Ethernet.WiFi, XP, W7 & W8 - Networking

jerry_njAugust 18, 2013

I have a Router that supports one XP Media Computer via Ethernet, and Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7, and Windows 8 via WiFi. All work fine through the router to access the DLS connection to the Internet. I used to share files and computer connected printers when all my machines were XP. But, I didn't have a big enough need to try to figure out how to network between different versions if Microsoft (XP,W7,W8), so I just "forgot about it". Thanks MS,, for nothing.

I am considering buying a Brother MCF7460DW Black and White laser printer. The printer lists it can be networked via the Ethernet.. I assume meaning it has a jack that accepts the Ehernet plug and I can pick any spare Ethernet channel I have on my existing Router (I have at least two more) to make the printer available to all computers that can access my router, be it Ethernet (XP machine) or WiFi my Notebooks and Netbook computers now W7 and W8 (and W7 Starter on the Netbook).

If this can be done without concern about inter-OS workings it should be rather easy....albeit I have never done this job (may be instructions on the Brother documentation).

Can I assume that all I need to "learn" is how to connect the XP machine (perhaps a driver for XP), and each of the other machines to a Ethernet connected device (printer, works for DSL)? I recall the "provisioning" of a new printer is rather easy, but I haven't checked on how to pick the Ethernet or My Network, as the pathway. .

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My knowledge is limited so take the following with a grain of salt. I'm going to throw out some thoughts based on a hunch that could be wrong. Hopefully others will help direct the conversation.

I think your issue is a router issue and not a Windows one. It's software question not a hardware one. Not all routers have the firmware to host a printer. Maybe the printer has it? I don't know for sure.

If your router can handle the job, and if so it would need some installation steps and be unlikely to be plug and play, the printer becomes visible as a Network Printer to other PCs on the network. Just the same as if the printer were connected to a PC and you designate it as a Network Printer and not a Local Printer through the Printer Setup Wizard.

The PC stations on a physical network need not be "networked" in a MS sharing system or group sense to use a Network Printer. If your connection (software setting wise) is effective, using the "Connect to Network Printer" option in the Printer Wizard on each PC will show this new printer as an option. Each PC may need to have printer drivers for it to work.

A printer connected to a PC can always be shared, and the mix of Windows versions is a non-issue in my experience with the same setup. But, the PC the printer is connected to needs to be on for the printing to work. If it's off, the queue is held until it's turned on.

Thoughts from others?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 5:31PM
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PKponder TX

As long as you have the driver disk with compatibility to all of the Windows versions, you should be able to map it as a local printer, not detected as plug and play via the printer name. An example would be to name the printer "Laserjet" and when you are going through the add printer wizard on each computer, just name the port Laserjet. After adding the port, you will need to add the driver. Not too sure about Windows 8, but this will work with XP and 7. You will need to be able to ping Laserjet from each computer that you are attempting to add the printer to.

Another option would be adding the printer to the workgroup, which can be done with the printer interface (just type the printer's IP address) in a browser window and look for Network settings. The default admin password will be listed in your manual.

More details on both of these procedures can easily be found in a Google search or by reading the printer manual.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:21PM
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Thanks, When I moved from all XP to XP and W7 and found I could not use the Router network to share resources as W7 wasn't backward compatible in that regard with XP. When all XP I sat it up to shared all resources between network computers including all file systems. Thus I could from one (master) computer deal via the network with all aspects of all other computers. Not trying to do that now just share the printer.

Seems W7 and XP can share a printer attached to only one computer..I have to look further into that, but I much prefer the Ethernet connected Network printer if that can be done, and it needs to work with W8 too. Checking my somewhat dated WiFi/Ethernet Router I see it offers 4 LAN Ethernet connections, thus the Printer will have to work on a "LAN" port or I need a newer router. Gee, can't remember, the existing Router may be 10 years old. Is a good trouble-free piece of equipment.

Isn't W8 moving slower than past MS OS in gaining support with drivers to all the stuff one might attach to the computer? I suppose my old Lexmark Ink Jet will not work with W8, it is on my W7 machine.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 11:10PM
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PKponder TX

I guess that I misunderstood your question. I was describing a networked printer associated with your personal Local Area Network and connected via ethernet cable to your router. I would not suggest sharing it from any particular computer on the network. Just add it to each individual computer as a TCP/IP printer (which is found under local printer setup) you can create a new port of type TCP/IP and give the printer name rather than an IP address when you add it. It's not actually a local printer, it must be available and pingable on the network for this type of setup to work. Seriously, every type of setup should be described in the manual.

As for the reference to Windows 8 and drivers, a printer would need to be compatible with Windows 8 to work with that OS. That is why I mentioned drivers.

Hope this brings some clarity,

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Thanks, I think I follow...but it seems the more I type (typo) the more I lose the way...

I am talking about a private WiFi/Ethernet Router in my home. It is password protected on the WiFi access... and this is purely 802.11(whatever) and works the same way on all MS OSs I have owned, which may go back to W98 on this Router: NetGear WGR612 v9... which seems to still be available.

I would have preferred a WiFi access to the printer, but the one on sale for $150 at my local BJs, a Brother MCF7460DN, looks to meet all my needs and more (duplex printing is nice, and I still want FAX, which it has along with Color Coping with a high resolution, and very high grades on Print quality and speed), I almost never use the color on my inkjet and when it is needed I often hand set the printer to print in B&W as some of the colors may not come through clearly on the printout.

If it works on the network I then in fact have WiFi access to those computers that are enabled on my Router...all my mobile machines and any visitor I give the password too.

I figure Brother must provide specific details and support on networking this printer as they include Ethernet as one way to access.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 2:21PM
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PKponder TX

quote:"I am talking about a private WiFi/Ethernet Router in my home. It is password protected on the WiFi access... and this is purely 802.11(whatever) and works the same way on all MS OSs I have owned, which may go back to W98 on this Router: NetGear WGR612 v9... which seems to still be available. "

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Yes, and all physical equipment is in my home, and the WiFi which extends a few hundred feet outside my house is password protected. I am not worried/concerned about any security breaches... and if so, I can see what it is all about by looking at what they print out.

All of my computers are stand-alone, nothing is open to access from the LAN.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 6:53PM
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PKponder TX

You might think about setting up a workgroup/LAN (Local Area Network) since you have all of the needed equipment.

I'm sure that you have a secure network and didn't intend to suggest otherwise.

Sorry if I drifted away from your original question/concern about networking your printer. It's just so interconnected, I assumed that a network would be desired. I'll leave you to it.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:49PM
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