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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Wireless printing, do I need a new printer?

Wireless printing, do I need a new printer?
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jeff k
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Apr 9, 2012, 10:33 AM
 
I'm clueless on wireless printing. I have a laptop in the living room I would love to print off the printers in the other room corded to my imac 27". How new is this technology? Do I need a new printer for it? my printers are 5-10 years old.
     
turtle777
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Apr 9, 2012, 10:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by jeff k View Post
I'm clueless on wireless printing. I have a laptop in the living room I would love to print off the printers in the other room corded to my imac 27". How new is this technology? Do I need a new printer for it? my printers are 5-10 years old.
This can be done with OS X, even with old printers. It's built into OS X, actually.

You need to activate Printer Sharing in the Sharing Preference Pane.

-t
     
-Q-
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Apr 9, 2012, 10:51 AM
 
It does require the Mac connected to the printers to always be on for your laptop to see them on the network, but it works quite well.

If you don't leave your Mac on all the time, you might want to explore a router that offers printer sharing, but that gets to be a bit more effort to get to work reliably.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 9, 2012, 12:03 PM
 
What are you using to broadcast your WiFi network? I have my inkjet plugged directly into the USB port on my Airport Extreme and share it that way. It's a snap to enable. No need to enable Printer Sharing on your iMac, or even keep it on.
     
jeff k  (op)
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Apr 9, 2012, 03:21 PM
 
OK guys, Turtle/Q thank, well I have Extreme and express and Wifi all set up. just tried without Printer Sharing, did not work. One printer says error message, not plugged in and other says offline.

So should try printer sharing?
Ok, checked Printer sharing, the printers are listed, yet both printers failed right away with same error messages.

Not off to a good start!

Ok, just tried Thorz idea putting usb cables direct into Extreme, but still did not work for either printer, Have old Brother Laser and a cheap Canon Pixma.

Yesterday, I just tested using a usb cable from laptop direct to those printers for first time and it did work with Canon, but not the Brother, even though I download all drivers to the laptop.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 9, 2012, 03:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by jeff k View Post
Ok, just tried Thorz idea putting usb cables direct into Extreme, but still did not work for either printer, Have old Brother Laser and a cheap Canon Pixma
Did you go into your Airport Utility and add the printers to the Printers page, and enable Share Printers over WAN?
     
jeff k  (op)
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Apr 9, 2012, 05:32 PM
 
Thor, I only did the add printers on the imac side in Share section on the imac, not the laptop.

Isn't that where you do the add?

Where do you see in airport utility a place to add printers. I just see join network, create network, open preferences
     
turtle777
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Apr 9, 2012, 05:40 PM
 
You only need to add the shared printer wherever the printer is connected to: either on the iMac (in the pref pane) or if connected to the AEx, through the Airport Utility.

Start at Page 13
http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/air..._userguide.pdf

-t
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 9, 2012, 05:41 PM
 
Whichever Mac you use to administer the AirportExtreme should have the Airport Utility in the Applications > Utilities folder. It's what you would have used to set-up the Airport in the first place. Using that utility, you add the printers you want to share over the network.

After you launch Airport Utility, you click the Manual Setup button. From there, select Printers. That panel should show any printers connected to the Airport Extreme. Make sure Share Printers over WAN is checked.
     
Big Mac
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Apr 11, 2012, 01:10 AM
 
FWIW, for wireless printing I think it's easier just to get a printer with WIFI built-in. So far, I'm very happy with my new Epson Workforce 645. I got it after being anti-Epson for a number of years over poor print quality. I think Epson has improved dramatically, and it's great to be able to print and scan from any Mac or PC on my network.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Apr 11, 2012 at 01:17 AM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Waragainstsleep
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Apr 11, 2012, 04:56 AM
 
And if you are buying a new wireless printer, probably worth getting one with Airprint support for your iOS devices.

Unless you have an always on Mac, then you can use Airprint enabler and almost any printer you like.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
jeff k  (op)
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Apr 11, 2012, 01:11 PM
 
Thanks Turtle. on I did try plugging into extreme direct but did not help. (funny, they only give you one usb port!)

Thor-- ok, clicked manual and saw printers but don't see how to add a printer, it is empty currently, (below is has box that says, "share printers over the network using Bonjour" (what is Bonjour?"

Big - yes, maybe if I can't solve this I might get a more modern printer with wifi. This is all new this idea of printing wirelessly. Actually I have no ios devices yet, but that could change!
     
   
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