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What is a File and Print Server: Definition and Differences

Updated on April 29, 2013
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What is a File and Print Server: Article Summary

This hub will contain the definition of file and print server as well as their difference in between. How does file server is connected to print server in a network? What is the importance of having a print server especially for those companies, which also have a file server? And lastly, is it really better and practical to own both a file server and a print server in a network?

Definition of a File Server

A file server is a server where static files are being saved, stored and accessed inside a network. It especially works in a client-server network model. File server are flexible and accessible in terms of keeping important static files that usually needed by the employees especially in an office network. You can read more detailed information about file server here.

Definition of Print Server

Since file server is already defined, let us look on what a print server does. Print server is a special kind of server that holds all the printers inside a network. This server is also the one that provides authority for people whether what printers they can access anytime given that printer is inside the network. Often than not, the concept of an office network is to assign default printers for certain group of employees. But because of a fast and flexible working environment, there comes a time that either a printer has a malfunction or down for maintenance. This kind of situation is to be expected in an office network. So, when a situation like this arises, this is where Print Server plays an important role and become really useful. Through it, it can give access to the employees in an office network to use another printer that is especially near to their cubicles. Print servers can also divide the printing queues of each printer inside a network in order to give an equal load of work to each printer, and hence provide a faster and organized working environment. So, having the capability to do this, print server can actually help extends the life of each printer by preventing printing overload for a certain printer.

The Importance of having both File Server and Print Server in a Network

Since, office network is our main example here, let just focus on it when citing an example. Having both a file server and a print server inside a network has many advantages. It is unlikely for an office network to have a file server but without a print server. Based on their definition above, their uses are connected to each other. If there are many files that needs to be stored in a file server it is also logical to think that there are also many files that needs to be printed and analyzed. So, having both file server and print server is just logical. But, there are also situations where having a file server does not necessarily mean a print server is needed too, for example in a home network where printer is only one or two, or any other network for that matter. In this case, if the number of printer is too few, having a print server is not practical. So, in conclusion having both file server and print server inside a network is also situational.

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