Converting USB Printer into a Network Printer

One of my good friend asked me how do you convert  a USB printer into a Network Printer.

Well Its really simple with many printers. I’ll discuss couple of techniques that you can use to do just that. But before discussing that I would like to tell you that you can share your printer if you got one machine as a dedicated server at your home. I will not be discussing that because there lot many article available on Google discussing just about how to do that. Lets take a look on couple of things that will allow us to convert a USB printer to a network printer.

  1. First one is through your Modem or Modem/Routers Printer Server Port (Note that this option is not available with every Modem/Router/Gateway)
  2. Second is to buy a NPS (network print server) device
Lets check out the harware you need for the first option.
Many modern Router Gateways have support for external USB devices such as making your USB storage available to the network or making you Printer available to the network. Such devices include many names but let me highlight couple of them here
  2. Netgear DVG834N (
there are heaps of them on the market. Search “Router with USB Print server”.

Lets check out the Hardware you need for the second option – A NPS

Now second option is only viable if you do not have the above option already in place at your home. Check out your product specification and try to see if the Printer support is already not present with your device. One more thing to understand is that Not all printers will work according to my readings and findings with NPS.

Below are some of the devices which I personally think are good fit in most of the cases.
  1. D-Link DPR-1040 1 Port USB Wireless G Multifunction Print Server
  2. TP-LINK TL-PS110U Printer Server Single USB2.0 Port – Ethernet only
  3. D-Link DPR-2000 4 Port USB Wireless G Multifunction Print Server
there are heaps more. It all depends what you choose and what your final requirement is.
Now that you’ve installed your Router gateway or NPS. Just connect your printer to the Printer USB Port of the device. Once you did that your printer will be available on Network and will be assigned an IP. You’ve to goto your Gateway’s administration console or any other network channel that is controlling the DHCP options for your Network. You can give a permanent IP to your Printer from there. Once connected normally your Printer will appear as connected device in your Gateways administration console normally accessible from or or try any of these. if its not working the open your command prompt and type ipconfig as shown below
Now check the IP shown for “Default Gateway” and type that into your browser. Check your product manual to check what’s the username and password for the Admin account for your Gateway. And follow the procedure to allocate an IP to your Printer.
Once you are done with allocating the IP then its really simple to add the printer to your system.

I am using windows 7 to configure my printer here but the instruction are pretty much same for all other windows OS








First up goto Start > Devices and Printers

Once the window shows up Right Click anywhere and click “Add a Printer

A new window such as the one shown below will pop up


Click on “Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer

One the Next screen if your printer won’t show up thats Ok just click on “The Printer that I want isn’t Listed

You will see a screen shown below

Now Choose the 3rd option “Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname

You will see the screen below


Select “TCP/IP” Device type and type the IP address under the “Hostname or IP address” field.

In the Port Name box, type a port name, which can be any character string, or use the default name that the wizard supplies when you start typing your IP.

From here-on if the IP is correct then windows will detect the printer and install it for you. If it asks you for the device drivers please locate them from your printer disk.

There could be many things that could go wrong. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments section. I am not an expert with networking issues but I will try to help ya.

This guide is intended only for people who understand basic networking terminology and for people who are looking to make their printer available from their home network.

Additional resources

I will write more about how to share and access a printer with your network. You can always make corrections to the article above if you think something can be improved or if something is wrong above just comment and I’ll make the change if i agree 🙂

Hope this helps






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  1. can i convert my usb printer without starting my primary pc on where the printer is connected i am having switch can i use it please explain me how..?

  2. SEO Newcastle says:

    Hi Jas, How did you find this out? And also how much are NPS printers? I would assume they come in at a pretty hefty price?

    Although, I could class it as a business expense as I own my own business and it could help towards further development of it.


  3. Sarah Jennings says:

    Your right Jas, the decisions is ours whether to follow what you’ve said in your article or not. But I guess guys, whether it is cheap or not still it has the same product so I’d rather go with the cheaper one’s and besides it will last just as like the expensive one it’s just a matter of care to those stuff.Anyway, Thanks Jas for sharing your article for me its highly recommended!

  4. Dr Suhail says:

    kudos for the nice article.i have a samsung SCX-3200 mono laser printer with no networking functionality. I connected it to my Belkin Play N600 Wireless ADSL Modem Router which has a USB port to connect printers or storage media. My PC is connected to this router via a LAN cable. Though the printer is showing as connected in the Belkin software in the PC, my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 using the Samsung Mobile Print app cannot detect this, even after applying the principles you outlined in your blog. The printer\’s properties show the ip address as However, the tab does not detect the printer even after entering this ip address in the Mobile print app. Any thoughts on this? (i had tried the same after disabling firewalls on PC and router… still no joy)

    • Hi Suhail,
      Principles of connecting to network printer should be the same as highlighted in the article, However there could be a possibility that the printer may not support your galaxy tab. What I would do in these sort of scenarios is to make sure that my device firmware is at latest version, second check if the printer comes with driver for Galaxy Tab. My friend got Galaxy tab with him and I guess he has wireless Samsung printer (I don’t know the model, let me know if you want me to find out) and I think Galaxy Tab out of the box supports some compatible Wireless Printers. Bottom line is that all printers will not work with Galaxy, only compatible ones will. So check out if yours is.

      • Dr Suhail says:

        Hi Jas,

        Thanks for the reply. I had interacted with the author of Samsung Mobile Print android app and he confirms that my printer is supported in this app and Galaxy tab should recognise the printer under normal circumstances. We are troubleshooting this issue at the moment. Thanks a lot for your time and advise. Keep up the good work 🙂

  5. recommending users buy all new “router” is less than good advice. If anything push them away from soho crapboxes to PFsense — especially valuable for parents trying to stomp out easy access to illgal stuff.

    consider retooling your article for network enabling USB printers ON THE CHEAP

    • Well Personally I will prefer just buying a cheap print server and add it to my existing hardware. That will work out real cheap. I am not recommending any Hardware. Recommendations is a big topic and I am sure I did not do that in my article. However I’ve highlighted how the question in article can be answered. I have left lot of decisions to the reader to make the final call.

  6. Network Printer Australia says:

    Getting things printed can take days, weeks, or months, depending on where you are in the process and how complex the job is.

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