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printer nic v. hware prnt srvr LPT port

By pwilk ·
Can anyone comment on strengths and weaknesses of connecting a HP Laserjet to a network w/ a RJ45 to printer NIC versus connecting parallel to a print server/ethernet switch ?

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RJ45 is faster

by savatovic In reply to printer nic v. hware prnt ...

Data transfer on network connection is faster than Parallel port connection. This is specially true for heavy duty printers like HP 5Si and Color Laser Printers which need to process large amounts of data.

Besides that connection is easier. With parallel cable, you are limited to cca 5 meters distance between printer and server. You must also have additional power source which is clumsy and ugly. With RJ45 you can install printer anywhere (corridor, locked room etc).

With printer connected to parallel port of Printer Server, you have additional point of failure (printer server and all connections; someone always stumbles on some cables). Speaking from experience, connecting to LAN card is neater and more reliable. Once you set it, you can forget it. I never had a faulty printer LAN card (I guess I was lucky).

We had unattended PC serving as Printer server. With PC, someone can always mess something without your knowledge. Examples: switch PC off, disconnect keyboard. This last is funny. I was called in to fix it. First I had to find monitor. When I switched it on I was greeted with a message: Keyboard is not reponding, press F1 to enter setup, any other key to continue.


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Just my suggestion

by walterzalewski In reply to printer nic v. hware prnt ...

I would go with the HP Nic, versus connecting it to an actual print 'server'. You can also look at using a HP's or third party solution using the little external print server boxes for any printers that do not support the built in HP Nics.

You'llfind the speed of the direct connections, especially on heavily used printers, generally much faster than parallel connections to a server.

You will also have the option for either peer to peer (direct to the printer/print boxes) printing or setting up the traditional central print server. If you only have a few printers, go with the peer to peer, unless you have lots of old dos apps you need to support. The peer to peer doesn't support capturing to lpt's very well. If you have lots of printers, I'd suggest setting up a central server for administrative ease.

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