Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
Simple and Effective
on 7 November 2010
Having looked for a print server for an ancient, but reliable, LaserJet 5L printer I finally decided to go for the TP-Link. I'd read reviews of other devices saying that they only supported one printer at a time, kept dropping off the network, were complex to setup, so I was a little nervous. I also have a very mixed set of machines, 2 XP, 1 Win 7 and 1 Mac, which also ruled out a number of other models. However, it all turned out to be pretty easy with this piece of kit. You will need a Windows machine (and yes, it supports Windows 7, which was good news). I simply plugged it into the back of the printer, put my network cable in and ran the installation disc. It does say for you to have the IP address of your router handy (it's usually 192.168.x.x and if you don't know it go into the router setup page, or look at the manufacturers website) and it then suggests an IP address for the printer on the network. It sounds complex, but it's really straight-forward. If you already had the printer installed on the machine, it detects it and that is pretty much it. If not (and I didn't), you install it using the 'Add Printer' menu (it says to install it as a local printer and to use LPT1, which works fine).
Setting up the Mac was even easier. The server has AppleTalk built into it, so just hitting the '+' button in 'Printer & Fax' menu brings it up as a printer to add, click on it, job done!
The XP machines were a little more involved, having to add the printer manually. You won't see it under 'network printers', instead you have to configure a port and type in the printer's IP address. Again, it's in the instructions (if a little buried in the manual), but it's simple to do when you know how.
Multiple machines can be on and all access the printer at the same time. There is a web interface where you can access reports such as what jobs were sent to the printer and when and set up detailed and complex parameters if that's your thing.
Print servers can be a little temperamental if you loose your internet connection, or re-boot your modem or router. It survived both.
All in all, simple, effective, cheaper than a lot of other models - what's not to like!