Computer Maintenance

How to Connect two Home Computers to the same Printer



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Do you own more then one computer, but only one printer?. I'm assuming you don't want to unplug the printer from one computer and hook it up to the other every time you want to print. So let's look at some ways to connect more then one computer to your printer.

Depending on your operating system, the printer and what you are trying to achieve there are numerous different ways to connect two computers to the same printer:

1. SET THE SECOND COMPUTER UP AS A NETWORK PRINTER

This is one of the most common ways to connect two home computers to the same printer. The advantage of this technique is that it doesn't cost you anything extra. You do require some computer literacy in networking though.

Firstly you physically connect the first computer to the printer via the provided cables. The second computer now needs to be set up as a network printer to have printing capabilities. The computer not physically hooked up sends a message via the network to the computer which is physically connected to print.

To set up the network connection in Windows follow these steps:

-Open the control panel

-Select the network or network and sharing icon

-You should see an icon named file and print sharing or simply print sharing. Turn on printer sharing if it is off.

(This requires your two computers to already share a network connection; otherwise you will have to set this up).

2. PURCHASE A PRINTER SWITCH

A simple old fashioned way to connect two computers to one printer is by hooking them up to one switchbox in the middle. This switch is what is connected to the printer. This is a similar method to using a router to distribute the Internet to more then one computer.

This method is good for people who aren't very computer literate when it comes to networking. All you have to do is plug the cables in and off you go. However, it has one large disadvantage which is that the computers and printer all have to be in close proximity for the cables to reach.

3. PLUG THE PRINTER STRAIGHT INTO A NETWORK

A third option often used in large offices is what's known as a network printer. The printer is physically plugged straight into the network via a blue data cable therefore making it available to everyone on the network from their individual work stations. This technique can also be used in home situations.

4. PURCHASE A WIRELESS NETWORK PRINTER

If you purchase a new wireless network printer you will be able to network both computers to the one printer without the use of cables.

More about this author: Kimberley Heit

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