Wireless network printing Christmas gift (CostCo) for my sister

Option 4. Buy a Access Point or a writeless router.

Option 5. Bluetooth... more spendy typicaly speaking and less range. Not so popular in America as most of our mobile phones don't have bluetooth enabled. More popular in places like Japan and Finland.

Option 6: wireless usb... I'll have to hunt up the info but rather than a print server... who's job it is to take documents and throw them at the pritner and that's it, wireless usb permits remote keyboards and accessories. Not 100% compatable with everything but good enough for most multifuctional devices.

If you are able, you should at the very least buy a printer with wired networking onboard. There are print servers who's job it is to take a job, then print it, but these don't always work well esp since there needs to be two way communication between the printer and the PC. "I need ink" "I need paper" "I'm broken". There is no real established offical protocal for this.... there should be but there is not. But wired network takes this into account and you can jack a wired network printer into a hub or a access point. Most wifi printers these days offer wired networking as well.

Going with #3 you'll run into issues on $300 to $500 printers as those tend to be all in ones... offering nifty stuff like fax, scanning, and such. While printing is easy enough, scaning would not really be an option unless the software supports it. Going with a network wired or wifi... no problem.

If you are able, consider the wireless router. I'm sure you can connect a PC to a printer over Wifi using I believe Adhavoc but the wireless router allows very liberal placement of the printer, the accesspoint/router and your choice of location for the laptop. As a bonus with a DSL/cable connection that too can be over the wireless. As a bonus in the event the wireless is flacky there is always wire as a backup, easy as pie to hook up.

If your looking for just a printer... i'd look at either the older ip4000R which I don't see at costco, or the ip5200R which I also don't see at costco.

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would be a good place to shop. Note it's clear costco has the ip5200 but not the wireless edition ip5200RUnless you had your heart set on an all in one or a laser these are good printers... $200ish for the ip5200R to the price is modest... cost per page for text very very low, quality pretty dang good, warranty service from my experence top notch. It might be among the more modest priced WiFi printers but should be at the top of anyone's list when considering wireless printing.... unless you want a laser or all in one.

Going all in one you pretty much gotta look HP. Technicaly I'm sure the more spiffy canon models have an option for bluetooth, but any info on this subject would be in Japanese and may not be an option in the states, not that i'm ware. I'm not up on the current HP models so someone else would have to advice you in that area. HP vivera inks are not so fast to dry but on the right papers they are very lightfast. Not a bad choice either. HP tends to have more software.

Reply to
zakezuke
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Big unanswered question here is, is money no object? Because the network-enabled printers are all going to be MUCH more expensive than any parallel/USB printer. Network-enabled printers are by far the easiest solution, but you'll pay dearly for that convenience.

That really only leaves either a wired or wireless print server as an option. And then you get into compatibility issues. So unfortunately, your printer choices may be driven more by compatible, reliable, quality printer servers than the features you desire in the printer. IOW, you may need to investigate the printer server options FIRST before even considering which printer. I've seen some pretty cheap print servers offered at CompUSA lately ($10 after rebate), some wired, some wireless. There may even be dual-mode models so she has more flexibility.

Jim

Reply to
Jim

What are today's wireless home network printing today?

I wish to give my sister in Texas a gift by buying online (probably at

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a printer and having it shipped to her. She has a laptop with a D-Link or Linksys (I forget which) wireless PCMCIA card and wireless router (with four wired ethernet ports) from CostCo of years past that I gave her, hooked to her incoming cable feed.

Assuming the printer will remain stationary but the laptop PC will be used with encryption around house - are these our printer options?

  1. Buy a fully wireless networked printer and set it up anywhere in the house sans wires (excluding the power cord). Then print to it via the laptop PCMCIA wireless card.

  1. Buy an ethernet wired network printer and set it up next to the existing wireless router via a cat5 ethernet cable to one of the wired ports on the wireless router.

  2. Buy a USB printer (no innate network capability) and buy a special box (dunno what it is called) that converts ethernet to USB so that she can print to that special box via the laptop PCMCIA wireless card and that special box will convert the signal to USB into the printer.

Are these our basic options today (assuming CostCo 300 to 500 dollar printers)?

Tony Susa

Reply to
Anthony Susa

Do that one and be done with it.

