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I just received my dad's new Dell Inspiron 15 in the mail. I'm configuring everything and was wondering if there's anyway I can setup the printer in our other room so that my dad can print to it wirelessly. I assume I cannot and that I need a print server device (unless I "tether" it to our desktop). Here's our setup:

  • Desktop PC plugged into switch port on wireless router
  • Printer plugged into Desktop PC
  • New laptop connected to wireless router via wireless (duh)

I assume the most I can do it some sort of tethering to connect the printer via a shared printer from the desktop (meaning the desktop needs to be on for it to work). If that is the only way, what would I have to do to get that set up? Would be just be to enable the printer to be shared on the desktop then on the laptop search for a printer? Would I search for a local printer or a network printer?

Thanks in advance.

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Windows, I assume? – John T Dec 13 '09 at 20:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the printer has its own NIC, you could plug it into the router and have it accessible over the network. Else, a shared printer is your next best bet if you want to avoid buying additional hardware. On Windows, simply share the printer from the desktop, and any LAN systems should see it in print options:

alt text

When you first try to use the printer, it's drivers will automatically be installed.

If you don't like the thought of having the other computer always turned on when you need to print, you might be interested in a print server. They aren't too expensive generally, and most can be easily configured via a web interface. You then plug it into your router, and the printer into the USB slot, and it is readily available over the network:

alt text

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Thanks! Exactly the info I needed. – Mark Dec 13 '09 at 21:13

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