A wireless print server simplifies the printer-sharing process.

You can share a wireless printer with multiple users over a Wi-Fi connection without the assistance of a router by either configuring the printer for ad-hoc networking mode or by attaching a wireless print server adapter to the printer. If the printer can run in ad-hoc networking mode, it is a print server in itself. However, some wireless printers only work if they can connect to a centralized router or network switch, and can work wirelessly without a router through the addition of a wireless print server.

Configure a Wireless Printer as Its Own Server

Connect the printer to a power source

Connect the printer to a power source, and then turn it on.

Enable wireless broadcasting on the printer

Enable wireless broadcasting on the printer. The location for this option varies from model to model, but is usually found under a Wireless option on the printer's display. Some printers may broadcast automatically. If the printer doesn't feature a built-in interface, connect it to a computer via USB cable, run the included setup software, follow the on-screen instructions to configure the device, and then disconnect the computer from the printer.

Click the Desktop tile

Click the "Desktop" tile on the Start screen to access the desktop, and then select the "File Explorer" folder icon on the taskbar on the computer you want to configure.

Select Open Control Panel

Select "Open Control Panel" from the ribbon options, choose "View devices and printers," click "Add a printer," and then wait for Windows to finish searching for local printers. Windows automatically scans for Wi-Fi print servers.

Select the printer from the list

Select the printer from the list, click "Next," and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the printer setup process.

Steps 3 through 5 for each computer

Repeat Steps 3 through 5 for each computer.

Share a Wireless Printer With a Wireless Print Server

Connect the wireless print server

Connect the wireless print server to the printer's USB port, and then turn on the printer.

Click the Wi-Fi icon on the desktop

Click the Wi-Fi icon on the desktop, and then look for the print server to appear on the available Wi-Fi connection list; if the server appears, skip to Step 4.

Configure the print server

Configure the print server through a computer to run in ad-hoc networking mode. The process can vary greatly from print server to print server; however, print servers that don't support zero-configuration networking include setup software that configures the print server through a computer. Run the software and follow the on-screen instructions to enable ad-hoc broadcasting.

Click the Desktop tile on the Start screen

Click the "Desktop" tile on the Start screen, select the "File Explorer" folder icon on the taskbar, click "View devices and printers," select "Add a printer," choose the printer from the list, click "Next," and then follow the on-screen instructions to connect to the printer. Repeat this step for all computers using the printer.

Things Needed

  • ['Wireless print server (optional)', 'Wi-Fi adapter (optional)']

Tips

  • Printers with a built-in wireless print server operate on their own network. Other Wi-Fi printers need to be configured through a Wi-Fi access point to the rest of the network. Wi-Fi access points are usually built-in to routers for the consumer market, and buying two separate devices is usually not a cost-effective solution. However, you can connect a Wi-Fi printer to a Wi-Fi network that consists of only a switch and a Wi-Fi access point.