Answer Best answer as chosen by user ubercool23
Use a $55-$80 print server to free your printer from a PC or
All the given solutions are based on a PC (or Mac) serving as a host to the printer. Print request from everyone in your office will go through this computer, slowing it down when there is a rush of printing jobs, like maybe at the end of the day. This makes the printer-connected PC unreliably slow for the person using it as a workstation. By the same token, if that same person starts a large upload to or download from Cloud Storage, or accepts an application or security software update, printing for everyone else will seriously slow down.
For about $55 to $80 you can get a dedicated print server that plays the part of the computer otherwise attached to the printer, and now every computer in your office can send jobs to the printer (now configured as a network printer), and the only bottleneck is the buffer size and speed of your printer. You connect your printer to your network, through an ethernet cable or Wifi.
An additional setup for your office computer is that the printer device driver has to be installed on everyone of your office computers. They would each format your document for the printer before sending it to the dumb print-server. In the PC-attached printer approach, that poor PC was doing it for everyone. The person doing the large print job pays the cost in PC slow-down himself/herself. It's only fair.
I've used such small print servers before. A search on Amazon tells you that brand name doesn't guarantee satisfaction. Read the reviews. However, if you leave the network setup on the previously printer-attached computer alone and name your new network printer by a different name, you have the ability to switch back to the old way just by connected the printer to the old computer USB(or printer) port instead of the print server's USB(or printer port). When your printer is connected through the PC, your network printer will appear to be offline. When it's attached to the print-server, your network printer will appear to be offline. An additional advantage of a print server is that they are so dumb they are not affected by virus.
These print servers are small and usually come with only one kind of printer port. Make sure you buy the right one for your printer.
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