Connect USB printer through router's printer server - possible solution for Windows 10
I have a possible solution for connecting a printer that has only an USB interface through the router's printer server, or how to turn the usb-only printer to a network printer using the router and the USB Printer Controller, at least on Microsoft Windows 10.
I have read many possible solutions, including some on this site, but none worked for me. I have tried to configure the ports, but the printer was not listed in the auto-connect window, or if it was listed it was greyed out. I could not select it from the list, so I was not able to auto-connect to the router-connected printer.
Here is the simple solution that worked for me on two different computers:
0. As a prerequisite, enable the router's printer server, configure it as necessary, and install the USB Printer Controller Utility on the computer you wish to install the printer on.
1. Connect the printer locally to the Windows 10 computer through the USB cable, and start the computer and the printer. The drivers should be installed automatically, or alternatively you can install them manually, it is not that important. In this step, Windows 10 should create a temporary virtual port like USB001, through which the printer will be connected locally. The key part here is not to restart Windows, as the port may be un-listed or hidden afterwards.
2. Disconnect the printer from the computer and connect it to the router (through the USB port), turn it on, let it initialize and wait for at least 60 seconds so that the router may "see" it.
3. DO NOT restart Windows, as the virtual port from step 1 may be lost.
4. On the same computer from step 1, start the USB Printer Controller utility that is provided by TP-Link, and let it find the router and the printer (that is now turned on and connected to the router, during step 2). Right-click on the printer and choose Auto-Connect. In the displayed list with available printers you should see the printer you just installed locally, and that printer should be selectable (e.g. not greyed out) because it is (or rather was) connected through the virtual port that is still active, since you disconnected the printer from the computer only two minutes ago, and you did not restart Windows. Select the printer (check it on the list) and save the setting. You should be able to print to that printer from now on, even if you restart the router, the printer or the computer.
I hope this helps. And also please excuse my English, it is not my first language.