1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

NAS for print serving

Discussion in 'NAS Buying Advice' started by JoeT123, Oct 8, 2017.

Tags:
  1. JoeT123

    JoeT123 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Hi folks,

    I am looking for advice on an inexpensive NAS that can act as a print server.
    This will be for a family member who is not technically proficient at all (I will be setting it up and I am familiar with networking). I do not live in the same city so I am thinking NAS as once set up they are fairly foolproof.

    Current Situation: I have set up an old old Athlon XP machine with 3 printers and 1 scanner to which the printers are shared. Scanning is done from the Athlon XP machine. Family members have laptops which access shared printers. The problem is the computer is big, clunky, and power hungry. The number of printers will usually be 3, may go up to 4 depending on things (they run a small business from home).

    What I want: Ideally an NAS that could handle the scanner and 3 printers. I would be happy with just the 3 printers though, people could hook up to the scanner as needed with a laptop and USB.

    Trouble so far: Whenever I've looked at NAS's they haven't handled multiple printers well often requiring people to use Putty to access a command line and edit files. Given that printers may change and I'm not easily available I don't want that hassle. I just want a box that can handle plug and share easily through a GUI so i can give simple instructions over the phone if necessary.

    Any ideas?

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Please support SNBForums! Just click on this link before you buy something from Amazon and we'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!
  3. JoeT123

    JoeT123 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    So I found something like this:
    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8081
    Pairing that with a low cost NAS may work though it would mean using a second port of the router.
     
  4. degrub

    degrub Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    662
    Don't bother with that type of device. Anything linux based will have very limited driver capability for most printers. A windows machine will have access to current drivers - essentially an update to what you have. You can get a small NUC or similar size machine, set it up with Win 7, lock the OS down, use it the same as today. Or if there are OSX drivers, you could get a mac mini and do the same.

    Stay away from the small "print server" devices. They are problematic at best and have very limited drivers. NASs, unless a windows server, will be similar.
     
  5. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,978
    i've done network printer and scanner using linux before. All you need is a raspberry pi and a usb printer. Setup CUPS for your driverless print server (driverless using default drivers on the client OS as this works with windows too) and xsane for web based scanner (pretty much cheap wifi hp inkjet printers run something like this already) but it lets you use your favourite non networked printers in a networked fashion with only the host requiring printer drivers while the clients dont.

    NAS based printer sharing is not as perfect and same for routers despite routers being linux based.
     
Please support SNBForums! Just click on this link before you buy something from Amazon and we'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!