While USB printers are designed to be used over a direct connection to a single computer, they can not only be shared, but also can be shared wirelessly with a workgroup. There are two different approaches to sharing them with multiple computers over a wireless network. One option is to connect your printer directly to the USB port on a print-server-equipped wireless router, if the router is conveniently located. The other option is to connect the USB printer to a wireless printer server device. Using a wireless print server that supports Wi-Fi-Protected Setup makes the process extremely simple.

Connecting Your Printer to Your Router

Step 1Use a USB cable to connect your printer to the USB port on your wireless router. Generally speaking, higher end routers will offer this functionality.

Step 2Turn on the printer and wait at least 60 seconds for the router to recognize it.
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Step 3Run your router's software on your computer to configure the router to turn on print server mode. Some routers, such as the Apple AirPort Extreme, do not require you to do this step.

Step 4Install your router's virtual port driver along with the driver for the printer on any computer that you want to have access to the shared printer. In most cases, you will just have to insert the CD that came with the router and follow the on-screen instructions.

Using a Wireless Print Server

Step 1Plug your print server's power adapter into the wall and plug its power cable into the Power input on the back of your print server. If it has a power switch, turn it on.

Step 2Connect your printer's USB port to your print server's USB port using the USB cable. Turn on your printer.

Step 3Wait for your print server to finish booting up and recognize your printer. Every print server is different, but if you give it a minute until a few lights are steadily on, it should be ready to go.

Step 4Connect your print server to your network by pressing the "WPS" button on your router and holding it for five seconds.

Step 5Go as quickly as possible to your print server, and press its "WPS" or "INIT" button and hold it for five seconds. Wait at least 30 seconds for the print server to finish connecting to your network.

Step 6Install your print server's virtual port software on any computer that you would like to connect to your printer.