There is no shortage of wireless routers that will let you hook up a printer and maybe some USB storage too and make them available to anyone on the network. If your router lacks this ability, there are plenty of gadgets that will add it by bridging USB to an Ethernet port. The downside of either approach will be instantly …
Just won't touch
Just about every Belkin product I ever tried seems to have been garbage, unreliable, or borked. I made a choice a while back to simply rule out ever using them for anything. Ever.
been doing the same for years with my Airport express
Airport express has one usb and I have been using my one to wireless share my printer on my home network for years. I'm using a Tenda router and XP and vista PC's so this is not an overtly Apple household.
Works perfectly well for me and the non-techy parts of my family.
I'm sure there much be other companies out there doing the same thing. This device would be useful if you had several devices to share I guess.
Might be quite good if...
Pretty much every device like this falls flat on it's face with MFD's. If Belkin have cracked that so I can easily share my Kodak MFD and retain all of it's functionality then I'd buy one.
@DS 1: Useful post mate, you must be very very bored.
It seems excellent and, a couple of years ago, I'd have had one because home-networking USB printers was something of a black art. However, you can now get HP printers with built-in wireless for under £50 that work brilliantly. It rather seems like Belkin have produced the solution to an age-old problem - just as the problem disappeared. And a bloody expensive solution it is too!
Not true print sharing
The big downside with this is that it's not a proper network print server - it's a remote USB connection. So anything plugged into the Belkin is only accessible by one client at a time (two people cannot print simultaneously).
The other major downside is that it's Belkin. I've never come across a less reliable brand (even PC World's Advent is more reliable!).
Will this do Multifunction printer scanner? I had to buy a print server specifically designed for MF devices.
what a waste of money.
Here's an idea.
1. put printer on desk near to a computer (imagine that lol)
2. plug it in
3. share it on the network if necessary
Looks like I just saved you £100 on this trendy wireless bullshit.
Reply to post: what a waste of money.
...and then every time I want to print anything from the laptop downstairs (or my kids want to print something from the machines in their rooms)...
4. Run up stairs (or across landing) to office to switch PC on.
5. Wait ages for PC to boot.
6. Either run back upstairs (or across landing) to office to shut PC down or put up with noisy power sucking box whirring away for no good reason.
It's an expensive way to buy a print server if that's really all you need but apart from that it's sounding more and more like money well spent to me... :-)
ie. a wireless bridge
Some people use the Airport simply as a wireless bridge, ie. a device to connect 2 networks wirelssly. The Belkin seems to offer an alternative. Other alternatives are the poorly concealed ethernet cable or the ham-jamming power line transmitters. I am still at the decorative cable stage unfortunately. Would be nice if somebody would make a £50 Airport equivalent without all the Apple software bits, just good wireless n.
I'll revise my opinions then.
It turns out that the other day I bought a shiny new wireless sharing device that had a free* printer, scanner and card reader thrown in and still had a spare USB port to add storage to.
It said "Wireless enabled Multifunction Printer" on the box, but who am I to argue?
*bar a few quid.