Question Sharing a printer across multiple networks

Nov 19, 2020
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Hi everyone,

I operate a small co-working space within a University and am having some challenges with printing. The University uses a print release system on its network which is not accessible to users of the co-working space who all use the guest WiFi (with no associated printers). I want to set up a printer that is accessible to them without having to either manually plug in via USB or change to a different WiFi network to access it. The solution I'm envisaging would effectively give the printer a URL that users could add and print from anywhere. I can source a raspberry pi/mini PC etc to act as a print server.

I had initially looked at CRUPS with Balena on a raspberry Pi but the printer and device need to be on the same network. I'm aware of Papercut PrintMobility but remote printing doesn't work from Macs at the moment. ezeep looks promising but it's fairly expensive. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to go about this?

Many thanks!
 
All depends on what the univeristy does to prevent communication between end devices on the guest network. In general it is bad security practice to allow devices on a guest network communicate with each other. Guest networks are fairly unsecure and 1 person could then attack others machines. Many times a option is set to only allow guest device access to say the internet or some other limit subset of the network and no communication to other guest users.

If these limitations are in effect it will take a lot of research to see if there is anything you can actually do.

If they do not limit it you should be able to just use any printer that has wifi access and attach it to the guest network. You could then find what IP address the printer was assigned and use that directly in your end machines to print.
 
If they do not limit it you should be able to just use any printer that has wifi access and attach it to the guest network. You could then find what IP address the printer was assigned and use that directly in your end machines to print.
... and then you'll start asking how to do printer' accounting so you know who wasted 200 pages and $100 of toner/ink to print garage sale flyers...
 

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