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Ideas for Setting Up Wireless Printing on a Network

This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista
One advantage of a home network is that you can use a printer from any computer on the network. There are three general ways to set up printers on your network.
  • You can connect a wireless-enabled printer to the wireless router on your network. With this type of connection, you can print from any PC or wireless-enabled handheld device that accesses the network. See Connecting a wireless printer to a network.
  • You can connect a computer to a wireless adapter and then connect the adapter to a printer with a standard printer cable. This configuration is ideal if you do not have a wireless home network. See Connecting to a printer with a wireless adapter.
  • You can connect a wired printer to a specific computer with a printer cable. When the computer is turned on, it acts as an access point and allows other computers to use the printer. See Share a wired printer across a network.
HP makes a full line of wired and wireless-enabled printers.
Wireless connections and IP addresses
Setting up a connection to a wireless printer is similar to the process for connecting a new computer to a wireless network. The wireless computers on your home network communicate with the wireless router using dynamically assigned internet protocol (IP) addresses. The IP addresses for each device are unique to prevent instructions and files from being sent to the wrong device. When you set up the wireless printer, or the wireless printer adapter, the router assigns an IP address to the printing device. When you want to print a document, the computer sends a signal through the wireless router to the assigned IP address and the printer starts printing.
Information you need to set up a printer
Before trying to set up a wireless printer, you must have a working wireless network.
During the installation of the wireless printer, you are prompted to enter the following information:
  • Name of your wireless network (SSID)
  • Type of security used on the network (WEP/WAP/WPA2)
  • Network password or passphrase
Once the printer is assigned an IP addresses by the wireless router, you will use a computer on the network that has a CD/DVD drive to run the printer installation program. Finally, you will install the printer driver on each computer or wireless device.
Connecting a wireless printer to a network
Before you can print, your wireless-enabled printer must be connected and configured to the wireless router on the network. You can use the control panel on the wireless printer to start the wireless set up wizard as follows. Be sure to follow the model specific instructions provided by the printer manufacturer.
  1. Place the printer within the range of the wireless network.
  2. Connect the power supply and turn on the printer. The first time the printer is turned on, it may take a few minutes for the printer to scan for available wireless networks.
  3. Using the printer's control panel, enter the setup wizard.
  4. Select the desired wireless network from the list of all the wireless networks in the local area.
  5. When prompted, enter the type of security used by the network, and the network password or passphrase.
The LED lights on the printer will glow or blink when the printer is connected using the IP address assigned by the router. You are now ready to add a wireless-enabled printer to the computers on the network.
Adding a wireless printer to your computer
After the wireless printer is recognized and connected to the wireless router on the network, you can add the printer to any computer or wireless-enabled hand-held device. The connection between the printer and the network is a wireless connection; however, the computer can access the network using either a wireless connection or an Ethernet cable.
Depending on the manufacturer and model of the printer, you may be asked to copy the printer driver onto the computer from the installation CD/DVD disc, or the driver may be installed from the printer the first time the computer is connected to the printer.
To add the drivers for a wireless printer to your computer, do the following actions. Be sure to follow the model specific instructions provided by the printer manufacturer.
  1. On the computer, click Start, select Printers, and then click Add a printer.
  2. When prompted for a type of printer, click Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.
  3. If the Manufacturer or model of the printer is not listed, select Have Disk... and insert the printer's CD/DVD installation disc in the optical disc drive.
  4. When prompted, print a test page to verify the settings of the wireless printer.
Once the printer driver is added to the computer, just select the wireless printer to print a file. The computer and the wireless router handle all the communication using the IP addresses and security permissions.
Connecting to a printer with a wireless adapter
To use an older or non-wireless printer, you can use a wireless adapter upgrade kit that does not require a connection to the network. A small wireless transmitter device plugs into a USB port on the computer and establishes a wireless connection to the wireless adapter which is connected to the printer.
  1. Printer adapter
  2. Computer device
If you have both a wireless printer and a wired printer with an adapter, you can set up your wireless network to use both printers.
  1. Printer adapter
  2. Computer adapter
  3. Access point (router)
Sharing a wired printer across a network
If you have a printer on your network is not wireless-enabled, but the printer is connected to a computer with a printer cable, the computer can be configured to share the printer with other computers on the network. When the power for the computer is turned on, the computer connected to the printer will act as an access point for the network.
To share a printer with other computers to a network, turn on both the computer and the printer, and do the following actions.
  1. On the list of installed printers for the computer connected to the printer, right-click the desired printer , and select Sharing.
  2. Select the Share this printer option box, and then enter a name for the printer.
  3. Click OK to accept the setting and close the printer window.
The printer that is connected to the computer is now shared, and can be used by any computer on the network.


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