Networking a USB printer via a router (Windows 7 & XP)

At home i'm having trouble connecting computers to the network printer which runs through the router (Brother MFC-7340 via USB on BigPond Elite Wireless).

We have 2x Windows 7 laptops (32 & 64bit), 2x  Windows 7 desktops(32 & 64bit), 1x XP Laptop (32bit) &  1x XP Desktop (32bit) all computers are wireless except the XP desktop which is connected via cable to the router.

as mentioned above the printer is connected to a USB port in the router & the only computer that is able to print is the XP desktop.

No matter what i try i can't get any windows 7 computers to reconise the printer properly and print to it.

When you click add printer > add network,bluetooth... printer         no printers appear

when i tried to add it manually (//<routers ipaddress>/printers/<printer name>) it seems to work and it says the printer is online but will not print and the settings for the printer seem to be generic (not like on the XP desktop).


(PS i don't want to run the printer via a 'server computer' what i'm looking for is all computers being able to print whenever they need to)


If you need any more info please let me know and i'll do my best.


The USB jacks on Routers are Not Not very Universal devices and might Not be compatible with everything that you “throw” on them.

Make sure that the printer's drivers are installed through the Add Networked of Win 7 on each Win 7 computer.

Your best solution is to use a Wireless Network ready printer (Brother make such printer that is very similar to the one that you got).

The Wireless network ready printer connects to the Wireless Router and every computer on the Network (wire, or Wireless) can connect to it, print, scan, fax etc..

Jack MVP, Microsoft Windows Desktop Experience-Networking.

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Last updated June 7, 2020 Views 5,443 Applies to: