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Thread: Connecting Wireless Print Server to Wired Network

  1. #1

    Connecting Wireless Print Server to Wired Network

    We just finished building a new office and want to add a small USB printer to the network. Unfortunately, since I didn't know about this printer ahead of time, I didn't do a Cat5 cable run to where the printer will be installed.

    We had talked of adding wireless capability to the new office, so I thought we could connect the printer using a wireless print server.
    This is how I thought I would do the setup and I thought I'd ask around before I did the purchasing...

    The first step would be to add a WAP to our network. I would connect it directly to the switch located in the new office. I thought I would buy a D-Link router and configure it as a WAP since I am on a very tight budget.

    After the WAP is connected to the switch, I would set the printer up on a D-Link wireless print server. The printer would then be shared over the network.

    Am I correct in assuming that this is an okay way to go about adding the printer?

    Right now, we will not really be using wireless for anything but the printer since our desktops do not have wireless NICs, but we do have a few clients that come in and want to check email and such, so they might use wireless.
    Prayed like a martyr dusk til dawn
    Begged like a hooker all night long
    Tempted the devil with my song
    And got what I wanted all along

  2. #2
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    You're correct in your method of thinking....you can take a wireless router...and rather easily reconfigure it to run as just an access point.

    What you want to do...
    Say your primary router is 192.168.0.1
    And say..the wireless router that you wish to add is 192.168.1.1
    First..you want to change your wireless routers default IP to be in the same IP range as your primary router....so you'll want to change it to 192.168.0.xxx....but you want to give it an IP that's not going to conflict with your current router (like .1 would)...or your DHCP pool (often .100 on up). A common one for access points is .245...so give it something like 192.168.0.245.

    Next...disable DHCP on this second router. Now...uplink it to your primary router/switch using a LAN port of this wireless router..you will not use its WAN/Internet port.

    So now you've basically converted it from a wireless router to just an access point. DHCP will flow through it from the primary router or your server..and you can manage it through your web admin.

    Now...some pointers I may toss out to you.
    *I hate wireless printers. OK for the home...but for the business place where you sorta want your printer to work most of the time...pain-in-the-butt. I now tell clients I won't support them..because I don't want a phone call every week from a client saying "My printer won't print". The only print servers I like are ethernet....I give them a static LAN IP address outside of the DHCP pool...I find static IPs work must more reliably.

    *Business network....I encourage you to lock down your wireless network..using WPA or WPA2 or higher. If you want to also have "open" wireless for clients/friends that come in...purchase another wireless router to hange off double NAT'd...or purchase a business grade access point that supports multiple SSIDs..and you can make a second SSID that is open...and has enforced VLAN rules where each wireless client in forced into their own VLAN..thus cannot access any network resources except the internet.
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  3. #3
    Thanks for the pointers. If we ever allow clients to have wireless access, I'll be sure to keep that it mind.

    At this point, we will probably just do a Cat5 drop. It will be a pain, but I'd rather have one pain than several recurring pains... thanks again!
    Prayed like a martyr dusk til dawn
    Begged like a hooker all night long
    Tempted the devil with my song
    And got what I wanted all along

  4. #4
    Well, I was told to go ahead and order the wireless equipment despite the fact that I followed your advice and recommended not using a wireless print server. Since then, I've had nothing but problems with the print server.
    That's not the issue, however, because we decided to go ahead and just do a Cat5 drop. Here's the issue: Since we went ahead and purchased the wireless equipment, the owner wants to provide wireless internet access to clients that come in. I remembered you saying to get a second router to hang off double NAT'd so I thought I'd ask about that.
    No one else is using the wireless connection, so we don't need wireless network access at all. Is there a way to set up a single WAP (d-link router) in this manner? Or will we need to purchase a second to hang off still?
    Prayed like a martyr dusk til dawn
    Begged like a hooker all night long
    Tempted the devil with my song
    And got what I wanted all along

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