Do I Need a Router for a Wireless Printer?

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Whether you need a router for your wireless printer depends on your particular computer setup. If you have multiple computers using multiple printers, a router will make life much easier. On the other hand, if you only have one computer using one printer, a router is optional.

File and Print Sharing

  • For those with multiple computers all needing use of the same printer, it is recommended to put your printer and computers on a shared wireless network. This is simply done by connecting the printer to a wireless router just as you would a computer (keep in mind not all routers have ports for printers to be connected to--make sure the router has a printer port). First, attach the power and USB cables to the printer and then the USB cable to the wireless router. If using a Windows operating system, click "Start," then move your mouse to "Control Panel" and click. Once in the control panel, proceed to double click on the "Printers and Faxes" icon. A window will pop up, click the "Add Printer" box and press "Next." Click "Choose a Network Printer" and press "Next." Then you'll need to browse for a printer, click and press "Next." You now have the option to choose a printer. Choose the one you just connected to the wireless router (or if you have multiple printers, choose the one you want to print to).

Plug and Play USB Printers

  • Many newer printers/routers are USB plug and play (plug the cable in, and you're good to go). These are recommended as they're much more convenient.

    For those with only one computer and one printer, it is truly not necessary to have a wireless router for the printer. The printer can be connected directly to the computer as usual.

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