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I recently acquired the AE6500 Linksys router to replace an old switch in order to share 2 printers among 4 computers. My previous method of sharing was the both printers were connected to a single computer which had to be on, in order for others computers to print. Working this way, the print sharing functionality was carried by Windows so all I had to do was to install printer drivers in the clients.

Now, with the new router, I'm surprised I had to install a software thing called CiscoVUSB on each computer in order to see the printers!! Isn't that the functionality on the router?? I thought the router was going to work the same way it works when you connect an USB storage, you just see it in the network like if the router was a user with a network share. The printer server functionality does not work in this way, I had to install a software in order to see the computers and the play with the software in a game of "connect" to the printer to print and "disconnect" from the printer to allow others to print. I find this very annoying.

Is this really how this is supposed to work?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Quick answer: a router is not a PC.

Long answer: If you are using a PC (server) to share printers, then that PC stores the drivers for other PCs to use, manages print queues, etc. A router does not do that. It is a device that connects other devices (PCs) to a network and to other networks. Some routers also have USB ports to connect non-networked devices like printers. In that case, all the router does is to make the printer available on the network; it redirects printer traffic from the network to the USB port.

That is why you have to install the driver software on each PC. Also, some printers will not even work via a router - so in a sense you are lucky. Printers with this problem are low-cost "GDI" printers, which rely on the Windows graphics engine to convert the page into dots on the paper (more expensive printers are able to do that themselves). These printers are often only successfully networked via a sharing PC.

I don't understand why you have to disconnect a PC for others to print. Please provide more info on what you had to do to make it work at all

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I appreciate your long response. However there are some misunderstandings. It is not having to install printer's drivers on each PC what I was complaining about. It was about having to install a Cisco software (the one named CiscoVSUB) on each PC in order to be able to use the printer connected to the router. Also, it is not that I had to connect or disconnect the PC, not physically. It is the Cisco software that has this feature and I have to go, open it and click "connect" before the user is able to print. I expected the printing to be more transparent. – Craig Stevensson Jul 30 '13 at 21:15
With most printservers you do not have to install any software, you just create a Standard TCP/IP port for it. If the printserver has multiple USB/parallel ports, the either use different queue names (LP1, LP2, etc) or different port numbers (9100, 9101, etc). Maybe CISCo use this complicated method to get around the GDI printer problem. – hdhondt Jul 31 '13 at 23:29

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