans
ID: 36720186
2 different network cards i meant^
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by:madhatter5501
ID: 36720202
then I think that vpn would be the only option
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by:savethehumans
ID: 36720248
So when you say a VPN....I must be clear that the printer and router are "offline" at a standalone site, hence the aircards.  Are you suggesting creating an internal VPN using the routers internal IP?

If that works then that sounds pretty sinple...I have setup and configured many VPNs, but never thought about taking this route.
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Expert Comment

by:madhatter5501
ID: 36720258
you won't be able to connect to the printer if they are offline.  If you are referring the offline to just being on the other network, then yes I believe the vpn is your best solution.  If you set it up and it's still not working, we can dig deeper into this.
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Author Comment

by:savethehumans
ID: 36720271
I meant the site is offline, they will be "online" through the aircards, and connected to the printer to a router/switch that is only internal.

So am i correct to assume you mean to setup the vpn to 192.168.0.100 or whatever the printer is?
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by:madhatter5501
ID: 36720338
so let me try to understand this

you have the printers that plug into a switch/router that connects to the internet.

The aircards are connected to something like Verizon Wireless / Sprint.

In this case you would need to set up the vpn to point to the public ip which would NAT to the private ip and give you the vpn access, that would assign a second ip to your laptop.  

If that is not the case, I don't think this will work.  you need the second public ip.
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Author Comment

by:savethehumans
ID: 36802940
I have 1 network printer that plugs into a switch/router that plugs into nothing but the 3 laptops.

All the laptops have the wireless USB cards to access the internet.

They obviously want to keep their internet through the cards, while still have the ability to print to the network printer in the room...cat5.
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Assisted Solution

by:madhatter5501
madhatter5501 earned 150 total points
ID: 36804913
you may have to run cables to where they are working to make this work
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Author Comment

by:savethehumans
ID: 36807090
Thats fine they all have the cables ran from the router to their laptops, its a site trailer. they basically want to be able to print locally while they are there.

router will have nothing but a cat5 to printer and 3 cat5 to laptops.

I just know I have tried to setup a local network printer before with aircards and had issues... with the internal and external (ISP issued aircard) IPs conflicting.

Do you still think I should try VPN?  This site is a 3 hour drive so id like to get this hashed out before I head out.  I "thought" a few years ago I did it with routing tables, but honestly forget.
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Expert Comment

by:madhatter5501
ID: 36812666
I'll keep thinking on this...  second air cards are pretty cheap that work through usb, that may be an option if the router is a wireless router?
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Author Comment

by:savethehumans
ID: 36812849
Hmm I think there is a misunderstanding.

An "Aircard" is a wireless phone/data reciever for internet (USB), that connects to the PC to give you internet wherever there is a cellular phone service signal. It has its own IP as issued by the carrier.

Now at this remote site, that doesnt have internet (except for the aircards, which are self sufficient), there is a network printer that my clients want to print to.  So even if they all connected to the router and one shared the printer instead of issuing it an IP...it (the internal subnet) would still conflict with the 3 laptops that all have their own WAN IPs as issued through the aircards.
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David_Ingledew earned 350 total points
ID: 36813945
Use a local wireless, but set the priorities so the Aircards are used for comm's initially?
The alternative is to print via USB - i.e. laptops print to PDF stored on USB, USB plugged into copier?
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Expert Comment

by:David_Ingledew
ID: 36813988
...or just attach up a USB cable...how big is the trailer to run a USB hub behind the printer then run the 3 or 4 cables?
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