Can I make my printer work on a wireless network?

  al's left peg 17:35 29 Apr 2012

Hi guys,

I am a total novice to this and I might have even posted it in the wrong forum. I own a Samsung ML1865 laser printer and this is connected via USB to my 21" Imac.

I want to be able to make this printer wireless so other members of my family can print from it without having to unplug the usb and keep plugging it into other laptops owned by my family.

I could sell it and buy the wireless version of my printer but after reading reviews of it, the wireless set up does not seem to work well and looks very problematic..

What I would like to do is possibly buy a piece of kit to enable this printer to work wirelessly on my own network. A guy at work who works in the IT dept said it was possible by using something called a print server and then went in to a long technical explanation of how it's possible to use a standalone PC as a print server, or I could purchase one and so on and so on. He totally lost me to be honest, it sounded like it would be easier to plan a new space program than do what he was saying.

As there is always someone on here who can explain in easy terms the ways to do these things, I thought I would ask here for a clear explanation.

I am off to work now but would be grateful for any advice anybody can offer on this subject. Thanks in advance Al

  Ian in Northampton 17:58 29 Apr 2012

You may bew overcomplicating things. If the otehr members of your family all use wi-fi enabled PCs, then all you need to do is to set up a home network of which your PC and all of theirs are members. Ten, they can 'share' a printer that's attached to your PC simply by adding a printer and looking for it on the network. I'm oversimplifying slightly in case I'm missing the point here, but here at home, I have an HP all-in-one printer/scanner connected via USB to my PC, and all the family use 'my' printer via their wireless connection to the router, and thence to my PC. As your IT friend said/implied, my PC is now the 'print server' for the whole family. No need to do/buy anything special - it's all there in Windows.

  retep888™ 18:35 29 Apr 2012

To use a print server in a not so computer savvy family & also a mixture of Apple & Windows users is asking for trouble & a print server which is compatible with both Mac & Windows isn't cheap.

I'd suggest sell your existing printer & get one like this (if you still prefer Mono Samsung) click here
or Colour Samsung click here ,the Mono one is more expensive because of Duplex capability.

Both printers are wired networkable(not wireless) and compatible with Mac & Windows, just plug into your wireless router ,load printer drivers onto each PC or Mac & the computer will find the printer's IP address, then each one of the family can print from it as long as both the wireless router & printer are on.

  Ian in Northampton 19:32 29 Apr 2012

Ah... The fatal flaw in my response, which Peter hasn't overlooked, is the iMac bit... :-(

  robin_x 21:09 29 Apr 2012

Selection of affordable(?) Print Servers here.

But many have limitations. Read the amazon Reviews and I think you'll get the idea. (no Status reporting/One user at a time)

I do not have one myself, but...

Not sure why the OS would matter. Maybe that's just for the initial setup and then each Windows or Mac would just add a Network or Wireless Network Printer. Or am I wrong on that?


Network printer will connect to Router with a cable. So would probably be close to it.

Wireless can be anywhere (within range)


If too much hassle, and replacing expensive laser is not attractive, you could always buy a cheap wireless inkjet for the family Windows machines!?.

  retep888™ 23:58 29 Apr 2012

All printer servers be it ethernet or wireless have USB connections for printer & everyone knows USB needs driver hence why the OS would matter. You'll need a program for the printer server installed plus printer driver for each Mac & PC.

Network printer will connect to Router with a cable. So would probably be close to it.Wireless can be anywhere (within range)

Users are not connecting to the printer directly ,as long as they're within the wireless router's range then they can give print command to printer thru' the wireless router, doesn't matter if you're 60ft away in the back garden or right on the top floor.

Just wonder how many printer servers are compatible with Mac & affordable(?) as well as user friendly :) Check the OS requirement.

  al's left peg 17:14 30 Apr 2012

Hi and thanks for the advice / answers upto now. I have managed to get my wife's Macbook pro printing wirelessly simply by going into the settings field of both my Imac and her Macbook and to be honest it was so easy I still can't believe how simple it was.

I may or may not use a separate Kodak all in one printer for the kids but have heard mixed reports of their claim it is the cheapest printer to run. A friend says the cartridges are cheaper than most manufacturers but do not last as long.

I will however look into trying my sons Dell laptop running Vista to print wirelessly. As I am a a big believer in Apple and their ease of use I can't see the windows system being as easy if at all possible to set up.

Once again thanks for the answers, I will tick it as resolved now.

Thanks, Al

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