Set up wireless file and printer sharing

Here's how to set up file and printer sharing on a wireless network so that these shared resources can be available to all printers on the network.

This lesson pertains primarily to Windows XP. For other versions of Windows, click here. For Mac instructions, click here.

How to set up printer sharing
Go to the PC the printer is plugged into and open Control Panel > Printers and other Hardware > View installed printers or fax printers, and click on your printer. From there open the Printer menu and click on Sharing. From there click Share this printer, then click OK.

How to add a network printer
Do the following on each of the other PCs on your network: open Control Panel > Printers and Faxes and click Add a printer. This will take you into a wizard to find the printer you shared previously. Click Next until you are at the Local or Network Printer page. Select "A network printer or a printer attached to another computer, and click Next. Now click Browse for a printer" and click Next. This will display your workgroup, the PCs connected to it and any printers that are attached to them. Click on the one you shared earlier and click Next. This should install the driver automatically. If not, you may need to get the CD that came with the printer. Now click Yes for that to be the default printer for this PC (or no if it already has one attached). Click Finish.

Both this PC and the one it's attached to might need a reboot. If you're not seeing the PC it's attached to, double-check that all PCs have the same network name. (Control Panel > Performance & Maintenance > See basic information about your computer. From there click on Computer Name. Your workgroup is displayed.) If you're not seeing the printer, make sure it's switched on. If it still doesn't work, you may need to install the printer driver using the CD.

Here are a few glossary words which will help you:

Workgroup name: This is the name of your network if you like. By default Windows XP will call your workgroup MSHOME, but you can change this as long as all the PCs on your network have the same workgroup name. (To see the computers in your network, click My Computer and choose Network Places from the bar on the left side. From there click View Workgroup Computers.)

Permissions: If you are a more advanced user you may prefer to set up file permissions. These are sharing rules that can be set for each folder that use the system of Windows usernames and passwords (if you don't type in a password when you switch on, you might not know what we mean, so to learn about user accounts go to Control Panel, then Users, and look under Learn about on the left.) Unless you're a confident Windows user (and you like reading through the help documents!) it's probably best to stick to simple file sharing.

Network printer: A printer that is shared among computers on a network. It is physically attached to one of the PCs, which must be switched on for anyone to use the printer.

Note: The information in this tip originally appeared in the Wireless Basics online class discussion.

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abcvic posted a comment   

how do i set up wireless printing for a PC, mac and mobile devices? there is a wireless modem


rhyspect posted a comment   

sounds good i am going to try it right now!


ale2200 posted a comment   

the advantages:
upside: you wont have to always go in the room with the router you can access your server around the house
Downside: your wirless could go down and so does your servers so u have to connect it up again
that is the advantages and disadvantages hkibira


Grandiose posted a comment   

This doesn't cover the file-sharing part. This guide didn't help me at all.


hkibira posted a comment   

what is adventage of using wlan instead lan


Me posted a comment   

Where is the file sharing part????


Anthony posted a comment   

i have a Xtra d-link Dsl-G604t modem and wirelass broadband but do not have cd for the usb routers to instal them on two other computers in my home please can some1 help


billh posted a comment   

Very good simple instructions. Could you modify to cover a XP PC with printer attached and linked by wireless to a vista laptop . to enable print sahring.

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