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USB Print Server

The most convenient way to get all your office print jobs done in the quickest and unstrained way possible is via a USB print server. From this article, you’ll find out what a print server is and how does it work. Plus, we’ll go over the most popular methods of sharing a device over Ethernet with both hardware and software methods.

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how does a print server work

How does a print server work?

Basically, a USB print server is a device you can use to provide all the office machines with access to your printing unit. First, you link the printer up with a print server’s port, then connect your computers over the Ethernet to the USB print server. In some cases, you may also need to install some additional software. USB Network Gate

One of the best things about an Ethernet USB print server is that it’s completely independent of any network PC, and, in fact, works like a small computer itself. This ability helps to not overload the user’s work environment.

One more thing you should keep in mind selecting a hardware print server is the maximum number of USB or serial devices it supports. A standard hardware print server is able to share from 1 to 4 serial devices at a time, so if you need to provide remote access to more devices simultaneously, it’s better to consider the software method.

Software solution for USB print server

As it doesn’t seem possible to share an unlimited number of USB or serial peripherals with a hardware print server, you may try the software method to achieve this.

USB printer over the Ethernet
30-day demo period

One of the key advantages of the program is that it lets you share not only printers but USB or serial devices of any other type, including keyboards, hard drives, cameras, etc. What is more, with the software you get the ability to choose the number of devices that will be shared. On top of that, using the Linux version, you can easily turn your Raspberry Pi into a USB print server.

How to set up a print server for usb printer

1
Create a FlexiHub account and pick the plan with the required amount of connections.
 Register a FlexiHub profile
2
Install the application on the server computer that has a USB printer connected to it.
 Download Flexihub
3
Open the software and log into your FlexiHub account.
 Login flexihub
4
Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the computer that will connect to a USB printer over IP.
 Serial device over IP
5
In the list of USB ports available for connection, locate the required one and click “Connect” next to it
 Connection

Turning your PC into a print server for USB printers

Another good software option that can function as a USB print server is USB Network Gate. USB Network Gate

An ability to share USB port devices via LAN only is its greatest advantage over FlexiHub, which requires Internet access all the time. What is more, USB Network Gate allows redirecting USB devices to virtual machines and blade servers. Sharing USB devices over RDP protocol is USB Network Gate's another main feature, which makes it easy to access local devices while working in the RDP session.

Pros and cons of the software method

Here are some benefits FlexiHub and USB Network Gate offer:

  • The software is an all-in-one approach for LAN, Ethernet, WI-FI, and the Internet.
  • Cross-platform solutions: FlexiHub and UNG are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • The apps are capable of sharing virtually any USB or serial device.
  • All connections created with FlexiHub are absolutely secure, thanks to the data encryption option.
  • USB network Gate software allows providing USB for remote desktop with nothing more than a couple of clicks

Cons:

  • FlexiHub and UNG has to be installed on all computers involved in the communication

Share a USB printer by using a hardware solution

The USB 10/100 Mbps network printer hub is a very popular Ethernet-to-USB printer server solution you can use to share a USB printer with everyone in your office or home. It’s a small piece of equipment that fits in the palm of your hand but offers big benefits. Using this device saves the hassle and expense of providing a printer for each user.

print server

Besides being small and lightweight, this print server is easily installed using remote access and its intuitive wizards. Your printer does not need to be directly connected to your workstation. You can locate it anywhere and operate it through a web browser interface.

You only need two cables to complete the installation of the print server. A USB cable is used to link the hub and the printer’s USB port, and an RJ45 cable connects the server to the router, making your printer accessible for remote users.

Frequently Asked Questions

USB print server is a hardware device that makes it possible to access a non-networked printer from any computer connected to a local network. That means, any local network user can send print jobs to a printer from their computer as long as the printer is attached to a print server and shared across the network.
The method of connecting to the network, modern print servers are generally divided into two types - wired and wireless ones. At the same time, connection to the printer can be done via a serial or USB port.

It is also worth noting that a wireless print server connects to the local network over Wi-Fi. That means, in this case a printer can be located anywhere in the room.
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