How to Network a Printer With a Router
If you have several different computers in your home or office that need to print documents at the same time, you can connect all of the computers to a single printer. To do so, network all of the devices together using a router. Once all of the devices are connected to the router, each of the computers can then send their own separate print jobs to the printer.
Things You'll Need
- Ethernet cables
Set the router near the computer that is closest to your cable or broadband modem. Plug the router's electrical plug into a wall outlet but do not connect any other cables yet.
Put the installation CD that came with the router into the computer's disc drive. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the router's software on the computer. Install the printer's software on the computer if you have not already done so.
Connect an Ethernet cable from your modem to the port on the router marked as, "WAN" or "Wide Area Network." Connect an Ethernet cable from the computer to any of the numbered ports on the router. Open the Start menu on the computer and then click "Control Panel."
Scroll through the Control Panel options and then double-click the "Network and Sharing Center" icon. Click on the "Connect to a Network" link at the left side of the window. Find the name of your router in the list of available networks and click on it. Click on "Connect."
Connect an Ethernet cable from the Ethernet port on the printer to any of the numbered ports on the router. Return to the "Network and Sharing Center" window and click on the button labeled as "Turn on Printer Sharing."
Click on the "Apply" button to save the setting. Click on the "View Computers and Devices" link at the left side of the window. Click on the "Add a Printer" button when the new window appears.
Click on the "Add a Network Printer" button and wait for the computer to scan for attached printers. Click on the name of the printer and then click on "Connect."
Connect Ethernet cables from the other computers on your network to the numbered ports on the router. Repeat the process of connecting to the network, turning on printer sharing, and then adding the printer on those computers.
Tips & Warnings
- You don't have to use an Internet connection to network your computers to a printer. Simply connect all of the computers and the printer to the numbered ports on the router and leave the "WAN" port empty.The router's software does not need to be installed on every computer on the network. You only need to install it on one computer to make the router operational.