Alright so all of the computers in my house are all Laptops. Well the issue is when my main laptop is with me at work no one else can print with out unpluggin the USB cable from the back of my docking station. So its kind of a pain. Now I also want to get an external HD for backup. Now is are there any external hard drives out there that will let me plug in my printer so the other laptops can print when im gone?

I know the new Apple Time Capsule will do just this... but we don't have any Mac's that need to be backed up, so it might be useless to get it. But im willing to be convinced other wise. :)

So the USB cable is plugged into what other than your docking station?
Do you intend to backup data or system files?
There's a lot of new stuff on the market, but I would think that any HD that you might buy for the printer is gonna need a server of some type to operate it.
What kind of network are you running?

imo the best thing to do is to set up an old PC as a home server.
another option would be to get a SOHO NAS box, and a wired (or even wireless) enabled printer

I was thinking about setting up another old PC to host the printer. But I thought it was such a waste since thats all it will be doing. And there i need to really setup some sort of a backup plan that I have been putting off for a while. Thats why I thought a external HD would be good. Kill two birds with one stone. The Apple Time Capsule sparked my attention because we are thinking about replacing one of the laptops with a Mac book or a Mac Book Pro.

well, and old PC with lots of disk space and a printer attached is the easiest to implement. it is also probably the cheapest and the customizable solution

Guys - please think in terms of energy efficiency as well .. an old pc with just printing capability or network storage solution is a sheer waste of energy. You better get Iomega IConnect or something similar - there are many options available.

I am not 100% sure on the problem but kinda sounds to something I do at my house. Look at this product;, it is the RT-N56U router. It has 2 USB ports. One USB can be used for printing (I use to with it before my completely wireless printer) but it made my printer "wireless" too. Then the other USB can be used for an external drive. The drive is slower at about 5-10MB/s but might do job for overnight backup. But it is great in windows environment as a home media server too. Tell me what you think! ..Or if it completely off to what your doing...

Please check the post dates :).

Makes sense ;) but u never know....may help from someone asking questions later on...

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, networking, learning, and sharing knowledge.