Printers are an indispensable peripheral device especially in the office set up. There is a way for several users to share just one printer and that is to make it a part of the local wireless network.
- Acquire a wireless print server. Make sure that it is compatible to both the printer and the wireless network. In cases where the printer has multiple functions and can also copy and scan, choose the wireless print server that supports these features.
- Connect the wireless print server to the printer. Join them by using a USB cable. Afterwards, plug the server into the electric outlet and turn it on.
- Use an Ethernet cable. For purposes of initial set up, an Ethernet cable has to be used to join the server and the computer.
- Run the software. First, insert the CD that came with the print server into the optical drive. If the software does not start own its own, then do it manually by navigating to it in the My Computer folder.
- Set the IP address. The first option is to use a static address while the second is to use dynamic addressing. The first option is more reliable as it will enable other computers in the wireless network detect and connect to the printer faster. Additionally, access to the online configuration of the print server is quicker. While the second option will prove to be easier during the installation process, it is not as reliable as the printer's IP address may change over a period of time thus making it difficult to locate inside the network. After choosing the IP address, set the password.
- Configure the print server. For the print server to have access to the wireless network, provide it with the same Service Set Identifier (SSID) name that the router has and configure it to utilize the similar wireless channel.
- Install the driver. Follow the software's walk-through instructions in installing printer drivers.
- Do a trial. Disengage the Ethernet cable. If everything was set up correctly, the unit will immediately connect to the wireless network.
- Configure each computer. Printer drivers have to be installed on every computer that will be using the printer.
In most cases, an office shares a printer by having it connected to a computer that will serve as the host. This essentially means that the main computer will have to be turned on at all times. Additionally, it has to be configured to the correct settings so that other computers on the network can print. So if ever the host computer experiences technical problems, then the rest of the office will have to wait for it to be fixed to have access to the printer. Wireless print server technology eliminates this sort of problem.