Duane :)

Reply to
Duane Arnold

One other thing, you should keep it simple as your sister might hate you and spit in your face in the long run for this if it's to complicated or toublesome. :)

Duane :)

Reply to
Duane Arnold

The only time I would recommend wireless printers is if running the CAT5 cable is impossible. In general, wired connections are better, faster, more reliable, less trouble, and easier to setup than wireless.

Yeah, that will work. I setup an HP 5850 wireless injet printer a few weeks ago. The customer had given up due to the complexities of the installation and dragged me in to do the job. It took a while to figure out and get it working. Of course, they had a 2.4Ghz cordless phone next to the printer. When the phone was active, the printer would disconnect and stay disconnected for about 3 minutes until after the call was done. I could tell from the huge blue LED on the top that it had switched from wireless connectivity to ethernet wired connectivity and took its time going back to wireless. I eventually arranged the access point, printer, and cordless phone in a configuration that would not cause disconnects.

Incidentally, some wireless printers call themselves "Print servers". This is not exactly true. It's actually a "print client" in that the wireless part of the printer connects to the wireless access point. In this mode (infrstructure) printing is done from the laptop to the access point and then to the printer, not directly.

The HP 5850 has the ability to go directly from the laptop to the printer using the ad-hoc mode. That works nicely but causes a big problem. Her laptop cannot simultaneously be in infrastructure mode so that it can browse the internet, and in ad-hoc mode so it can print. It's one or the other, one at a time.

Since the HP 5850 has both a wireless and a wired ethernet connection, one would presume that both can be connected simultaneously to an access point or computer. Nope. It's one at a time with only one IP address for the machine (not one for each interface).

That would be what I would recommend. Note that there are external print servers that talk to USB printers that are usually cheaper than the built in ethernet adapters.

It's called a "USB Print Server". Watch out for multifunction printers that have fax, scanning, and printing, in one package. Many of them don't support all these functions over a network. With one of these, it's usually best to purchase the internal ethernet adapter that is made to work with the multifunction printer.

Examples of some USB print servers: |

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|
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|
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are others...

Other people have listed some other options. I don't know exactly what she will be doing with this printer. It could be photo quality or run as a printing press. The requirements are different. In large print quantities, a laser printer is more economical.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

This is why your wired printer suggestion is the only one that the OP should select. Troubleshooting wireless and print servers is terribly difficult over the phone unless both parties have the required expertise.

Q
Reply to
Quaoar

Anthony Susa said the following on 12/14/2005 19:00:

I was sorta in your position last year, but I was looking for a printer for myself. I didn't want to leave my computer running all the time so others on my home network could use my shared printer. I started looking for something that could be our stand-alone home network printer.

Consider the HP6840 because it come with all the interfaces you're wondering about - wired, wireless, USB, even Pictbridge for cameras. That way your sister can figure out what's best for her. Even comes with full-capacity cartridges in the box, not those half-full ones that most printers come with.

I'm happy with mine. It's fast, not too noisy, does a good job with photo printing with the standard cartridges. Also has a built-in web page interface for configuration. List price is $180. Unless things have changed, that's the cheapest printer you'll find with a wired network interface.

I agree with the others about plugging the printer into a router. Wireless, with all the problems you read about here, is just too much bother for most people.

Lance

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Reply to
Lance

The HP6840 comes with BOTH wireless and wired ports so it could do either 1. or 2.

I don't recommend that. Many people report problems with third party printer servers. Frequently they will allow printing but won't send any status info back to the PCs (eg ink level monitoring or paper out doesn't work). If you go this route you need ti check that the printer server supports the printer AND how well it supports the printer (eg does it support the status info).

Reply to
CWatters

It is not that much difference, and is probably cheaper to get a networked printer than a printer with a separate print server. For example, see the DeskJet 6840 with wireless or wired networking for $169 at

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Personally, I bought a Photosmart 2610 all-in-one which I now see available at Costco for $179 - see
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It has similar print specs as the DeskJet 6840 and also includes wired networking, copying, scanning, fax and printing from camera cards directly. I have it set up as you describe - it is connected to my router and I print to it from my wireless laptop.

Regards, Bob Headrick, MS MVP Printing/Imaging

Reply to
Bob Headrick

Assuming that you want to get a color inkjet printer ...

The hp 5850 mentioned by some of the other posters is no longer available. It's been replaced by the hp 6840, which until lists for $169 direct from hp + s/h (at least until this Saturday

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You can probably get it for slightly less at CompUSA, etc. I don't think Costco has it.

