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As you know, most people have a printer in their home office, maybe even more than one. I myself own two printers, plus a scanner. Some people might put their printers in a family room or living room to be shared by all the inhabitants of the house. Others use them at work and share them with coworkers. But what happens when you want to print something from your home office computer but there is no printer nearby? How do you print without having to go on an expedition?
You need to install network printing on your computer or laptop so that other computers can use the printer over the network. You can also set your printers up for network printing and use the printer on your home network from anywhere in the world through an Internet connection. Today’s printers are multifunctional: They print, scan, copy and fax. If you have a wireless network in your house, you can probably print over your home wireless network from nearly any room as long as you are hooked up to it.
There are two main ways to set up a printer so that it is shared on an Ethernet or wireless home network: set it up wirelessly or connect it directly to the router or hub with an Ethernet cable.
Setting up a wireless printer is relatively easy because you usually don’t have to open the computer case to connect. However, if your computer is in another room, there might be a lot of interference and therefore slower printing. It all depends on the type of wireless network you have. At home I have a N-band wireless router that was very easy to install and has given me no problems whatsoever. In order for this to work, you must use Windows XP or Mac OS X operating systems on the computers that will use the printer. If you want to print from a laptop, it has to be connected directly to your router or hub with an Ethernet cable (called hardwiring).
In the following sections, I’ll explain how to share a printer over a wireless network or hardwire it directly to your router or hub. You’ll be able to access the printer from any computer in the house without having to go outside or go through a lot of extra steps.
In order for a wireless network printer to work with other computers, they must be set up as “shared” printers. This means that when you print something from one machine, it goes directly onto the network so that all other machines can use it. The computers must also have the appropriate software installed on each one. There’re various ways to set up a shared printer on your computer; I’ll describe the easiest one, which is also the best choice for most people.
Setting up a wireless printer is relatively easy because you usually don’t have to open the computer case to connect.
One of the advantages of using wireless networking technology is that there are no cables running across your house; it’s all done over an existing network. But be aware that if you have other devices (such as a television) that use your router or hub, those too probably have wireless capabilities. For this reason, it’s best to hardwire all printers and scanners directly into the router or hub. If you’re going to hardwire a printer directly into your router or hub, you need an Ethernet cable. If you don’t have an Ethernet cable, your computer or local store should have them for sale.
Before I start discussing how to share printers over a wireless network, please assume that the following things are true:
Read more: How Does a Laser Printer Work
If the above isn’t true, try spending some time resolving any issues before you continue with this article. Fixing problems now will prevent them from cropping up when you are setting up your home network printing system.
If you don’t have a printer, you’re probably not interested in setting up a wireless network printer. If that’s the case, skip to the section on how to hardwire a printer directly into your router or hub. But if you do have a network printer, there’s no reason not to set up an Ethernet-based, shared printing system.
I’ve tried both methods and my preference is for hardwiring any printers. I like this method because it turns out to be easier with wireless networking and it doesn’t require me to open my computer case whenever I need to print something remotely (although infrared helps speed things up and saves wear and tear on my eyes). Other people use either method.
Regardless of which method you decide on, the following steps are pretty much the same for a wired/hardwired printer and wireless.
The only difference when setting up a network printer is that when you go to print with your computer there’ll be no “print driver” software waiting to be installed. Instead, your printer will immediately accept your printing job, just like all of the other printers on your network.
These instructions should get you going if you’re new to networking and printing:
For more information about print servers and printers, see http://www.cnet.com/printing/print-server-faq .
Option 2: Download the Print Services for Windows XP image from a website (see step 1), and burn it to a DVD or CD.
For technical support, contact the following Microsoft support professionals via the Internet:
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Every time someone uses the printer, they have to find the printer and wait for it to wake up from hibernation. They then have to load a new paper and click print a few times before actually seeing their content. It doesn’t seem like much now, but when you multiply this by thousands of days, you’ll be surprised how long it takes. A “shared printer” is where another device is able to send documents directly to your printer without having control over the physical location of your device”. A lot of home printers come with this feature built in. For the purpose of this blog, we’ll call this a “shared printer” or a “networked printer”.
For example, if you have an HP all-in-one printer connected to a wireless router at home and your boyfriend also has one at his house, you can print photos from his computer just by clicking the shared button on the web page. It’s as easy as point and click: since both printers are connected to the same router, any document sent from his computer will be transferred to your printer, so that you can print it (using your own software).