How to make a wireless print server out of your computer

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Get ready to clear off some excrescent wires in your office. In this article, you will discover an easy way to squeeze your cabling costs by making your printer accessible for any networked machine through the use of a wireless print server. We tested software and hardware solutions, so now we can tell you all about them.

Apps that turn your PC into a wireless network print server

Using the right software app grants you remote access to all sorts of USB peripherals through whatever network you have. Once you’ve installed FlexiHub on your machines, you can use any of them to make the most of your printer’s performance potential. Plus, it’ll just take you a few clicks to gain complete remote control over every single one of your USB devices to browse its contents and fully operate all its features. So basically, with FlexiHub, you get more than any of those hardware USB wireless printer servers will ever have to offer.

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 78+ users
FlexiHub is a professional-grade software solution specially designed to grant you remote access to your printer over the Internet. No extra hardware is needed.
FlexiHub

And it’s no matter which operating system you have on your office and home PCs, or if they are the same or not as FlexiHub is truly a cross-platform solution. There are versions for MS Windows (from 2000 and higher up), Linux, macOS, and Android that are totally intercompatible.

How to turn your PC into a wireless print server

1
Go to FlexiHub’s official web page and create your personal account to start a free demo period.
 Register a FlexiHub account
2
On a machine directly linked to your printer, get the correct FlexiHub version, and wait until the installation process is successfully completed. Then, run the app, log into your FlexiHub account, and click Share next to your printer’s name.
 log into your flexiHub account
3
Repeat the previous step on each remote machine you want to operate your printer from up to the point after you’ve launched the app. Here you click Connect, instead of Share.
 USB wireless print server
4
From then, your printer appears in the remote machine’s Device Manager. You’ll be able to operate it in the very same way as if it was directly linked to it, independently from the physical distance.

An alternative software solution for your network printer server

There is one more simple and effective way to avoid having to splash out on a hardware Wi-Fi print server. A software tool called USB Network Gate has a set of functions similar to FlexiHub, so you can use it to make your printer accessible from other machines in your network. Put simply, the computer that has your printer attached to it will function as a network print server for a USB printer.

network printer server

With USB Network Gate, you can operate your printer remotely through your local network (both wired and wireless) and the Internet. And more than that, you can use this app to redirect a USB printer (or any other USB peripheral for that matter) to your RDP virtual machine.

When Is a Print Server Best?

It has to be noted that wireless print servers for USB printers is no more a leading-edge concept and yet it does not detract from its utility value. If you’ve experienced one (or more) of the scenarios listed below, you should definitely consider setting up a network print server.

  • Heavy printing workload: there is a compelling need to print multiple files all at once and/or routinely accomplish a massive print job.
  • Safety is the key: it’s always nice to have some extra tools like printing access privileges and authorization rules.
  • Limited hardware resource: there’s no need to overload your machines with print jobs cutting down their performance.
  • Printing jumble is absolutely unacceptable: you want full centralized control.
  • Necessary separation: sometimes, it’s a good idea to mark off your printing environment from the office network.

The benefits of the software method

For all undisputed strong points of external print server gadgets, it can’t be denied that software tools have much more to offer when it comes to sharing USB peripherals through the network. So here’s what you gain choosing a software app as your networking print server:

  • Unlimited access distance: it's identically easy to operate a printer in the next room and halfway around the globe.
  • All-encompassing device support: works for all types of USB peripherals, plus some COM-based devices (an exclusive feature of FlexiHub for Windows).
  • Hypervisor compatibility: works for any popular virtualization environment including VMware ESXi, Hyper-V, and VirtualBox, so you can use a printer during your VM sessions.

Hardware wireless network print servers

So what is a wireless print server when it comes to hardware tools? Typically, it’s a small gadget meant for making a USB printer accessible from all over your local network. Meaning, you can send a print job from any networked machine and not have to worry about cable length affecting your printer’s positioning. Just place it wherever you like.

A USB to Ethernet print server device can save you the trouble of having to reattach your printer every time you need to use it from another PC. Plug the printer into the device’s USB port, and it will instantly become remotely accessible through the network. For those preferring wireless networks, the best option would be a Wi-Fi printer server.

USB network print server

How does a USB print server work?

Every Wi-Fi print server device has an onboard wireless module you can use to share a device through the network without having to bother with wires. The only two cables you need is a standard USB to attach the printer, and a feed cable to power the print server. After you’ve attached those, the device is ready to go. Most commonly, you can tell the device status by LED indicator: green is for Active mode, and red is for Standby mode.

Frequently asked questions
Use your printer’s USB port to attach it to a Wi-Fi USB print server device. In such a way, you can send print jobs from your laptop without having to physically link it to the printer. Alternatively, you can use dedicated software (s.a. FlexiHub) to share the printer through your home or office network.
Print servers, also known as printer servers, are compact gadgets intended for linking up printers to PCs through local networks. Whenever you send out a print job, it goes to the printing server and from there gets assigned to a specific printer.

FlexiHub

Requirements : Windows 7/8/10, Server 2008 R2/2012/2016/2019
Size: 6.99MB
Version: 4.1.13108 ()
User rating: (4.8 based on 78+ users)