Getting a Mac to print on a wireless network

Editor’s Note: The following article is excerpted from Nutter’s Help Desk, which appears at the Network World Web site.

We have just installed a wireless network that works great. The set up is PC/D-Link Modem/D-Link Wireless Router/MacBook. The printer is attached via USB to the wireless router. The printer works fine when attached to either computer, but I can’t address it from the Mac when the USB is connected to the wireless router. I have enabled sharing on both machines. But no luck. Any suggestions?— Joy

There is usually some type of driver that needs to be installed to allow either the PC to print to a USB printer attached to the router. There should be similar software that will allow the Mac to print to it as well.

The first thing I would do is make sure your wireless router has the latest firmware installed. While this probably isn’t the cause of the problem you have, it should have avoid other problems as you get things working.

If you can’t find the manual for your wireless router, you should be able to download one directly from D-Link’s Web site. It should be fairly well documented on how to get things up and running. In some cases it should be similar to setting up a LPR type unix printer in terms of how you will talk to it. If this is the case, all you may need to do is to setup the printer on the PC and the Mac as an IP-based printer.

If you aren’t able to get this to work by either reviewing the manual or talking to D-Link’s tech support, there may be an alternative. I know that Linksys has a USB print-server device that will connect to the printer on the USB connection and then connect to your router via a RJ-45 ethernet connection. After running some setup software from the PC that you have, you should then be able to reach it via a Mac as well. There are other devices from other vendors that will also provide this same type of functionality.

This story, "Getting a Mac to print on a wireless network" was originally published by Network World.

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