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Best way to TCP IP print over the net

Posted on 2006-06-19
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Group,
Wanted to ask you a question to see how others are doing this. Let me give you the setup. 1 Computer connected to internet attempting to print to a computer with a shared computer connected to the net. Could someone walk me through the best way to do this? Both computer are on the same workgroup, but I was curious how to setup the remote computer to accept the job and print the document. Any advise or walkthrough would be greatly appreciated!
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Question by:blakmoon91
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r-k earned 552 total points
ID: 16943128
Just to be clear, are you saying the following:

Computer-A wants to print to a Printer which is attached to Computer-B. The printer itself is a local printer on Computer-B (e.g. connected via USB or Printer Cable).

What you have to do is to make the Printer a "Shared Printer" on Computer-B as follows:

 On Computer-B open Control Panel -> Printers and Faxes
 Right-click on the Printer of interest, select "Sharing"
 Click on "Share this Printer" button
 Enter a "share-name" for the printer (keep it simple with no spaces or commas)
 (e.g. suppose we enter "printer-B" as the share name)
 Click OK etc.

 On Computer-A, open Control Panel -> Printers
 Double-click on "Add Printer"
 Select "Network Printer", and in the next window, click on "Connect to this Printer..."
 and in the Name or Address field, enter "\\<ip of computer-B\printer-B"
 (where you fill in the actual IP address for Computer-B and the proper share name)

That should do it. If I misunderstood your setup please clarify.
Also, if there is any firewall between the computers you may have to open some ports.
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by:blakmoon91
ID: 16944344
I believe that should do it, I think we are  on the same page. I will check it out, I believe I have to open/forward port 515, can you confirm this? Appreciate all the help, will let you know how it goes.
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Expert Comment

by:r-k
ID: 16944445
I believe the ports used by file and printer sharing are:

 TCP ports 139 and 445
 UDP ports 137 and 138

Also minor typo in my post above:

should be "\\<ip of computer-B>\printer-B" (instead of "\\<ip of computer-B\printer-B")

Port 515 is used by LPR, which is what you would use if you were printing directly from Computer-A to the printer, i.e. if the printer had its own network card and was directly on the ethernet (not connected to Computer-B).
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Author Comment

by:blakmoon91
ID: 16948033
Guys, I tried it out and no dice. Computer B is behind a router, but I forwarded all the ports correctly I think. The printer is setup to share, but I still couldn't connect. I used the format \\IPAddress\Printer but it would come back with a error saying something to the effect of "Verify the address, or the computer may have lost its connectivity." Anything more about security settings on Computer B? Need to verify that "Everyone" has permissions to print? Any input would be appreciated, and as always, thanks for the time.
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by:r-k
ID: 16948166
It could be a firewall, either on Computer-B or on the router, or a separate hardware firewall. If one of the computers is on the other side of a corporate or institutional firewall, many of them block these ports because they are often the target of hackers. In that case you may have to use VPN if available.

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Assisted Solution

by:Zaphod1620
Zaphod1620 earned 548 total points
ID: 17078621
The wizard for connecting simple IP printers can be misleading and it is difficult to work with. Here are TWO easy solutions. I'll start with the easiest:

SUPER-EASY WAY:
1. From the PC you want to connect to the printer: Open up your "My Network Places". This can be found in any number of places, and you didn't specify the OS you are working on. If you can't find it, go to the other easy method.

2. Drill around until you find the PC with the printer on it. If the workgroup is configured correctly, you will see the PC immediately. Double click it.

3. If it asks you for a password: You need to set up an account on the PC with the printer with the same name and password that is used on the remote PC. There is no need to tell the user on that PC your password. It can be in the user group and never used. Read the bottom if multiple accounts will be used or if you don't want to put your account on that machine.

4. Try Step 1 and 2 again. You should be able to double-click on the Printer PC and it will open without asking for a password. When you see the printer, double-click it. It will ask if you want to install that printer and it will attempt to install it for you. It may ask you to supply the drivers.

OTHER EASY WAY:
1. From the remote computer, open the "Run:" dialog box. Type "\\<Printer PC's IP address>" without the quotes or " < > ".

2. If it asks you for a password, see Step 3 above.

3. After a moment, a window will open with you printer in it. If not, you may have to open a folder Called "Printer and Faxes" or something.

4. When you see the printer, double-click it. It will ask if you want to install that printer and it will attempt to install it for you. It may ask you to supply the drivers.

If you get an error without it asking you for a password, check for firewalls on either computer. Try turning the firewalls off completely and try the above again.

If you still cannot connect, the router may be at fault, particularly if the router also serves as a Wireless Access Point. Some routers have a setting called many different things, usually with "Isolation" in the name. This function isolates all PCs to their own internet access. The computers can see the internet and that's it. Turn this off, but at your own risk if this is a wireless access point.

Something else to be aware of: Windows XP limits the PC to 10 network connections. Every file share when accessed, uses one of the 10 connections, including printers. Each web browser uses one connection, ans some sites use two or more. Any application that accesses the internet or network regularly will use at least one connection. If you determine this to be the fault, you will need to purchase a Print Server. You can get them at any computer department for about $50, and include simple software to get you up and running.

-Z
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