Tips on How to Network Two Computers to Same Printer

By: James Kara Murat

Many times, you may need to connect more than one computer to a single printer. This can happen either in the case of home based businesses with various groups or even in regular offices with many users involved.

Tips to connect 2 computers to one printer
While going about connecting 2 computers to one printer, you need to follow a few steps to ensure the process is smooth and hassle-free. Here we outline some of these basic steps.

Connection: To be able to connect both computers to a single printer you need to setup printer on 'client' PC:

Connect printer to 'client' PC and install it. This way all required software and drivers are installed.

Reconnect to 'host' PC

Select 'Properties' by right clicking

Select 'shared'

In 'client' PC:

Select 'My Network Places' or 'Network Neighborhood'

Printer appears as 'shared'

Double click on the printer to install it

The same printer is now installed twice - as local and network printer

If always using network printer, set it as 'default'

Set up a LAN: To be able to perform a 2 pc 1 printer connection, you first need to set up a LAN or a Local Area Network. To do this, follow these instructions:

You could either use a network adapter in your home office OR

To view the status of the network connection, you need to

Double click on Network Connections

Right click on the particular LAN

Select Status option

You could also right click on the LAN, click on Properties and then select the 'Show icon in taskbar notification area when connected' checkbox. This will enable you to automatically view the status in the taskbar area

Get a printer switch: Printer switches enable you to connect 2 computers to one printer. They come in a variety of types such as auto printer switch and parallel printer switch. There are several vendors available online who provide these switches at good discounts.

Crossover cable: You can easily get a crossover cable from your local computer store to connect your computers to your printer. After that you can network and open the desired printer and enable it to be shared between both computers.

Print server: A print server enables you to print simultaneously from two computers at the same time. However you need to ensure you have a router (which will act as a DHCP server). You also need to make sure that it's not a multifunctional printer you're working with since most print servers are not able to work with such kinds of printers. In case you do not have a router, you could purchase a PSUS4 print server, then assign static IP on the network cards and print server.
No network ports present: In case there are no network ports present, then you can use either USB or parallel port adapters for your purpose.

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