How To Hook Up a Router to a Laptop & Printer


Many modern printers come not only with standard parallel and USB connections, but also with Ethernet ports that allow them to be plugged directly into a local network.

Sharing these printers does not require the use of a host computer, since the printer interfaces directly with the router itself. All of the computers on the network can print at any time, just as if the printer was connected directly to that computer.

  • This setup is ideal for laptops, since a laptop can easily print without having to plug the printer into it each time. If both the laptop and router are Wi-Fi capable, then the laptop can print wirelessly as well.

  • Plug one end of a standard Ethernet cable (also called a “networking cable”) into one of the empty ports on the back of the router. Plug the other end of the cable into the Ethernet port on the printer. You should easily be able to find this port by looking around the outside of the printer. This will be the only port the cable will fit into, so it is impossible to plug it into the wrong port.
  • Turn on both the printer and the laptop, ensuring the router is plugged in. Plug one end of another Ethernet cable into the laptop’s Ethernet port, and the other end into another free port on the back of the router. If the laptop is being connected wirelessly, then there is no needed for it to be plugged in.
  • Insert the printer’s installation CD into the laptop’s disk drive, and wait for the drive to spin up. After a moment, the installation wizard will appear on the screen. Walk through the instructions to install the printer. If the setup wizard asks you how the printer is connected, select “Ethernet,” “LAN” or “Local network.” If the installer doesn’t ask, then it will detect the printer automatically.
  • Print a test page to make sure everything is functioning properly. This can be a document, picture, website or anything else that is printable. If any of the computers on the network besides the laptop need access to the printer, use the CD to install the drivers for the printer on each of them as well.
  • Wireless routers add a lot of flexibility to the home or office by eliminating the need to run cables everywhere and increasing portability. To make the most of a wireless network, hook up all your computers and printers.
  • Test the wireless router to printer connection by printing a test page from the printer from one of your network computers. Enter the Control Panel, and then select “Printers,” then the name of your networked printer, then “Properties,” then “Print Test Page.”

Filed Under: Computers & Technology

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About the Author: Justin Belden is a freelance web & graphic designer with over 15 years' experience. He is also an Avid member of the Design/Development community and a Serial Blogger who loves to help people by sharing interesting and informative tips and trick related to computer and technology.

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