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Printer & type of connections.

Nowadays, printers commonly offer more connection choices and flexibility than ever before.

In an organization, proper planning and managing decisions are important such as choosing what printer brand, how many printers should be installed, and types of printers that users can access.

Basically, there are 3 types of printer connections can be used, and each one of them serves different purpose of usage.

  • 1. Direct connection via USB / parallel cable
  • Printer Server / Shared printer
  • Network printer (LAN / Wi-Fi)

Direct connection via USB / parallel cable

Connectivity - Most smaller printers directly connect to a computer via the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard, while others will use a parallel port. Once the cable is connected, an installation CD with the necessary software and drivers needed to make it work.

Drivers - If your printer came with a CD, then put it into your laptop's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive and install the necessary software. Otherwise, you can locate and download from official website.

Usage - Simple and Easy. However, this method will only allow your printer to be printed from the PC connected via USB cable, and normally this method is suitable to personal usage.

Shared printer

The symptoms are very much like other issues we have on our computers, such as virus attacks and slow Internet, that can hard to tell without a professional diagnosis. These symptoms such as:

- Slow access to server applications and files, either locally or remotely
- A long-term inability to access specifics websites
- Excessive amount of spam emails continuously

Connectivity: Printer is connected to a computer, and then being shared out on the same network. Other computers from the same network is able to connect and add the shared printer into their Control Panel to be used.

Drivers: Installation of drivers is automatically pushed when a computer is connected to the shared printer, or sometimes is not even required.

Usage: This method is usually used when the printer does not have any network connectivity capability (only direct cable connection). Also, the set back of this method is that the printer will not be available if the main computer that shared the printer is NOT turned.

Printer server

Connectivity: Slightly same concept with the shared printer. But Print servers, or printer servers, are devices or programs that connect printers to computers over a network. They act as an intermediary between computers and printers, accepting printing jobs and sending them on to the right printer. They do this by storing and queueing print requests locally and to avoid overloading a busy printing device.

Drivers: Automatically pushed to client computers, just like shared printer.

Usage: A great way to manage printers from one central location. Centralized print management, reporting and auditing and more controls of user print permissions. However, set back is single point of failure and can be expensive to implement.

Network printer (LAN / Wifi)
Connectivity: Printer that is configured within local network environment via connected Local Area Connection (LAN) cable or Wi-Fi, making it usable by other computers connected to the same network.

Drivers: Correct driver is required to be installed individually on each computer, by specifying the network printer's IP Address as target during adding the printer.

Usage: Multi-users throughout the office can print to the network printers, regardless of desktop, laptop or mobile phone as long as connected to the same network, and driver installation is done. SMB scanning from the printer to server or computer shared folder via the network is also possible.

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