When connecting a printer to a network, there are two options: directly connect the printer to the modem/router, or use a shared folder on the local hard drive. Both methods work fine, but one offers better security.
The benefit of connecting a printer to a router is that it gives you access to the internet. If someone gets into your house, they won’t be able to print unless they know how to do so. You’ll also want to make sure that the printer isn’t set up to allow printing without being logged in, because anyone could just walk away with a blank sheet of paper.
If you’re going to share a printer, however, you don’t want everyone to be able to access it. This requires setting up a shared folder on the computer where the printer is located.
To do this, open Windows Explorer, navigate to the location of the printer, and select “Sharing.” From here, you can either enable or disable sharing. To turn off sharing, simply uncheck the box next to “Share this folder.”
You can also change permissions for the shared folder. Click on the file name, and select properties. Then, under the Security tab, you can adjust permission settings. In general, you want to give yourself full control, while giving others Read Only access.
Most printers these days have networking built into them. This makes setting up your printer much easier. You no longer have to go through the trouble of connecting it to your computer via USB cable. Instead, most printers come with a simple button that allows you to easily connect to your network without having to do anything else. Once you’re done configuring your printer, you’ll want to make sure that it’s always ready to print documents. To ensure that happens, you’ll want to keep track of how many copies are left in each tray.
To share a printer connected to one of your PCs, open the Control Panel. Make sure that the PC you are connecting to is already a member of the homegroup. If it isn’t, type the password for the group into the box labeled “Homegroup Password.” This is the same password you use to log onto the computer.
If you want to make changes to a shared printer, simply double-click the name of the printer in the list.
You can now print documents from any machine on your network.
To share a printer connected to a PC without having to use a homegroup, follow these steps:
1. On the computer running Windows 10 Pro, open Devices and Printers.
2. Locate the printer you want to share. Right-click the printer icon and select Properties.
3. Select Sharing Options.
4. Check the box next to Allow others to print using this device.
5. Type a friendly name for the shared printer. This name appears as the printer name in Windows Explorer.
6. Click OK.
If you’ve got multiple computers on your home network, chances are one of them already has a printer connected. You just need to know how to access it. For example, let’s say you have a desktop computer named “Desktop1.” On Desktop1, open the Control Panel and select Devices and Printers. Then, under Device Type, choose Local Area Connection. Finally, double-click on the printer name listed in the left pane of the window. This will bring up a dialog box where you can specify the IP address of the printer. In most cases, this will be something like 192.168.0.100. Click OK to finish connecting the printer.
Now, if you wanted to connect to the printer from another computer on the network, simply type \\192.168.0.101 into the Run dialogue box.
You’ve got a printer connected to one of your PCs, but there are no other machines in your home sharing the same printer. You want to print something, but you don’t want to set up another machine just to do it. Fortunately, it’s easy to connect to a shared printer without installing anything else on the device itself.
To start, make sure that both of your PCs are running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. Then follow these instructions:
1. Open Control Panel.
2. Click “Devices.”
3. Select “Printers & scanners.”
4. Right-click the printer name listed under “Local Devices,” and choose “Properties.”
5. On the left side of the window, click “Change settings.”
If you’re having trouble connecting to a printer within your home network, it could be because you aren’t sharing it properly. You can use the following steps to connect to a printer that isn’t being shared via Homegroup.
1. Open up Device Manager. 2. Click Add/Remove Hardware. Locate the device you want to connect to and select Properties.
3. Select Sharing And Internet Options.
4. In the Sharing tab, check the box next to Allow others to plug into this computer’s physical port (recommended).
5. Check the box next to “Share this connection”, and enter the IP address of the printer.
6. Click OK to save changes.
Homegroups are groups of devices that allow people to connect wirelessly without having to use Wi-Fi passwords. They work much like a local area network (LAN), except that the devices don’t have to be physically close together. Instead, each device connects to the others via wireless technology. This allows multiple computers, tablets, smartphones, printers, cameras, etc., to communicate with one another over a single network connection.
You’ll see a list of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots. Tap the one you want to use, then tap “Join.” If it asks for a password, just type in the same password you’d normally use to log in to your router.
If you’re looking for a way to share files and stream media among your devices, consider setting up a homegroup. For example, you could make sure everyone in your family uses the same email address, so you can easily send photos, videos, documents, and even music to anyone else in the house. And if you’ve got kids, you might want to set up a shared calendar so you can keep track of important events and appointments across all of your devices.
Tim Wiley was a tech writer for seven years at Recode. In that time, he covered everything from basic browser.js and URL parameters to XHRs, performance, malware, security, enterprise apps, social media, and Windows secrets. He also written about how to hack Signal in 2016 and how to resist, or possibly even conquer, the zero-day threat.