A good deal of the printers on the market have built-in WiFi. However, what if you have a laser printer with a USB interface or what if you have only a wired network? If you have a QNAP Turbo NAS, you’re already covered. Today I’m going to show you how to share a printer on the built-in Print Server in QTS.
Preparing to Use a USB Printer With Your QNAP
For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll be using my HP Photosmart 6520 Printer. This is a color inkjet and is natively wirelesses its also an all in one. This is NOT the kind of printer you want hooked up to your QNAP. Its already network connected and you all likely will lose the scan capabilities. However, It is the one I have on hand. Please pay attention to the process, not the printer itself.
The first thing you need to do is have a ready USB printer. This may be an old printer you want to use, or a laser printer you picked up cheap on Amazon, like the Brother HL-2240D. Now place your printer close to your QNAP. In my case, my QNAP as well as my network gear shares a stand with my printer. Make sure you have a full size USB cable on hand. The Micro USB from your cell phone will not work in this case. Plug the cable into one of the black USB 2.0 ports on the back of your QNAP. If you read my last tutorial, the other port should have the USB cable from your UPS in it. Plug the other end into your printer and turn the printer on. The hardware portion of this is done.
Setting up a USB Printer Server in QNAP QTS 4.1
First, as we always do, log into your QNAP to launch your QTS Desktop environment. The easiest way to login is though the QFinder Desktop App, but it can also be done by typing your QNAP’s IP address into your web browser followed by :8080. The app does this for you, so I highly recommend having it installed. You can find out about QFinder for Mac, Windows, and Linux in our post about QNAP apps.
Next, choose the Control Panel app from the desktop. It should be the first icon on your upper left. Also note the green number on the top right of the QTS menu bar. This is the number of external devices connected to your QNAP. If you don’t see a number there, or the number doesn’t increase by one with printer hooked up, there is an issue and you need to troubleshoot. You can check to see what’s hooked up to your QNAP by clicking on that icon to bring down a menu.
Inside the external devices panel, click on the center tab, which is USB Printer. You’ll see any printers hooked up to your QNAP. You’ll also be able to set the number of jobs per printer and control which IP addresses can print. Now click on the printer, you’ll see 4 options light up. Printer Info will show you status and model information. Printer Log will give you a record of who has printed and when. Clear Up Spool Space should clear all print jobs. The one you want is Settings. Click it.
If you’re on a PC or Linux machine, this isn’t all that important of a step. The print server is actually automatic. However, if you have a Mac or people with Macs will use this printer, this step is very important. Click the box next to Bonjour Printer Support. Bonjour is a protocol from Apple that makes it much easier to find devices on a network. It is also, available for Windows, but the latest version Bonjour 3 is bundled inside the windows version of iTunes. You can also change the service name of the printer if you wish. Click Save.
This is it for setting up on a QNAP. Now on to adding the printer on your computer(s).
Adding a Network Printer on a Mac
You’ll find a list of available printers that you can add to your Mac. In this case, the QNAP-Printer is easily identifed because of the aforementioned Bonjour protocol. Click on the printer. Apple’s OS X, as of at 10.9 Mavericks at least, will Auto Select the best way driver set to connect the printer. In this case, it uses Apple’s AirPrint. In other cases, it might choose post script or something else. Click on Add.
You now know how to connect a USB Printer to your network using QNAP’s built-in USB print server. This can save you time and money, especially if you’re using a USB laser printer. If you want to know more about what you can do with your QNAP, there many more tutorials in our How to QNAP series.