Wavlink Networking USB 2.0 Server (NU78M41) for Printers, Storage, and Other Devices Review

Wavlink Networking USB 2.0 Server (NU78M41) for Printers, Storage, and Other Devices Review

Buy it at Amazon: Wavlink Networking USB 2.0 Server (NU78M41) for Printers, Storage, and Other Devices [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Instantly add networking capabilities to USB-only devices and printers. Lightning fast setup and installation and versatile with many different device types.

You’ll receive the network server, an AC power adapter with 4 foot long power cord, 40 inch Ethernet cable, driver CD, and an instruction manual. The server unit measures 2 inch wide, 2 inches long and 3/4 inch tall and weighs just under 1 ounce. On the front of the unit there is a full-size USB 2.0 port that supports up to 480 Mbps transfer speed, and on the back is the AC adapter port and Ethernet jack. On top, in the lower right corner is a green power LED and on the bottom you have some information with the MAC address and serial number.

Setting up the unit is pretty simple. First, plug the power adapter into a nearby wall outlet and attach it to the server. Then plug the Ethernet cable into the server and connect it to any available LAN Ethernet port on your router. Finally, plug your printer into the server using its USB connection and power it on. This server supports printers that use LPR Network Printing and Bonjour Print Services. I’m connecting my thermal label printer to the server because it doesn’t natively support WiFi and normally I’d have to plug the unit directly into my laptop or computer. With the server, I can access the printer wirelessly over my home WiFi network and can print from any computer or laptop on the same network, making it more convenient and accessible. All I need to do is install the print server driver on the device I want to print from. The driver for the network server can be found on the included CD, but your computer or laptop may not have a CD-rom drive. If that’s the case, you can download the driver from Wavlink’s website.

Once you’ve extracted the software from the ZIP file, just double-click setup to launch the application. Choose the first menu item, ‘Networking Printer Wizard for Windows’ and follow the prompts on the screen. Installation is pretty quick and only takes about 10 seconds. When it’s finished, you’ll want to restart your computer. After you’ve rebooted, launch the new icon for the Network Print Wizard and follow the prompts. Select the Wavlink Print Server from the list of shared printers. Then choose the driver for the printer that you attached to the print server. If you don’t know this information, you can try using the generic printer driver, but it’s worth getting the right drivers from your printer manufacturer's website to ensure proper operation. After you’ve confirmed your selections you can click Finish and that’s pretty much it. After that quick setup, I was able to print to the printer wirelessly over my network rather than plugging it directly into my computer. When printing, make sure in your print dialog that the Wavlink Print Server is selected as the printer. My computer was able to send print jobs to the printer connected to the print server flawlessly and the printer fired up right away every time.

But printers aren’t the only devices you can connect to the server! You can attach a USB thumb drive, mobile phone, or even a webcam, and these devices would become accessible over the network. Just be sure to install the “USB server driver” from the installation application, following on-screen prompts as before. Then when you launch the USB Network Server program, you’ll be able to ""connect"" to the device attached to the server. Just note that devices will appear as ""locally connected devices,"" and will not show up under network locations by default. You’ll only be able to access the networked printer/storage/device from one computer at a time unless you specifically enable network sharing for it.

Overall, this USB network server was super simple to setup on my home WiFi network and installing the drivers took only a few minutes. Now, I’m able to access my USB-only printers, storage, and other peripherals over the network from a central location near my router, so it’s a great way to bring networked functionality to devices that don’t have this feature built-in. Note, some routers may already have this functionality built-in! Check for a USB port on your router that may be able to act as a print server or NAS connection point, or use the Wavlink Networking server to add additional network connected USB devices to your setup.

Buy it at Amazon: Wavlink Networking USB 2.0 Server (NU78M41) for Printers, Storage, and Other Devices [Affiliate Link]

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