Parallel Printer Cable

Today’s printers are made to connect with computers via Bluetooth or USB connections. This is a very easy way to make printers, because virtually every computer made in the past decade has USB port. It’s an easy and standardized way to connect to connect to a computer. But before USB connections became mainstream, computers used parallel printer cables to connect to printers. This has gone completely out of fashion, as USB cables are more reliable, smaller, and pretty much function better in every respect. No new printer is made to connect to parallel printer cables anymore, unless that’s a specific request to get them to connect to an old system.

However, for people who still have older computers and/or printers, parallel printer cables are still a necessary accessory. They’re not very easy to find, because there just isn’t much of a market for them anymore, but if your local computer store doesn’t have them, it will be very easy to find one on the internet, either new or used. Buy a printer cable used, though, might not be the best decision. While it’s unlikely the cable will be damaged, it’s possible to find parallel printer cables for a very inexpensive price, meaning that the usual benefit of buying something used might be completely negated. It all comes down to what’s easier to find.

If you’re looking for a parallel printer cable, chances are that you have an old printer that you need to use with a new computer. If this is the case, it’s possible to buy an adapter that will convert a parallel printer cable into a USB extension. These are most easily found online, but some computer parts stores might have them as well. This type of adapter works by connecting one end to the printer, while the other end is a normal USB cord. This will plug into your computer as normal. Once you plug it into your computer, it should work without a hitch, although you might need the original installation CD.

Unfortunately, that strategy doesn’t work the same the other way around. If you have an old computer without a USB port, and want to connect a new printer to it, you’re probably out of luck. Most computers too old to have USB ports won’t have an operating system that is compatible with a new printer. Even if they do have a new enough operating system, there aren’t any cables available to make that transition.

Parallel printer cables are named after the parallel port. This is a type of port that has two rows of pins (or slots for pins) that stretch on the Y-axis. A parallel printer cable is made to fit into a parallel port. When most printers used this technology to connect to computers, parallel ports were standard equipment on any computer. However, that has ceased to be the case since the early 2000′s, and parallel ports are no longer included on most personal computers. They can still be specially ordered on some customized computers, but that even that is being offered on fewer computers as time goes on.

Even today (or perhaps especially today), printer cables are very inexpensive. In stores, they’ll cost less than $20, and they can be found online for less than $10, especially used cables. The adapters don’t cost much more, as the cost for most adapters is in the same price range of $10-$20. The only barrier to finding one is in the supply. Parallel ports went out of fashion so long ago that some computer stores, even online, might not carry them anymore. They’ll be available somewhere, but the best bet to finding them is by searching online, rather than through conventional stores.

This Parallel Printer Cable Review is Written/Updated on Jan 31st, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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