If you have a printer without WiFi access then you can easily make it available for everyone on your WiFi network using one of the TP-Link WiFi router that have print server function. One of such models that I recently bought from Amazon is TP-Link TD-W8968 which comes with a USB port that can be used to access your USB flash disk contents over the network as well as share a printer. TP-Link has made the configuration really very easy unless you have multiple printers connected to the same router (some routers come with more than one USB ports).
So here is how you can proceed to make your non-WiFi printer accessible to all the devices over the WiFi:
- Make sure your printer is working on your PC which means that you have already installed all the necessary device drivers and have tested the printing or scanning functions while the printer was connected to one of the USB ports on the PC.
- Download the USB Printer Controller utility in your PC. This is different for all the models of TP-Link routers and can be downloaded from the TP-Link website. You can also find it in the drivers CD that came with the router.
- Launch the USB Printer Wizard.exe that comes in the same package as the USB printer controller utility. Follow the instructions in the wizard which involves connecting the printer to the USB port on the WiFi router, turning on the printer and then turning on the router. This is followed by the installation of the USB Printer Controller software in your PC.
- At this point, your printer should be ready for use on the WiFi network. If the printer is not visible, you can do perform some of these steps –
- Reboot the WiFi router.
- Make sure that the print server is running. You can find this option under USB Settings in the web interface. If it is not running (usually it runs automatically), then click on the Start button to start the print server.
- Launch the USB Printer controller utility, select the printer listed under your router model and change the settings to make it auto-connect automatically.
You should know that not all of the WiFi routers from TP-Link support the print server feature. You should first check whether your WiFi modem supports sharing of printer over the network. If you do not want to use the WiFi router for sharing the printer, then you can turn your old wired printer into a wireless printer using the TP-Link print server device which has no other functions than acting as the WiFi print server.