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Dated: Apr. 10, 2012
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Networking In General
Windows Server OS
Something About Printer Sharing
Just like folder sharing in Microsoft Windows operating systems, printer sharing is also an important part in any complex network setup or in simple networking in homes. In either case mostly one printing device is bought and is shared among all the computers connected to the network. Since printing devices, sometimes, are expensive sharing them among all computers in networks is a cost effective approach for both administrators and home users.
Two types of printers are available in the market nowadays: one that can be connected to the computers (local printers) via USB cables and can then be shared by the administrators, and others that can be connected directly to the central devices such as hubs or LAN switches (network printers).
When administrators connect printers to the network and share them, computers on which they install drivers and use to configure the printing devices are technically known as Print Servers. Print servers efficiently manage the printing queue by organizing the print sequences and allowing access to the printing devices only from authorized users. When shared printers are accessed by client computers Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which is an application layer protocol, is used.
In order to install drivers and share printing devices on print servers, where the printers have locally been connected administrative privileges are required. However when users try to install drivers for the shared printers on the client computers, drivers for the shared printers are downloaded from the print servers and are installed on the computers only for the users who have initiated shared printer drivers’ installation process. In other words when shared printer drivers are installed on client computers no elevated privileges are required and even standard users, who have no administrative rights, can install the drivers.
Sharing a Printer
Assuming that the driver for the printing device has already been installed by Windows Server 2008 R2 administrator and printing device has been connected to the computer, steps given below must be followed to share a locally installed printer in a network:
- Log on to Windows Server 2008 R2 computer with the administrator account.
- Make sure that proper driver of printing device is installed.
- Click Start button and from the menu click Devices and Printers.
- On the opened window right-click the printer that has to be shared and from the context menu click Printers properties.
- On the opened box click Sharing tab.
- Check Share this printer checkbox to allow the printer to be shared on the network.
- In Shared name field the default shared name of the printer can be changed to some user-friendly name. Moreover, List in the directory checkbox can be checked if administrators want to publish the printer in the active directory. Benefit of doing so is that users can then directly access the active directory in order to use the shared printer. However administrators must use group policy settings for client computers to redirect their print requests to the printers that are published in active directory.
- Finally click OK button to share the printer.
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