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I have to say that I'm not at all impressed by this product. I originally got it because of its size (it's relatively small), and the fact that I have an older laser printer with a parallel port interface (HP LaserJet 6P). My main problem with the product has been its unreliability to complete a print job. Whatever I send to the printer, I have about a 50% chance of actually seeing output. That drops to around 10%-20% if two or more jobs are being sent concurrently (what's the point of having a print server if one can't print more than one thing at a time?). I should note that this happens whether printing from Windows 2000, OS X or Linux (lpr or CUPS). My hunch is that printer support is iffy, but one is hard pressed to find out from NetGear which printers work and which don't. Unfortunately experimentation is often the only route. I'm pretty sure the printer is fine, as when I use a computer to share the printer (via printer sharing), I never lose a job and everything works well. Losing jobs wouldn't be such a pain if all printing was done from the same room as the printer (since it would be easy to tell when something needed to be printed again). However, in our household, we have two wireless laptops, and it's a pain to have to always walk into the office to make sure the print job got through right away rather than just being able to rely on it getting done to be picked up later. Another complaint I have is that the unit seems to lose its configuration quite regularly. I find that if I power cycle it, I have about a 20% chance that it will reset to factory defaults. This is a pain for me, since I print from OS X and Linux which both like to have a static IP for the printer. When the unit resets, it loses its IP address, and all of a sudden I can't find the printer. The only reason I didn't give this product one star is because when it doesn't lose my print job and actually retains its configuration, it actually works semi-well. Overall, if you're like me, and you don't like constantly tweaking, prodding, goading, etc. to get something to work, or you might be printing from outside the immediate vicinity of the printer, I would spend the extra money and desk space and get something that works reliably.
Since there were no reviews for the NetGear PS101 and reviews for the other vendor's offerings were fairly negative with a lot of pitfalls encountered, I expected to have some problems when I started. However, within an hour of opening the box, I had the print server up and running on 4 PCs, 3 with XP, 1 with Win/98. It works much faster than sharing the printer off a "server" PC, and print quality isn't impacted at all. The documentation is fairly clear and complete, although somewhat misleading where it talks about what port to use due to the use of bold versus normal font. The adiministration screens are OK, could be much better, and I can't figure out how to upgrade the firmware if I ever decide to do so. Be careful on PCs with the printer already defined as remote to the "server" pc. Windows wants to configure the printer as another remote one and not as a "local" one. Going into the Windows define printer screens directly or first deleting the remote definition resolves this issue. If you're using a firewall (like Zone Alarm), make sure you allow access or nothing will work.
In the span of less than 60 minutes, this device drove me to drink.
It will work with a Mac, this is true. I got it to print. Once. But you need a Windows machine to actually set it up, which my wife has just feet away from my Macs. So we ran the software that came with it ... and it cooked XP.
So I called tech support. After 26 minutes and three transfers to different support reps, two of whom spoke a variation of English that is not compatible with mine, where all I wanted to know was, "DOES THIS WORK WITH A MAC?" I was told, no. EVEN AFTER I GOT IT TO WORK!
I gave up at that point ... I'm just going to get a longer USB cable for my printer and use the share printer option on one of my Macs. If we can ever resurrect the XP box, that is ...
Went through 3 of these. They kept burning out after a month or two. I managed to keep the 3rd one alive by unplugging it except at the moment I needed to print. Once all the kids made it through high school, I didn't bother replacing the last one and put the money to a networked printer instead.
Works great.... better instructions needed for beginners in networking a LPT1- HP LaserJet 4M Plus printer with this Mini server. I had to go to Netgear website online, to get more info. It worked great after I was done setting it up correctly. I am a 60's generation beginner with extremely limited networking experience. It did the job.
Never worked as I assumed it would. Windows driver program seemed like it hadn't been updated since Windows 98 or something.
Could never get it to work from Windows or as a general network printer for non-Windows machines.
I returned it and bought the D-Link DP-301+ and that device worked just as you would expect! Five stars for the D-Link! Every computer in the house can print to it and it has a web interface for configuration. Very slick.
I am disapointed in the Netgear PS101 in that it is not bi-directional. It will not report low ink cartridges, paper out, or other printer status functions. My printer is a Canon i550. Otherwise it works great and was very easy to set up. My Canon i550 has a USB port as well. I set up the computer beside the printer to use that port and it is bi-directional, providing feedback on printer status. Printer seems to work well using both the parallel and USB.