How to Install a Wireless Printer Without a Router

By Kammy Pow

A wireless printer can be installed on a computer using ad hoc wireless networking.
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Connecting a wireless printer to a wireless router provides convenience and flexibility for the work environment. While a router makes life easier for the larger network, it is not necessarily required for wireless printing. Wireless printers can be installed and shared through an ad hoc wireless connection.

Install the Printer Software

To set up wireless printing without a router, connect the wireless printer to the main computer through the USB port and install the printer software, selecting the option "Local printer attached to this computer." Refer to the printer's user guide for detailed instructions.

Set Up the Ad Hoc Wireless Network

Create an ad hoc wireless network on the main computer. In Windows Vista, select the "Set up a wireless ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network" option in the "Network and Sharing Center." Create a network name, choose the security type and create a security key or passphrase. Microsoft recommends using WPA2-Personal security. Check the box next to "Save this network" to save the settings.

Activate Printer Sharing Options

In Control Panel, go to the "Network Setup Wizard" to turn on file and printer sharing capabilities. Return to the printer's properties, and change the configuration to use a TCP/IP connection, assigning an IP address that resides on the same gateway, subnet and channel as the main computer. Make sure the wireless printer and computers are within range of one another to facilitate communication.