This printer can be connected either by wireless b/g or by cat5 cable (but not both simultaneously) or usb. I have one at home which connects in wireless infrastructure mode to my Linksys wrt54g router and one in my wife's office to which she connects in wireless ad hoc mode. Setup of each was quite easy (and my wife -- who has almost zero interest in the details of computer technology

-- easily uses the same laptop to print to both printers without the need to re-configure anything).

However, if I were going to get one of these as a long-distance gift, I'd first download and read the user manual, network guide, and setup guide

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so I could help with the setup over the phone. Between firewall settings (for anything other than the native WinXP SP2 firewall) and encryption passwords, wireless setup can be daunting for the non-technical.

If you get one of these printers, and opt to have it connected via wireless, you should know that (at least on mine) the setup "wizard" only allows you to setup WEP security, even though the printer supports WPA-AES. I found it easier -- for the infrastructure mode connection, where I wanted the highest possible security -- to set it up with no security and then use the printer's "embedded web server" to configure the security appropriately.

I believe the 6840 is also the cheapest Ethernet-capable printer that hp sells. Thus, if you run into interference from 2.4gHz phones or microwave ovens, etc, use your option 2.

As far as I'm aware, network adaptors for printers, either wireless to usb, ethernet to usb, or something like hp's plug-in JetDirect adapters, are in the $80 (and up, sometimes up a lot) range, so take that into consideration when pricing out your potential setup.

Reply to
Lem

Keep it simple, for your sake and for hers, especially if she has to set it all up herself.

Netgear, Linksys, and others all make little boxes that make a printer into a network device. HP and Lexmark make them, too, but overpriced. If the printer is a USB printer, you need a box with USB on one side and Ethernet on the other. If the printer is a parallel printer, then you need a box with a 25-pin parallel connection and an Ethernet port. The modern ones are pretty easy to set up. (I've used a couple of Netgear Ethernet adapters for parallel port printers, and they work acceptably.)

Of course, you could always spring for a printer with networking built-in (altho the cheap HP "networked" printers simply come with a little USB-Ethernet box). Networked printers are typically mid-range laser printers and higher quality inkjet printers, both sturdier business class devices with higher duty cycles.

Reply to
Ben Myers

I took the liberty of putting all the options quoted in this thread in one reply without any prejusice or features, only price if available and where to buy. They are grouped by mfg and in no particular order.

HP 5850 - compusa -older model- hp 6840

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$169 HP Photosmart 2610 AIO Costco $179 Canon IP4000R $150-$180 Buy.com -older model- Canon IP5200R $210 newegg.com

Reply to
zakezuke

The printer we use was $80 but is now discontinued. It is a 5850. It has USB and ethernet wired and ethernet wireless.

We use the wireless so the printer and the router don't have to be close together and no cables to run. It is only 802.11b but that is faster than the printer.

We had to wire it for initial configuration and you just point a web browser to it. The wireless connection has been trouble free.

Reply to
Martin Rogoff

Buy.com has ip4000R for $150ish and $30 rebate if you pick up thei Visa card. It's a great printer. I have it in both USB and wireless modes and it works great. Fast, good quality, very easy to refill (one of the last Canon printers that are like this) and even text on plain paper is perfectly acceptable.

Highly recommended.

DK

Reply to
DK

Yes, I know as I have been on the phone with family members too many times trying to fix computer problems. It's very painful at times when the person on the other end is non technical.

Duane :)

Reply to
Duane Arnold

If you go this route you need to check that the printer server not only supports the printer but also how WELL it supports the printer (eg does it support the ink status info?).

Reply to
CWatters

Agreed. That's why it is generally best to match the brand of the print server with the brand of the computer. AFAIK, HP and Lexmark sell their own brand of print server. Don't know if Epson does. I don't see a lot of Epsons.

.... Ben Myers

Reply to
Ben Myers

On Thu, 15 Dec 2005 04:34:29 +0000, Jeff Liebermann wrote (in article ):

of course, in infrastructure mode you can access internet while printing simultaneously, so this is the obvious solution. I have a wireless hp 1320 bw laser in one room which talks to my wireless access point in another flawlessly, as do all my computers/laptops about the house, so all can print and access the printer simultaneously by wireless (and I can drive music from any computer to three different sets of speakers in different rooms as well).

so I would suggest option 1, provided the wireless network is managed.

Reply to
Simon Dobbs

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