Setting up a network printer through a router is an essential part of any home networking system. As well as the ability to deliver high-speed Internet connections to multiple computers within your household, your router can also act as a gateway to allow you to share files as well as access a single printer. In order to set up a network printer through a router, follow a few simple steps.
Home Network Setup
Newer operating systems, including Windows XP and Windows Vista, have made the process of setting up a network printer through a router simple by including easy-to-use wizards. In order to set up a network printer through a router you will have to run the network wizard on each of the computers on your home network, making sure that the name of the network is the same on all computers. As you run the network wizard, make sure to click the appropriate check boxes to be sure that file and printer sharing is turned on.
After running the network wizard on each computer on your home network, make sure that the shared folders are visible before continuing on. Keep in mind that sometimes it will be necessary to restart the computers before the changes will take effect.
Installation on a Primary Computer
After all of the computers have been networked together, choose a primary computer to connect your printer. Install your printer following the directions provided and print a test page to make sure that the printer is operating properly. Once the printer has been installed to a primary computer you will be ready to network the printer with the rest of the computers on your home network.
Setting Up a Network Printer Through a Router
Access the printers and faxes window on the primary computer that has the printer attached to it. The "Printers and Faxes" window can be accessed in Windows XP by going to the "Start" button, clicking on "Control Panel", and selecting the "Printers and Faxes" icon. In Windows Vista, open the "Control Panel" and click on "Hardware and Sound", then select the "Printers" icon to open the printer window.
The printer window will display all printers that are installed on your computer, as well as give you the ability to install or add a new printer. Find the icon that corresponds with the printer you have installed and right-click it to bring up the small fly out menu. From the fly out menu, select the "Sharing" option and click the appropriate boxes to allow sharing of the printer with the other computers on your home network.
Once you have allowed sharing from the primary computer, return to the other computers on your home network and open the "Printers" window. From this window you will be able to add the network printer through a router by accessing your home network and searching for the printer installed on the primary computer.
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