POS Networking Question

Please take a look at the simple daigram I made and tell me if this will work. The main question I have is pertaining to the kitchen prep ticket. I want both station computers to be able to send items to the kitchen prep ticket printer but not sure if I can connect them both directly to the printer (printer has 1 ethernet plug) or if I need a switch somewhere in the flow of things. Both main computers will be hard wired to the router.

The printer I have is en Epson U220B (ethernet).

http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/6296/networkmb7.png

Ehternet printer needs to be plugged in to the router - just like a computer.

So then I dont need a dedicated line going from each computer to the printer…I just need to connect it to the router?

If the printer has an ethernet interface, then no - you don’t (and you can’t) need a line from each computer. The only way to connect the printer is to the “network”. Then, each PC on the network will be able to see the printer. You connect the printer to the network by plugging it into your router (or switch if you were using one).

Thank you kindly!

Next question:

I have everything set up at home to get it running so I can just transplant it into my shop when it’s ready. I have the kitchen printer connected to a Ethernet switch, which is supposed to work just like a router in that I’ll be able to see the printer on the network and print to it correct?

I ask because I can’t find the printer. I have my system set-up as “Registered Guest” suggested and can’t find my kitchen printer. Am I supposed to install the drivers for that printer on each computer? All I did was hook the ethernet line from the printer to the switch and then plug in the ac power for the printer. My receipt printers work fine (connected via usb, not networked).

Sorry if I’m overlooking the obvious…my networking skills are almost non-existent as you can see.

A switch and a router are not the same animal. If you want to see the kitchen printer hooked up via ethernet you need a router that will use DHCP to give the printer an address. This will not happen with a switch.

That explains everything…thanks for the quick response.

While a switch and a router are not exactly the same - for your purposes there is no difference.

You don’t need a true router in this network, all you need is a switch. If you wanted to connect this network to another network - i.e. the internet - then you would need a router to do that. However, it is likely that your IP will provide you a router that you would simply plug into your switch at it highest port.

You do not need DHCP for setting the IP address of the printer. You can just set it manually.

The reason you can’t see your printer is because you need to set it’s IP address to one that conforms to your local network IP addressing scheme.

What is the IP address and subnet mask of one of your PC’s and what is the IP address and subnet mask of the printer in question? Look in the printer manual and you will see how to print the network settings of the printer. On TM-88IV’s there is a small button on the back that you hold down for a few seconds and then it will print the settings.

You can then go into a browser - and connect to the printer based on that IP address - and make changes through the web based configuration utility. You might need to change your PC IP address and subnet mask in order to do that - but once you do it you can change it back and everything will be fine.

You have the wireless router. Run a line from the printer to the wireless router. Each computer goes into the wireless router. You shouldn’t need a switch or hub or anything as long as there’s additional ports in your wireless router. Nothing should go directly from a computer to the printer really. If you need to you Can however put a hub at one of the computers and then from the hub, to the computer and to the printer.

Any reason why your choosing a wireless router? If your not too familiar with networking or setting up a router, I’d think twice about going wireless. Granted, there probably isn’t a large population of hackers in your area, scoping out stores with weak wireless security… But… There could be…

You can turn wireless off on some routers, but if you don’t/can’t, you must, must, must use WPA AND have a key/passphrase too difficult to remember and longer than the day. WEP can be hacked in under a minute.

If you want to offer wireless internet, then I can see using a wireless router. I must BEG you to have a networking guy set such a system up for you. You’ll need the wireless router for the customers and a cascaded router for just your POS network. The second router segments your POS from the customer access. Block all incoming ports and that way only sessions made from your system can be responded to. You could still be hit with a man in the middle attack, but those take a lot more skill than cracking a WEP key.

Each node on your network needs an IP address. Nodes are any computer, printer, router, or anything with an ethernet jack other than a hub or switch.
You either need to set a static address on the printer or a reserved address in DHCP so the IP of the printer never changes.

On each workstation that you want to be able to print from, to that printer, you need to go to start, settings, printers (assuming XP, figure it out on Vista). You can go to Control Panel and access the printers there as well. Click File, Add Printer. Install the drivers for that printer. Once it’s set up, make it the default printer (assuming you’re using only one printer). Now, right-click the printer and go to properties. Go to the ports tab, click ADD PORT. Choose Standard TCP/IP port. It’ll ask for the IP or printername (use the IP address you’ve assigned to the printer) and “port name”. Port name is unimportant, use “kitchen printer” or leave it as it is. This is just a friendly name, not something the computer uses. Click Next. Hopefully the system can get the information about the network card from the printer. That should do it.