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Connecting my scanner to a home network

This is a discussion on Connecting my scanner to a home network within the Networking Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Dear TSF members, I would like to know if it is possible to connect to my USB scanner in my


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Old 12-19-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
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Dear TSF members,

I would like to know if it is possible to connect to my USB scanner in my home network.

I have a funny sort of arrangement at home where the scanner must be used in a different room from the computer where I want to connect it to.

I.e. the scanner is in room 1, the computer is in room 2, I don't have a USB cable long enough to go from scanner to computer, so I want it to communicate wirelessly with the PC.

I have read suggestions in some forums that it is possible to connect a USB scanner via USB-to-Ethernet convertor to a Wireless Ethernet Router, then have it configured to be "seen" over the network. I checked this out with my engineer and he told me that this will not work.

I read that scanning over a network can be achieved using a USB Print Server but that only peripherals that are Multifunction printers with scanning functionality are supported :(( I've found no such Server device for Scanners :|

I find it quite strange that the technology exists for printers but not for scanners.

Any suggestions? I would greatly appreciate it.

Many Thanks,

Theo

PS. I know that I could just put the scanner in the room that the PC is in or vice versa but it's not as simple as that.

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Old 12-20-2009, 03:24 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome to TSF!

Yes, it is possible to share USB devices in your network using a third party software such as RemoteScan (pricey).

You may give this link a try, it's a Freeware, there other options to choose from also, if the first one didn't work. Pls. read instructions as well.
http://www.fileguru.com/USB-Over-Ethernet/download

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Old 12-20-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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Hi 2xgrump,

Many thanks for your reply.

I checked out the Freeware link you sent me and RemoteScan's website, thank you. Both explained the possibility of using a scanner in a network that is connected to a PC - but I have a problem where the scanner is not able to connect to the PC in room 1 (i.e. where the scanner is).

The PC in room 1 (bigger room, therefore scanning room) has Windows 7 64-bit but the scanner is only 32-bit compatible - I can't install Windows 7 32-bit version on this computer because I will lose 2Gb of its 6Gb RAM.

However, I have a 32-bit computer in another room which is too small for the practical use of a scanner, so what I really want to know therefore is, is it possible to have communication (from the 32-bit computer) with my scanner without it being attached to the 64-bit computer in the other room? (My apologies for not mentioning all this in the initial post, I just didn't want to complicate the question.) I was thinking along the lines of something like a Print Server but for scanners - no such devices exist, unless I am mistaken.

I know that I could just swap the computers around but that's also not so simple because the 64-bit machine is very big and won't fit nicely in the small room.

I told you I had a funny sort of arrangement!

Thanks for your help so far.

Regards,

Theo
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:44 PM   #4
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There are 2 more options for you.

Get a USB Switch device, then you will need longer cables => http://www.usbgear.net/4-port-switch-1.html

or purchase a Network Scanner, and these are pricey.

Not unless you want to move the USB Scanner in the smaller room.

and You are Welcome!
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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Thanks again for your prompt and informative response.

I think the USB Switch won't be necessary in my situation, 2xgrump? This is because I'm unable to connect the 64-bit machine to the scanner due to incompatibility, leaving only the 32-bit computer and no real need for a switch (as there's only one computer that the scanner can really connect to).

It's probably wishful thinking but my hope is that there is a wireless switch out there for dedicated scanners, not just for printers/printers with scanning function (e.g. Netgear wireless USB switch but allowing for connectivity with scanners too).

I could run long USB cables directly from the scanner to the other PC in the little room and set the destination path for scans to a folder accessible by the 64-bit computer but I would really like to have a wireless solution if possible

As for the network scanner, it is an option but I'm just still hanging on the hope of a wireless USB switch for scanners!!

Many thanks,

Theo
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:26 AM   #6
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Actually, many networked multi-function printers have scanning capability. I have the HP Photosmart C7280 and as you can see, $180 gets you one. It has a sheet feeder for the scanner and FAX and also does excellent color copies and prints if you require them.

We use the scanner on this printer from all the computers here.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:33 AM   #7
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Thank you johnwill for your contribution to the thread, I will keep it in mind should the wireless-USB-switch-for-scanners-dream comes to an end

Many thanks!

Theo
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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Well, I think you'll find that doing it with a USB switch of any kind will be somewhat of a kludge. I used to have a scanner connected to the Belkin USB Network Hub. While it was possible to use it from multiple computers, you had to attach and detached it each time. It's really not going to be seamless with any USB solution.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:27 PM   #9
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Hmmm, interesting. Attach and detach it, eh?

