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Solved: Printer network between two "networks"


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SadieKate's Avatar
SadieKate SadieKate is offline
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10-Mar-2008, 02:42 PM #1
Solved: Printer network between two "networks"
My husband and I each work from home in separate offices using separate DSL lines due to it being separate employers/VPNs but we would like to share an all-in-one printer/fax/etc. We both run Windows XP on our laptops.

My laptop:
Ethernet DSL connection (router has wireless capability)
local HP printer (dinosaur workhorse HP Laserjet 4000n)
Two phone lines (let's call them O-1 and O-2)

His laptop:
Ethernet DSL connection (router has NO wireless capability)
One phone line - O-1 only

How can we share the printer? I really don't understand print routers, but can we share if we have a wireless print router? I've been looking at the HP OfficeJet L7780 has a built in "WiFi 802.11b/g". Could I have the printer on a local cable to my laptop and he print to it wirelessly? Would we do better to get a printer router that both printers can be hooked to? The L7680 is $100 cheaper and appears to only lack the built-in wireless and an extra paper tray. Would I do better with a printer route for both printers and then he can use either one? When you just need B&W, the laserjet can't be beat. Any other ideas or how to's?

I've browsed this site for a while and found it so helpful so I've taken the plunge with my first question.

Thanks
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draceplace   (Dan) draceplace is offline
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10-Mar-2008, 03:19 PM #2
How about a usb cable that reaches both laptops? Then it can be installed as a local printer on each pc. You might fight over it occasionally but lo-tech is sometimes the best way to go.
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10-Mar-2008, 03:28 PM #3
Whatever computer the printer is connected to, just share it out. Then simply navigate to it through the network and install it on the other machine. NOTE, the machine that the printer is connected will act like a print server and must be turned on for any printing to take place on the other machine. Also, why do you have separate DSL lines (just curious)?? You should be able to VPN into both networks from your LAN without the need for separate Internet connections as long as you have a router.
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10-Mar-2008, 03:35 PM #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by draceplace View Post
How about a usb cable that reaches both laptops? Then it can be installed as a local printer on each pc. You might fight over it occasionally but lo-tech is sometimes the best way to go.
Um, let's see. Out the door of my office, down the hallway past a bath, a bedroom doorway and into the far corner of my husband's office. You think 25 yards of cable would be enough to get around the corners? What color cable should I use for the decorative effect?
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10-Mar-2008, 03:36 PM #5
I don't think the HP 4000N has usb but good idea anyway.

Especially when you consider what has to go into place before the two pcs are on the same network to use the same printer.

Do you have router access? That is key for the following configuration.

You connect both routers with a crossover cable between router lan ports
You disable dhcp on both routers
You configure both routers lans to be in the same subnet. You start by assigning router1 ip 192.168.1.1 and router2 192.168.1.2 for example. You then do static ip assignments to the workstations. PC1 would have 192.168.1.10 for ip with gateway 192.168.1.1. PC2 would have ip 192.168.1.20 with gateway 192.168.1.2. This way you each continue to use your own company supplied internet access.

You can then cable to either router a network printer like the 4000N. You assign it a static ip also via the menu. I usually put my printers in the 192.168.1.254 and below range. You then configure ip printing to the hp printer and walla you now have a shared network printer.

edit: I think skinnywhiteboy missed you are on two separate lans and I am assuming two different ip ranges. Until you have made a physical and ip connection you can't "share" the printer.

PS better to run the cable under the house if possible. Straighter run = less cable and no decor to consider.
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10-Mar-2008, 03:42 PM #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnywhiteboy View Post
Also, why do you have separate DSL lines (just curious)?? You should be able to VPN into both networks from your LAN without the need for separate Internet connections as long as you have a router.
Employer billing issues, separate offices and don't like wireless. I download/upload huge docs for one thing and the wireless was just a PITA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnywhiteboy View Post
NOTE, the machine that the printer is connected will act like a print server and must be turned on for any printing to take place on the other machine.
We have laptops because we each travel for business so one or the other may not be available. Will a print router solve this? Or the built-in wireless of the all-in-one?
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10-Mar-2008, 03:57 PM #7
Yes you can either get a router with a built in print server, or a standalone print server. Either one should meet your needs.
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10-Mar-2008, 03:59 PM #8
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Originally Posted by Wanderer2 View Post
I don't think the HP 4000N has usb but good idea anyway.

