With the democratisation of ISP boxes, it is now possible to share a printer over a local network via a USB port.
Generally speaking, each computer in your network must have the drivers of the printer in question. Generally, Windows will pick them up in its personal database or log in to Windows Update. Some printers are not necessarily compatible with Windows 7 but alternatives include using generic drivers or running them in compatibility mode for Windows Vista, for example.
2 cases of figures exist:
- The printer is connected to an ADSL router via USB (box);
- The printer is directly shared via a network computer;
Case #1 — The printer is plugged into the box
Then it is necessary to follow the following procedure for all of your computers — the method being similar in Windows Vista and XP:
- Open the start Menu then click on Peripherals and printers ;
- In the window that appears, click on Add a printer ;
- In the dialog box, choose Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer ;
- Windows will launch a search to detect printers on the network.
Case of a Livebox
In the case of a Livebox, click on The printer I want is not listed then indicate http://livebox:631 Open Firefox 3.5; Select a printer shared by name.
Make Next to keep going.
Case of a NeufBox (SFR)
In the case of a Neufbox, click on The printer I want is not listed then tick Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname.
Make Next then wait for a few moments, the time of detection.
Additional information is then requested from us. Let it tick Standard then Generic Network Card.
Make Next to continue the operation.
Configuration of Print Drivers
We now need to install the corresponding driver — although it is advisable to do this step in the first place. Select the manufacturer and then the printer model from the proposed lists.
If it is absent, 2 options are available to you:
- Windows Update : conducts an Internet driver search with Microsoft;
- Disc supplied... : insert the CD containing the drivers of the device in question;
Opt for either of the methods and then do it again Next. If by case the driver was already present on your PC, Windows will offer to keep it or replace it.
By recommendation, made Use the currently installed driver then click again on Next.
Now enter the name of the printer, indicating — why not, the name of the network to which it belongs.
The next step is somewhat ambiguous because it consists of sharing the printer... indeed, the printer is beautiful and well connected on the network but you can also share it from your own PC. In some cases, this may be useful but it is quite rare!
Do so. Do not share this printer. Finally, it is possible to tick Set as a default printer.
To confirm, click on Finish unless you wish Print a test page to check the proper functioning of the system.
I didn't have the opportunity to test for other boxes, so refer to the user manual. Also note that information about filling levels of cartridges and various parameters is accessible from your router’s IP address, the traditional 192.168.1.1 from a web browser.
Case #2 — The printer is shared from a computer
In this approach, it is necessary to permanently turn on the station that shares the printer. Much less ecological than the previous method...
To implement this method, simply repeat steps 1 to 4 of the first case. Here, Windows is able to identify you with printers. All you have to do is select the printer you want to add and then give it a name.
You now have a real printing center independent of any computer: your ADSL router is responsible for returning the print tasks to the connected printer via the USB port. In addition to printer sharing, it is possible to do the same with an external hard drive.