Network Printer : How to Install & Connect to Network

Network printer is a printer that is connected to a computer network and can be accessed from various computers. It is very handy when you have more than one computer at home or business but do not wish to have a printer for each computer.

There are many different ways to install a network printer, depending on the capabilities of the printer and the types of computers connected to the network.

Method 1: Installing a Standalone Printer

Connect your printer to your network.

Most modern printers can connect to network via Wi-Fi. Printers may be able to connect via Ethernet cable and requires the router for Ethernet to be viable. If printer is Wi-Fi capable, connect it to the network using the built-in menu display. Ensure Wi-Fi printer is close enough to the router for a good signal.

Connect to the printer (Windows).

When Printer is on network, use the Windows “Add a Printer” wizard to automatically install the essential software on computer to use it. If you are using OS X, skip to the next step.

Click the Start menu and select Control Panel.

  • Windows 8 users can press ⊞ Win and type “control panel”.
  • Select “Devices and Printers” or “View devices and printers”.
  • Tap Add a printer at the top of the window.
  • Click “Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer”.
  • Check network printer from the list and press Next.
  • Install the necessary drivers when prompted. Windows should be able to find and install the correct drivers for most printers.

Connect to the printer (Mac OS X).

While connecting to a network printer in OS X, it must support AirPrint or Bonjour. Check the documentation for printer to ensure to meet the specifications. You will be able to connect via IP address.

  • Tap the Apple menu
  • Select “System Preferences”.
  • Tap “Print & Scan”.
  • Press and hold the “+” button at the bottom of the printer list.
  • Select the printer you wish to add from the menu.
  • Press Download & Install button when prompted.
  • OS X has necessary software of printers. It offers downloads for printers that aren’t built-in. Clicking will allow download of drivers from Apple.

Print to the network printer.

You can print after adding printer to operating system. Just click the printer from the “Print” window of any program. Ensure the printer is turned on and connected to the same network.

Method 2 : Sharing a Windows Printer

Use HomeGroups to share a printer between Windows 7 & 8.

It is the easiest way to share printer with other computers on the network . Press detailed instructions, don’t apply to situation.

Install the printer on the Windows computer.

You should install printer on the computer as the computer will need to be on in order to print. Printers will install automatically when you connect the USB cable to the computer.

Enable printer sharing in Windows.

Enable printer sharing to allow computers on the network to connect to installed printer.

  • Open the Control Panel.
  • Tap “Network and Sharing Center” or “Network and Internet”.
  • Press “Change advanced sharing settings” link.
  • Expand the “Private” network settings for Home network.
  • Tap “Turn on file and printer sharing” option to Save changes.

Share the installed printer.

Printer sharing is enabled to set the printer to be shared.

  • Open the Control Panel.
  • Press “Devices and Printers” or “View devices and printers”.
  • Right-click on the printer to select “Printer properties”.
  • Do not select the “Properties” option.
  • Press Sharing tab, check the “Share this printer” box, and tap Apply.

Connect to the shared printer (Windows).

  • Open the Control Panel on the computer connecting to the shared printer.
  • Tap “Devices and Printers” or “View devices and printers”.
  • Press Add a printer at the top of the window.
  • Click “Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer”.
  • Press network printer from the list and tap Next.
  • Install the necessary drivers when prompted.

Connect to the shared printer (Mac).

  • Tap Apple menu and click “System Preferences”.
  • Press “Print & Scan” option.
  • Tap “+” button to add a new printer.
  • Press “Windows” tab.
  • Select workgroup, the name of the computer sharing the printer, and then the printer you wish to add.
  • Tap “Use” menu and select “Other…” if you were able to download an OS X driver, then select the driver you downloaded.
  • Set configuration options. You will be able to set configuration options allowed by the printer after loading the driver.

Print to the shared printer.

Once installed the printer on operating system (Windows or Mac), you may print by just selecting it in Print dialog box in the program. If the printer is not appearing, ensure it is turned on, connected and logged in.

Method 3 : Sharing a Mac Printer

Install the printer on the Mac that will be sharing it.

You should install the printer on the computer that is powered on the most as the computer will require to be on in order to print. It is easier for a Mac to connect to a shared Windows computer than vice versa.

Enable printer sharing on the Mac that the printer is installed on.

You’ll require to enable printer sharing in order for Mac computers to connect to the printer.

  • Tap Apple menu and click on “System Preferences”.
  • Press “Sharing” option.
  • Tap “Printer Sharing” box.

Share the printer.

You can select which printers you wish to share once you’ve enabled Printer Sharing. Check the box next to the printer you wish to share from the “Sharing” window.

Change permissions (optional).

After sharing a printer, you may select who has the access. By default, everyone connected to network can print to the printer but you can limit access based on usernames.

Connect to the shared printer (Mac).

Now that the printer is shared, you can connect to it from your other Mac computers.

  • Tap Apple menu
  • Click “System Preferences”
  • Tap “Print & Scan” option.
  • Press and hold the “+” button at the bottom of the printer list.
  • Tap the printer you wish to add from the menu that appears.

Connect to the shared printer (Windows).

If you’re trying to connect to a printer shared from a Mac on a Windows computer, you’ll be required to download special software from Apple on the Windows computer.

  • Download the Bonjour Print Services software.
  • Run the installer for Bonjour software.
  • Run the “Bonjour Printer Wizard”.
  • Select the printer that you wish to connect to.
  • Ensure Mac is connected to the same network as the Windows PC.
  • Install the printer software when prompted.

Print to the shared printer.

After installation, you may print to it just as if it was connected directly to the computer by selecting it in the Print dialog box in any program.

Method 4 : Installing a Network Printer via IP Address

Understand need to use the following method.

Connecting via the printer’s IP address has the most compatibility, but also means you won’t have access to any of the printers extra features. Some typical cases include:

  • Connecting to an older printer to network, it may not support being added automatically by operating system.
  • Connecting to a print server, you’ll be required to connect to the server instead of the printer.
  • Using an older version of Windows or OS X, you may not be able to automatically add new printers.
  • Connecting to school’s printers, you will need to use the IP address.

Connect the printer to network.

You can plug it directly into network switch using an Ethernet cable, connect it to a print server connected to network or using the printer’s built-in wireless adapter.

  • Get the printer’s IP address of the printer.
  • You may be able to see the IP address in the printer’s Networking or Settings menu.
  • You can print from the printer’s Settings menu, configuration page.
  • If you’re using an older printer, you may have to access your router to determine the IP address of the printer.
  • You’ll be required the server’s IP address.

Connect to the printer (Windows).

If you are using a Mac, skip down to the next step.
Open the Control Panel and select “Devices and Printers” or “View devices and printers”.
Click the Add a printer button and then select “Add a local printer”.
Select “Create a new port” and then select “Standard TCP/IP Port” from the menu. Click Next.
Enter the printer’s IP address into the “Hostname or IP address” field. Click Next.
Select your printer make and model. If its not listed, click Windows Update to check online or Have Disk if you have the printer’s software.
If prompted to use the current driver or replace it, choose to use the driver that is currently installed.

Connect to the printer (Mac OS X).

  • Tap Apple menu
  • Press “System Preferences”.
  • Press “Print & Scan” option.
  • Tap “+” button at the bottom of the printer list.
  • Press “IP” tab at the top of the Add Printer window.
  • Enter the printer’s IP address into the “Address” field.
  • Click on the correct Protocol.
  • Press Add. Follow prompts to download it or install it from a disk when prompted to install software, .

Print to the network printer.

After adding the printer to operating system, you’ll be able to select it from Print dialog.

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