Oddball setup.. need a USB dongle but with a built in client

Unanswered Question
Sep 24th, 2009


Ive been tasked to find a way of making our non wireless label printers work. The current test model uses Ethernet so i initially looked at small wireless bridges.

but there is an optional USB model.. which got me thinking.

Is there a Wireless USB dongle that will work with a large infrastructure wireless lan using radius ?

I see the problem being that they are just a radio, antenna and have the encryption & modulation chip.

All the client activity i.e SSID and username / pass etc.. is done within the windows client util or 3rd part client.

of course the printer has none of this.

any device capable of doing both

also what are the obvious pitfalls ? i.e how will the printer traffic be forwarded to the usb etc..



I have this problem too.
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weterry Thu, 09/24/2009 - 18:03

I think you're basically looks for a USB wireless print server.

Kind of like the old parallel JetDirect adapters that would take a Parallel Printers and make them Network Accessible.

The problem is, even the Wireless Ones I've seen are a little bigger than a "dongle". Because they have to house the print server aspect.

Maybe something like http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/WPS54G ?

Do a Google search for "wireless print server".

If the Printer has an Ethernet Port, it may be cheaper to go with some kind of Wireless Workgroup Bridge.

They make plenty of Wireless USB adapters (dongle sized), but unless your printer can utilize it as a network card (never seen a printer do this), you'd need something that could do wireless itself and then be a printer server for the USB attached printer

NOTE: the Linksys I linked to may not do 802.1x (for your Radius) if that is what you re requiring. But I'm sure there must be some out there that will....

meggerman Fri, 09/25/2009 - 02:27

thanks for the reply mate. i have already looked into a wireless bridge but its too big. I think the point was if i could get a usb wireless dongle to sync to a small label printers usb AND include a client for radius.. i suspected the answer was no.

I will look at the linksys product.



Leo Laohoo Thu, 09/24/2009 - 20:03

How do you plan to configure the USB doggle when it's attached to a printer? How do you assign the SSID, encryption, etc.?

HP has a number of models with built-in wireless for SOHO use.

weterry Fri, 09/25/2009 - 19:30


The same comment about the wireless card not controlling the actual wireless connection configuration can be said for the printer part. USB Printers aren't thier own print server. Its the PC's software that manages the printing part.

So, even if you found a wireless card that had technology in it to manage its own connection, it would still have to manage the printer too.

Unless the printer is smart enough to control a USB wireless card (if this was possible, only the manufacturer would sell the compatible card), you need to get a Wireless Print Server.

The "wireless bridge" is going to be cheaper than a Wireless Print Server. But the Wireless Print Server would be the better way to go.


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