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Print Files from any Mobile Phone using Dropbox

Posted by Roger, 09 January 2013 · 3456 views

android printing mobile
Over the weekend, I found this post while looking for a quick and easy way to print from my Android phone to my MFP connected to my (old) desktop. Since I already use Dropbox, this is a pretty simple way to print a file. Just run the script on my PC to point at my Dropbox folder, move my file(s) into the PrintQueue folder in my Dropbox mobile app, and voilà, my document comes out of my printer! This saves me a trip to the computer to open the browser, find the document, open it and print it.

While looking at different options, I came across this article from CNet, which gave other options (most of them requiring a new printer purchase, which I refuse to do until this one stops working). And was almost going to get PrintShare before learning that their Free version is quite limited. In the end, I was able to achieve what I needed without buying new equipment or paying for an expensive app. Sometimes, a simple script can help solve a seemingly complex problem.

Now, if there was a way to print to my printer without my PC, that would be even better. Since my PC is quite old, it take me almost 4 minutes to boot up every time we need to print at home. I wonder if there is a small print server I can use that'll allow me to print without turning on my PC.

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Regarding print servers, I've been looking at these lately as I have an 'always on' pc just to act as a print server.

This kind of thing looks quite promising: http://www.edimax.co..._id=7&pl2_id=34

There seem to be quite a few of these wireless usb print servers, so still looking into which is the 'best'.
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Looks nice! I wonder how it can be setup for multiple printers. For example, if I'm at an office with 5 printers, if there a way to run this as the print server for all 5 devices?

The setup also looks complicated (multiple steps).
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D-Link do one that supports 4 printers


Also looks like it might be easier to set up.

I think if you want more than 4 you're going to have to get multiple print servers (I'm not aware of any with more than four ports).

The D-Link comes in at under £100 so seems like not a bad option.
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Would I be able to print to it from my mobile while I'm outside of my network? It seems that most of these need me to be on the same LAN. My use case is that I am on the road, but I want to be able to print to my server back at the office. Kind of like Google Cloud Print, but without running my PC all the time.
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Okay... I think (outside of my area of expertise now) that you should be able to configure that. If you have a wireless print server that also acts as a router (e.g. Netgear WGPS606) you should be able to configure access to the printer via the router set-up from the internet (in the same way you can allow internet access to a pc from the internet). However, this isn't something I've ever done, you would need a static IP... and someone who knows more about networking
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I see. Thanks for your help. I'll do more research.
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Good luck. Can you post if you get it working, would be an interesting tutorial.
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Yup, will do. Right now, I'm just happy with the labnol.org solution.

At work, we are going to do some prototypes using WebRTC and I'm wondering if we can use it to tunnel directly to the MFP. Will update when I have something new.
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Thanks, I'm probably going to get a wireless print server myself so I can switch of one PC. If I get it working remotely will post details.
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