Many recent printers have wifi capability built in for wireless printing. Older printers or even some recent printers do not have this feature, but one could purchase a wireless adapter to turn the printer wireless. The adapters aren’t cheap, and a search for a cheap adapter led me to configuring the TP-Link WR-703N with OpenWRT as an affordable alternative (plug printer into router with a usb cable and print to router via a usb print server).
First, flash the router to OpenWRT by logging into the router at
tplinklogin.net using the username/password
admin/admin; follow this guide for pictures in navigating the default Chinese interface. Once flashed, the router will have wifi disabled and the ethernet port could be used to log onto the LAN network. Log into the router using a web browser at the destination 192.168.1.1. Set up wifi and turn the ethernet port to WAN by following these instructions; I changed my default router IP address to 192.168.94.1 to avoid clashing with my default “home” network when I plug it into my home network for internet access. Plug the current router into another router with internet access via ethernet. Then ssh into the TP-Link router on its network: email@example.com. Install the usb printer:
opkg update opkg install p910nd kmod-usb-printer
Start the print server:
/etc/init.d/p910nd start /etc/init.d/p910nd enable
Now, on a laptop or computer, connect to the same wifi network as this mini router and add a printer at the router’s ip with port 9100 after plugging a printer into the usb port. Install the necessary printer driver on the laptop or computer.
This setup creates a separate network for usb wireless printing. If we want to have the printer join an existing wifi network, then just set up the router as the first post I referenced.