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I have a Windows 7 PC with an attached laser. I want to share the printer over my network, which includes a Wifi router. How can I do this safely without allowing outside traffic to get into it? It's been years since I've done this.

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"I have a Windows 7 PC with an attached laser." - PCs with fricken lasers, man! – Dec 4 '10 at 4:23
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If your wireless network is encrypted (i.e. you need a password to use it), then only people who have access to your WiFi network will be able to use your printer. However, there are additional steps you can take to secure your printer setup.

To share the printer, make sure your network connection mode is set to "Home" or "Work", not "Public". Then, verify that printer sharing is turned on. You can do both of these things from the Network and Sharing Center, which is accessed by clicking on the network icon in the notification icon area on the right side of the taskbar.

Next, go to Devices and Printers and locate the printer you wish to share. Right-click on the printer, and choose Printer Properties. Go to the Sharing tab, and if the controls are disabled, click on the Change Sharing Options button. Check the "Share this printer" box.

Once the printer has been shared, go back to the advanced sharing settings and make sure that "turn on password protected sharing" is enabled. This will ensure that only people who have an account on your computer can print to it. If you use the same username and password on the computer you are connecting with, you will not be asked for a password to use the printer, otherwise you will.

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Will it work when the sharing computer is in sleep mode? – Caveatrob Dec 4 '10 at 5:57
No. The computer needs to be on in order to use the shared printer. However, if your sharing computer supports WOL, you could remotely wake it up before printing to it. – nhinkle Dec 4 '10 at 6:36
Would the print job trigger the wol feature? – Caveatrob Dec 4 '10 at 15:54
No, it would not. You would need to manually wake up the computer before sending the print job. – nhinkle Dec 4 '10 at 19:53

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