Setting up Network Printers has been one of our specialties since back in the day. I still remember when people could not print because the temp directory didn’t exist on Windows 3.1…
Ok, let’s get back to the future, the here and now…
Let us say you have a printer that needs to be networked. These days first you must decide if you will connect it to your network through Ethernet or Wireless.
- First setup your printer with a static IP whenever possible
– this is best managed through your router/firewall
– assign a static IP through the LAN settings / DHCP settings
– e.g. 192.168.1.11 (server1 = 192.168.1.10, printer1 = 192.168.1.11)
- After you have assigned the IP Address, then you add the printer to your computer
– if you had already added the printer previously then remove it, after that add it back
– In some cases you will have to download and install the manufacturer’s latest driver
– Using the latest operating system can help you to find and detect printers easier
– Sometimes the latest operating system can disable older printers and leave you without a supported driver
– Stick to brands like HP and Brother, for Enterprise printers consider Canon and Sharp
LAN & DHCP Settings
When you get to the part on setting up your printer static IP Address you should be going to the LAN + DHCP Settings on your router/firewall.
Here is an example from an Asus Router LAN/DHCP section in the administrative panel using a web browser. Most routers can be managed with a web browser without an App.
In a future posting I will share more details on IP Address Management. This deserves a conversation all by itself. Usually in bigger organizations with advanced networks this is taken to a higher level with IPAM. But for smaller networks you do not need IPAM, you can control your IP Addressing space with a good DHCP Server.
The more sophisticated your network is, the more careful planning of your address space is required. A decent off the shelf router/firewall can handle the chore. Avoid using Comcast or AT&T issued equipment for this by replacing or bypassing these types of vendor supplied equipment.
The image below is an example of a good router/firewall dashboard by Asus:
ADDING PRINTERS TO YOUR COMPUTER
Make sure to add your printer as an IP Printer and do not use Bonjour or Airprint on Computers or you may be losing out on the full features and quality of your printer. When you add it as an IP printer be sure to select the normal print drivers for your printer.
Additional tips for adding your network printer
Setting up a network printer typically involves the following steps:
Connect the printer to your network: Most printers can be connected to a network using either a wired or wireless connection. To connect a wired printer, connect one end of an Ethernet cable to the printer and the other end to a router or switch. To connect a wireless printer, you will need to connect the printer to your network using the printer’s built-in wireless adapter or a USB wireless adapter.
Install the printer’s software: Once the printer is connected to the network, you will need to install the printer’s software on your computer. This typically includes drivers, which allow your computer to communicate with the printer, as well as management software that allows you to configure the printer’s settings.
Add the printer to your computer: Once the software is installed, you can add the printer to your computer. On Windows, this can be done by going to the Devices and Printers section of the Control Panel and clicking “Add a Printer.” On Mac, this can be done by going to System Preferences and clicking “Printers & Scanners.”
Configure the printer’s settings: After the printer is added to your computer, you can configure its settings, such as the default paper size and print quality. This can be done using the printer’s management software or by going to the printer’s properties in the Devices and Printers section of the Control Panel (Windows) or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences (Mac).
Print a test page: Finally, you can print a test page to make sure that the printer is set up correctly and working properly.
It’s worth mentioning that the steps may vary depending on the specific printer model, manufacturer and the operating system you are using. Some printers have mobile apps that make the setup process even more straightforward, and also allows you to control the printer from a mobile device.