Printers, like other pieces of computer hardware, include drivers and utilities for connecting the devices to a home or corporate network. You can even connect multiple printers to one network for sharing the devices with others. Having multiple printers on a network confers several advantages, including the ability to select which printer you want to send documents to and offering an available printer in the event that one or more printers is not working correctly.
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Printers on a network are available to more than one user. Any computer that is part of the network can access and send print jobs to the printer's queue. The queue, managed by the server or primary computer the printer is connected to, manages and releases the print jobs.
Users on a remote network connected to a home or corporate network via the Internet and a communication device can also access and send print jobs to network printers. This feature is handy for users who are on a trip and need to send a document to the main office or network.
Networking printers saves money because you don't have to purchase an individual printer for each computer on the network. You also don't have to purchase cables, supplies and paper for individual printers.
Computers running on multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux and other platforms, can access the same network printers and send print jobs to the printers using drivers designed for each platform.
Multiple printer types, including laser, inkjet, plotters, thermal and other printers, can share the network and offer users more printing choices. This is ideal if a user needs to send a drawing to a plotter and a letter to a laser. He can send the documents one after the other, and the network will route the two jobs to the individual printers.
Networking printers also results in a reduction in maintenance calls since you have fewer printers to clean and repair.