Network Printer Sharing
What is network printer sharing?
Users who have multiple systems in their home or work environment might wish to share a printer with other systems to reduce cost and ensure better convenience. Before sharing printers, you need to select the type of the setup that you need to make. Some printers, often high-end printers, may have the ability to connect directly to a network or have hardware installed into them that enables the printer to be connected to the network. If the printer connected to your system has this option and has the necessary hardware, you should be able to connect the printer directly to the network and have it detected by the systems. If this is the case, you would often be required to enter the network information such as the networks gateway, printer IP, etc. Today, network printers are the most common type of printer because they can be accessed from many different systems. Moreover, to have one printer which multiple systems can access remotely gets rid of the hassle of hooking up local printers to each system in an office.
Given below are some of the ways in which you can share a printer on a network for different types of setups:
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
In Windows XP, you can share printers with other systems. For this, you need to open the 'Printers and Faxes' option. For this, you have to follow some paths. First, you need to open the 'Control Panel' option followed by the 'Printers and other Hardware devices' option. Then, by right clicking on this option, you could access the properties features and select the 'Share this printer' option. Here you need to provide a share name and click 'Ok' in it. You might have a network printer connected to this network. Add that printer by selecting the 'Add Printer' option in 'Control Panel'. After this, you can start the printer sharing process.
In Windows Vista, you need to ensure that you have enabled the 'File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks' option in the network card in the system. This you can check by opening the network card. After that, go to 'Network and Sharing Center' window and check the network location type of your system. You need to check the network type in your system and choose the 'Private' network since you are doing printer sharing in home network. After this, select the 'Control Panel' followed by 'Hardware and Sound' and then 'Printers window'. Right click the printer that you wish to share and click on 'Sharing'. You can change the sharing option and tick on 'Share this printer' to share the printer. You can also tick on 'Render print jobs on client computers' if you like.
Sharing folders between two Windows 7 machines with the new HomeGroup feature is an easy process. To initialize the process, you need to ensure that both the systems are in the same work group. After this, you need to open the 'Control Panel' and select the 'Network and sharing printer' option. You can change the properties of the sharing as password protected sharing, customized printer sharing etc.
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