How to Print Wirelessly
Printing wirelessly has many advantages. With a wireless printer connection, you can eliminate clutter caused by cords and cables, print from anywhere in your home or office and save money by sharing a single printer over a home or office network. A wireless printer connection can be set up on a Wi-Fi network using an existing USB printer or a printer with built-in wireless capability. In both scenarios, you will need to have an existing wireless network set up before you can print wirelessly.
How to Print Wirelessly with a USB Printer
Check your wireless router to determine if it has a built-in print server. If so, you can plug your printer into the USB port on the router so that the computers on the network can access the printer. If your wireless router does not have a print server, proceed to Step 2.
To share a printer that is connected to a computer on your wireless network, click "Start," then "Control Panel," and double-click the "Printers" icon. Right-click the icon for the printer that you will be sharing and select "Properties." Place a check mark in the box next to "Share this printer." The computer with the printer connected will need to be turned on in order for other computers to access the printer.
Follow the printer manufacturer's instructions to install the printer drivers on other network computers. In most Microsoft Windows versions, you can install a printer by clicking "Start," then "Settings," and selecting "Control Panel." Click the "Printers" icon and select "Add Printer." Choose the option to add a network printer and allow your computer to search for and locate your printer. Follow the prompts until the installation is complete.
Print a document or a test page to make sure that the printer is working correctly.
How to Print Wirelessly Using a Printer with Built-in Wireless Capability
Purchase a printer with built in Wi-Fi. There are a variety of printers on the market with wireless capability built in. Many wireless printers have other features and also serve as scanners, copier and fax machines. Shop around to find a printer to suit your needs.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions to add the printer to your network. You will need to know the name of your network and your wired equivalent privacy (WEP) key or Wi-Fi protected access (WPA) passphrase, also known as your network password. Plug your printer in and turn the power on to access your setup menu. If your wireless router features Wi-Fi protected setup, select the option on your printer's setup menu for "Push Button Setup." If your wireless router does not have this feature, you will need to use the printer's "Setup Wizard" to add the printer to your network and enter the network password. For more information, refer to the printer's product manual.
Add the printer to the computers on the network and install the software for your printer. Use the disk that came with your printer to install the drivers on each computer on your network. Refer to the printer's product manual for instructions.
Test the connection by printing a document or test page.