I’ve been using my Netgear FM114P ADSL router as a print server, which allows all my machines to print to the printer without the hassle of managing Windows sharing.
The problem is that it has been rather slow – much slower than I think the printer should be. I always suspected it was the Netgear slowing things down.
I decided to track down a HP JetDirect 615n print server add-in card that plugs into the back of my printer to network enable it. Unfortunately these things retail for well over $500. I managed to find some on eBay, and after some problems with my first eBay purchase, which resulted in me returning the device for a refund, I managed to find a second one for not much more money, which has proved to be in perfect working order.
So after getting it all working, I now have a network enabled printer, and it performs so much faster than it did before – as fast as I always thought it could. I think colour printing is now faster than black and white was before ! It also has this cool web interface that allows me to fine tune the settings, and keep track of toner levels from my machine – which is great too.
So, I’m happy.
This is the first step in ridding myself of the FM114P router, which, although I quite like it, has proven to be a bit unreliable, with lockups under continual heavy load – even with the latest firmware. I want to upgrade to an ADSL2+ capable router soon anyway, but couldn’t do that before I came up with a solution to replace the print server !