How to Connect a Printer to a Netgear Wireless Router
By B. Steele
Networking a printer can save your business money, as it allows multiple employees in your office to use a single printer rather than having a printer at each of their desks. You don’t need to spend thousands on an enterprise-level printer, either. If you have a Netgear Wireless router with an available port, you can connect any printer to it using either a built-in Network Interface Card (NIC) or an add-on print server available for less than $50 in most cases. When connected, any wired or wireless computer in your office’s network may be configured to print to it.
Connecting the Printer
Connect one end of a Category (Cat) 5 or 6 cable into an available port on the router (except the “uplink” port).
Connect the other end of the Cat cable into the printer’s NIC, or the Ethernet port on the print server, if one is used.
Turn on the printer and wait a minute or two for the unit to obtain an IP address.
Print a configuration page from the printer to obtain its IP address. If you’re using a print server, consult its product documentation in order to obtain the IP.
Configuring a Workstation to Print
Log in to the computer using an administrator-level account.
Click “Start” and then type “control printers” without quotation marks in the search box.
Click the “Add a printer” button at the top.
Choose “Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer.”
Click “The printer I want isn’t listed.”
Click the “Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname” radio button and select “Next.”
Type the printer’s IP address in the appropriate field and click “Next.”
Install the printer driver when prompted and follow the remaining steps in the wizard to finish.
Items you will need
Printer with a Network Card
Print Server (optional)
Depending on model, your Netgear wireless router may offer advanced network printing features via its Web console that you can configure. To learn more, go to Netgear's support site (see link in Resources).
A printer driver is a piece of software necessary for Windows to communicate with the printer. It usually comes on a CD shipped with the printer itself; it is also available from the manufacturer’s website. Windows has its own store of device drivers, too, but it doesn’t have every driver for every printer on the market, so you may need to obtain the driver beforehand.
A print server is a device with an Ethernet port on one end and a USB or Parallel (depending on which printer interface you have) on the other. It adds network functionality to a printer that does not have its own NIC.
A writer and proofreader since 2006, B. Steele also works as an IT Help Desk analyst, specializing in consumer and business user tech support. She earned a B.A. in English and journalism from Roger Williams University. Steele also holds certifications as a Microsoft-certified desktop support technician, Microsoft-certified IT professional, Windows 7 enterprise support technician and CompTIA A+ IT technician.