Why You Don’t Share USB printer Over Network

Yes, you don’t share a USB printer over a network, unless it is a network ready printer. But in that case, there would be a Ethernet connector and you would just plug it into a hub or router on your local network. Elsewhere this has been documented.  This post is just plain simple practical advice. Use print sharing over a network limited to maybe two or three computers that have occasional print jobs. Otherwise it can stall the whole network when a number of PCs want to print large jobs at the same time.

Here is a quote from another place that makes the point.

USB is not a peer to peer protocol, like TCP/IP. There is one master, called the host, and one or more slaves, called devices or peripherals. If you want to connect USB devices, such as USB disk drives, USB printers, etc. to your embedded device, then you need a USB host stack, such as ********. On the other hand, if you want to connect your embedded device to a PC and look like a USB device, then you need a USB device stack, such as …..e Ethernet.

Yeah, I did take that out of context. It does not apply to this topic. Yet is says that USB is not wholly transparent to the Ethernet. To be precise, some USB drivers cause stack overflow when on Ethernet.

Of course, that was an advertisement to get you to buy something. I remove the reference to their products to make the point. USB devices are not well designed for network sharing. But it does work. Most of the time. If you want better performance, you have to spend some money. That’s the way it is.

What you  need to do is buy a dedicated dual printer server. Less that $150 and you can leave it on 24/7 and forget it. Much better the print sharing on a PC  or Mac.

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