How to Convert an Ethernet Printer to Wireless

By Eric Fenton

Ethernet printers can connect to wireless routers through a print server
i Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Network printing is a tremendous boon for small offices; instead of needing individual printers for every workstation, offices can install one central network printer that is accessible from every computer in the office. The cost of purchasing all those printers is significantly reduced, and some of that savings can be invested in a higher-powered printer with productivity-enhancing features such as automatic stapling and two-sided printing. However, many network printers only offer Ethernet connections at a time when many offices are transitioning to wireless networking. Using a network device called an Ethernet print server, Ethernet printers can be incorporated easily into wireless network infrastructures.

Using Ethernet cables, connect the "Printer" port of your print server to your printer and the "LAN" port of your print server to your wireless router. A wired connection is almost always necessary for initial configuration, though the print server will function wirelessly under normal use.

Using a network-connected computer, load the print server's included software. This software is usually provided by the manufacturer on a CD. Automated setup wizards will guide you through the configuration of the print server. You will need to enter your network name and a password if your network is secured, so have them available as you walk through the steps using the wizard.

After configuration is complete, disconnect the Ethernet cable connecting your router and your print server. Your print server is now ready to function using a wireless connection between the print server and router. However, the print server must remain physically connected to the printer, though these two devices can now be repositioned anywhere in your office where there is wireless network coverage from your router.