Sharing a Local Printer over a Network
What is printer sharing? How to share a local printer over a network?
Printers are devices that allow the users to print documents and other files from computers and other memory devices. Printers help in creating a hard copy of the documents which can then be used for quick references. Printers are available from different vendors. HP, Dell, Epson, Canon, etc, are some of the popular manufacturers that produce printers. Printer sharing is a utility that allows the users to share a printer over a network. By sharing a printer, the users are able to print from any computer which is connected to that network. This is of great help, since the need of buying a printer for each computer is eliminated. This saves both money and office/home space.
Following points explain the need for sharing a printer and also provide the steps for sharing a printer over a network:
- Need of Sharing Printer
- Method to Share
- Wireless Sharing
Need of Sharing Printer
Printers can be shared in a network and used to print from different computers on the network. The need for sharing printers arises mostly in workgroup environments where each user needs to print documents. In such a scenario, dedicating a printer for each of the computer may not be feasible, since it will add to the cost. In these cases, a printer can be shared over the network and then it can be used to print from any computer on the network.
Method to Share
In order to share a printer in a network, first of all connect the printer to a computer which is connected to the network. Install the necessary drivers and check whether you can print from that computer. If you succeed in printing from the connected computer, you are ready to share the printer. Click on the ‘Start’ menu and select ‘Control Panel’. Open ‘Printers’ and right click on the connected printer and click ‘Sharing’. Click on ‘Change sharing options’ and then check the box near 'Share this printer'. Type a meaningful name for your printer in the appropriate field. Click ‘OK’ to save the settings and the printer can be shared in the network.
Some printers can be shared directly over a wireless network. For this, the printer must be equipped with wireless capability. If you are not sure whether your printer is equipped with wireless capability or not, then try checking the documentation that came along with the printer. Most of the printers come with a CD that allows the users to share the printer wirelessly. It can also be done by accessing the ‘Settings’ option under ‘Network’ tab of the ‘Printer Properties’. The procedure for sharing wireless printers varies widely with different vendors. So the best way is to use the documentation that comes along with the printer.
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