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Windows 7: Using home wifi for USB printers

15 Sep 2014   #1

Desktop = Vista 64bit, Laptop = Windows 7 Professional 64bit
Using home wifi for USB printers

I have two USB printers that I am trying to print to wirelessly from my Laptop.

Both printers are hooked into my HP Desktop computer running Vista 64bit.
My internet is Frontier DSL running through a Netgear router.
I have a Toshiba laptop running Windows 7 Professional.

From my desktop (Vista), I've set both printers to 'Share' but when I search for them in the Networking menu on my laptop (Windows 7), it can't seem to find them.

Is what I am trying to do feasible and am I missing something?

Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2014   #2

Windows 7 Home 32bit

What you are trying to do is definitely feasible, and quite common. Here are some things to look at. Can your laptop see other shared resources, such as folders, on the desktop?

1. Both computers should be in the same workgroup. Control Panel -> System -> Advanced System Properties -> Computer Name (this is the Windows 7 location, Vista should be in a similar location). If your laptop is used at work on an office network then you may want to check with your IT dept before making a change on the laptop.

2. The host computer (Desktop running Vista) needs to be sharing the printers (which you said that you did already). It also needs to have any firewall allowing printer sharing so that other computers can "see" the printers.

3. After the printers are shared, and accessible, to your network then your network needs to allow the two computers to talk to each other. Most likely your network is using the DSL Modem/Router as the central connection point. Check to see if there is a Router setting that may be blocking the communication.

4. The printer drivers/software needs to be installed on the laptop, and needs to be able to handle a network connection to a printer shared on another computer. If the driver is limited to only a local USB connection to the printer then you may be out of luck on this.

I wish you good luck with this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2014   #3

Desktop = Vista 64bit, Laptop = Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Hi RickL1,

My laptop is purely home use so no work system to worry about. I'm replying from work so don't have the laptop with me and can't remember if it was seeing any other shared resources.

You are correct that I have shared the printers but didn't know about the firewall or router communication settings. I will check those.

I will also install the printer drivers on the laptop, but am not sure about any possible USB limitations. I suppose I'll find out on this. My printers are a Brother HL-2240 and a Xerox 6010N. The Brother only has a USB cable but the Xerox has a Ethernet port too that I could hook directly to the router I suppose. My desire is to keep them the same and just use the USB.

I'll try your advice and let you know.

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Using home wifi for USB printers

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