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So you have yourself a wireless network and a printer. The printer is not wireless. The challenge is that you would like to print over the wireless network from any computer connected to your network either wired or wirelessly. How do do it?
The answer is quite simple and the logic behind it is quite sound. No matter what the make or model the printer is, you can simply send print jobs to it through the wireless network by connecting it to a computer that is always on and share the printer from that machine.
I will be using good old Windows XP as the client and print server to show you how it works. It will be a little more complicated on Windows 7 or Vista but if you have your share permissions down, it should be easy.
First things first. Make sure that you have the same username and password set up on the machine you want to use as your print server and the machine you are going to print from. This is required so that you can communicate with the other machine. Once you have the machines’ usernames and passwords synced up, you can turn to the machine with the printer attached to it.
From this machine (which we will call the print server), we will need to set up the printer on it (if it is not already completed). Test that you can print and the output is what you expected. Then we will need to go to Printers and Faxes in the control panel.
You need to right click on the printer that you want to share and choose properties like so:
When you get to the properties page for the printer, you will want to click on the tab that says Sharing. Chances are sharing will be turned off like it is in the screenshot below. Simply click on the share this printer button. That will enable the box to type in the printer’s name. It will be grayed out until you click the radio button to share it.
You will want to name the printer something memorable. I called mine HP1100 (this was the default the machine offered me)
Now depending on what other operating systems that may connect to the print server, you might want to click the Additional drivers button to load up drivers for other operating systems besides Windows XP.
That will take you to this screen:
Simply check off the system types you want to use and point it to the correct drivers. You may have to find the CD that came with the printer or go download them from the manufacture’s site.
Now, when you are done walk on over to the computer you want to print from wirelessly. Hit Start – run and then type \\ and your IP address or host name. Mine is 192.168.1.29 so I typed \\192.168.1.29
If you see this dialogue then you do not have the same password and username on both machines.
Hit Control+Alt+Delete on each machine and verify that the username is the same. When you are done, run the command again and you should now see this:
Double click on the printers folder, then on the actual printer. It will install the drivers and you will be good to go and able to print from any application as long as the print server is on.
To learn to share a printer over the Internet, check out an older post of mine.
Did you expect a more technical way to share a printer wirelessly? Would you modify your printer to enable printing over a wireless network? Tell us your solutions in the comments.