Well, that shouldn't be too much of a problem as you have to go to the scanner to load the document anyway. Though I do heed your words of caution.

I imaging the set-up would look something like Scanner --> Belkin Network USB --> Wireless Ethernet Router --> Computers etc. Finally, was it easy to configure the scanner on the network?
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:32 AM   #10
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Well, I wouldn't go right to "easy".

You configure it like it's a locally attached scanner, because that's how it appears. Each computer has the full set of drivers.

Truthfully, if I were going to spend the money for that Belkin hub, I'd much rather double the amount and buy the printer/scanner I mentioned. It interfaces seamlessly, had a sheet feeder, and will do FAX, copies, and printing as well.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:42 AM   #11
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Great, thanks for the advice.

I'm looking into the D-Link DPR-1260, which also provides a wireless solution (i.e. don't need a Router, I think?) but also a dissolution of $120 in my back pocket

I understand what you're saying but my scanner cost $400 new (it's worth less than half that now).

According to D-Link, this device supports USB scanners but there's no compatibility list for which ones.

I think I will invest in the HP - at $180 it seems like the perfect solution - auction my scanner on eBay and say farewell once and for all...

I'll let you know what happens.

In the meantime,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! To both you and 2xgrump!
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:04 PM   #12
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Well, I can say that I've been happy with my C7280, it's worked well and solved my issue of having a networked scanner. Of course, I use it mostly to print 4x6 pictures, which it also does very well.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:00 AM   #13
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Hi guys,

Long time no speak.

Well, I fixed the compatibility issue I was having with Windows 7 64-bit and my scanner and just thought I would update you on how it went.

If you remember I was trying to get my USB scanner, which is not compatible with Windows 7 64-bit, to communicate wirelessly over a network with my other computer, which is running Windows 7 32-bit and is compatible with my device.

Initially, I bought the D-Link DPR-1260 Wireless Print Server - bad idea. Luckily, the company I bought it from accept returns but I have to settle for a credit note and not my money back (could've been worse, I suppose, since I broke the seal of the packaging).

The D-Link device didn't work. Admittedly, I did take a chance with it. I opted for this one, "johnwill", rather than the Belkin Network USB Hub you suggested because I preferred a D-Link to a Belkin - bad idea again. Even though the D-Link was listed as "supporting scanners form all major manufacturers" on their website, what they really meant was multifunction scanners and there was a compatibility list on there which I didn't check. With my scanner being Canon, a major manufacturer, I thought it would definitely support it, so didn't bother checking the Compatibility List - bad idea no. 3 - had I checked, I would have realised they only meant multifunction scanners, as every item on the list was such a device.

I remember your wise advice, "johnwill", to invest in the HP Photosmart C7280, which at $180, is certainly a snip considering it's an all-in-one - but I'm the type that doesn't like Windows dictating when and how I should change my devices. I decided to get the Belkin Network USB Hub which would have worked with my stand-alone USB scanner for $100 but then considered a cheaper solution. Free, actually. Dual booting.

I was about to create a second partition and get the whole dual booting process underway, when I thought there must be some kind of emulator out there that will allow Windows XP to run in Windows 7, for example, without the need to restart the computer all the time. I remembered that I once managed to emulate an Amiga 500 on a PC and could play lots of cool games from yesteryear that I used to enjoy.

Well, I was right (finally, a good idea, at last) and I found it in the form of VMware Workstation 7. What a wonderful piece of software. My scanner works on the 64-bit machine as if it was running in Windows XP - what is even more impressive is that I managed to install a device that's only Windows-32-bit compatible on a 64-bit OS running a virtual machine using VMware Workstation. And all you have to do is launch it like any other program - no need for frustrating re-booting all the time.

At first, I tried Virtual PC 2007 but needed either Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate to install it and I had Home Edition (thanks, Microsoft). Then, I tried the standard Windows Virtual PC, again from Microsoft but this didn't work because it couldn't emulate a 32-bit on a 64-bit OS properly and the scanner was not being recognised every time I connected it. VMware to the rescue.

At $189, the software ain't cheap - it made me look a bit more towards the free, dual booting solution - but in the long run, it will turn out to be a better investment then dual booting overall, due to ease of use. Yes, it's more expensive than the Photosmart at $180, which will allow easy printing, faxing and scanning, all done wirelessly too - but truthfully, I like having a printer for printing, a scanner for scanning and a fax mach... you get my drift.

Thank you, VMware. I will certainly be investing in a copy of this great piece of software that Microsoft should have produced.

As ever, your valued thoughts on the matter would be greatly welcomed.

Thanks for all your help with the issue.

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