Especially when you consider what has to go into place before the two pcs are on the same network to use the same printer.
I think I saw somewhere or other a USB adaptor for a parallel cable, though I have no idea if there are huge degradations in speed, data, etc.

Your advice sounds like it would work (and maybe even iggerant little me could follow it), but I'm starting to think the pain and cost of the hardware and cable, and someone to install the wall ports is outweighed by the cheapness of just buying a second printer. I was hoping that through wireless we could do it. Thank goodness we had two dedicated electric circuits installed in my office, but I hate running all the equipment 24/7 since we never remember to turn off anything but the computers.

So if I don't use a printer router, can I just plug the USB cable for a new HP printer into my USB hub and actually get the thing to work? I've had both an HP printer and a Polar IR device inoperable using hubs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer2 View Post
PS better to run the cable under the house if possible. Straighter run = less cable and no decor to consider.
I don't crawl under houses since I don't coordinate with spiders.
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10-Mar-2008, 04:01 PM #9
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Originally Posted by skinnywhiteboy View Post
Yes you can either get a router with a built in print server, or a standalone print server. Either one should meet your needs.
So, I can use this with two networks? One connecting via wireless? It was probably that I forgot about the distinction of router vs server.

Is my pea brain following you?

Last edited by SadieKate; 10-Mar-2008 at 04:17 PM..
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10-Mar-2008, 04:02 PM #10
Along the lines of Wanderer2's suggestion ...

Get a multi-function printer that can connect to the wireless router via ethernet (best) or via wireless.

The PC(s) connected via wireless or ethernet to that router now (after the proper installation procedure) have access to the new printer.

The PC not connected to that router then needs to (also) connect to that router via wireless. Use a manually assigned IP configuration on the PC's wireless connection leaving Gateway and DNS blank. That PC now (after the proper installation procedure) has access to the new printer. It continues to access the internet through its own router as it does today.

The printer connected to your PC (which is connected to the wireless router) can now be shared and the other PC(s) can connect to it.
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10-Mar-2008, 04:04 PM #11
My understanding was that you have one printer connected to your PC, and are considering buying a new multi-function printer. Is that correct?
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10-Mar-2008, 04:12 PM #12
If you're connected to a VPN, you won't be able to access a networked printer on your home network. That's part of the security of a VPN.
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10-Mar-2008, 04:12 PM #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryNet View Post
Along the lines of Wanderer2's suggestion ...

Get a multi-function printer that can connect to the wireless PRINT??? router via ethernet (best) or via wireless.
You don't mean the DSL router, correct?

Yes, the HP 4000n is currently plugged directly into my laptop docking station.

I want to add a 2nd multi-function printer in my office.

My DSL router is wireless and only has my laptop plugged into it.

My husband's DSL router is not wireless, but the lap is wireless-enabled.

I was hoping that we could install the drivers or whatever on my husba'd's laptop so it would see the HP L7780 which has a built in "WiFi 802.11b/g".

Would a print router/server make this possible?
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10-Mar-2008, 04:16 PM #14
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Originally Posted by DoubleHelix View Post
If you're connected to a VPN, you won't be able to access a networked printer on your home network. That's part of the security of a VPN.
It's not a network printer if it is plugged locally into my computer. No one at my company can see the printer sitting in my home office.

And, I can be on my VPN and my husband could still connect to the internet via the wireless function on my DSL router. He just can't get to my VPN.
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10-Mar-2008, 04:27 PM #15
"If you're connected to a VPN, you won't be able to access a networked printer on your home network. That's part of the security of a VPN."

Thanks, DoubleHelix! You are correct, and I had forgotten about the VPNs.

SadieKate, the wireless router I meant is, from your first post, "Ethernet DSL connection (router has wireless capability)." However, my whole post is pretty meaningless because of the VPNs, as DH pointed out. With a VPN you can use a printer connected directly (e.g., parallel or USB) to your PC, but not one that is connected to the network or another PC.
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