I recently ran in to an age old problem of needing to connect two PC’s to the same printer. For various reasons, I couldn’t share the printer, or run it though a server; the two machines can’t speak to each other for security reasons. Basically, one PC is on a home network and another is on a VPN 95% of the time.
The issue was that for the most part I didn’t have to print things on my secure PC, but when I did, I would have to unplug the USB cable and plug-in another one.
It took a minute or two to get up, unplug it, wait for the other machine to detect and install the drivers and then be able to use the printer [Hewlett Packard LaserJet P1006]. It’s not complicated, but as things moved forward and you get busy, you forget sometimes to put the cables back in a default order [as I was doing].
And for the 95% of the time the printer, it was hooked up to a server. Sharing printing services to the other machines in my house. Forgetting to reset this config was a regrettable thing because my wife uses the printer a whole lot more than I. See the point…
So, to fix my little problem and my overall laziness, I bought a $14 USB Sharing adapter, that auto switches between devices as required.
I purchased the IO Gear two port USB adapter.
The installation is simple…
The adapter works with MAC and PC…
- Windows XP (SP2), Vista 32-/64-bit, or Windows 7 32/64-bit
- Available USB Port
- Mac OS X 10.3.9 or greater
- Available USB Port
And it comes with two USB cables to get you up and running as soon as possible. It’s compatible with USB printers, multi-function printers, or USB devices such as a scanners, or hard drives.
Here’s the printer I’m/was using for this post:
It’s the Hewlett Packard laserjet p1006, it’s been a workhorse and saves me tons of ink from printing just random junk.
• Easily share a USB device without network configuration without network configuration
• Share one USB printer between two computers with auto switch*
• Share other USB devices such as a hard drive or scanner
• Works with PC and Mac computers
• Backwards compatible with USB 1.1
• Active-port LED indicators show which computer has USB access
• Bus Powered – No external power supply needed
* Automatic switch function is software based and only available with USB printer or the printer function of a multi-function printer. For connecting and using other type of USB devices, it requires installing the included software and perform the switch using the application. This device does not support USB webcams.
The installation of the software was very painless; it took all of about 30 seconds to load and didn’t require a reboot to work. It puts a small icon in the system tray and you simply click on it and choose the printer that’s being utilized as the USB shared printer [using the adapter].
Ironically, and as I mentioned before; I oonly paid about $14 for this little adapter. On the IOGear website it’s listed for about $28 dollars. I found mine on FROOGLE.com.
Here’s the search for you…
Anyway, it worked out great for me and I’m sharing it with you…
I hope this helps…
Larry Henry Jr.