Fix wireless printer connectivity problems by finding your wireless printer in the network that won’t print, choosing the correct IP address, configuring a static IP address and reconfiguring the printer installation in Windows.
You bought a brand new wireless printer (e.g., HP, Epson, Lexmark, Brother, Samsung, etc.) and how many times happened that you try to print and it won’t work because of network connectivity problems? Many times, right?
This is because most of the times when people install a new wireless printer, they fail to configure the network settings in the printer itself. Yes, it is going to work the first few times, but what you don’t know is that you are configuring Windows with a dynamic IP address that could change at any time, and when it does Windows will not get informed about the change causing connection problems the next time you want to print.
How do you solve the printer wireless communication problem? It is actually pretty simple, it is all based on the principal that a computer server should always be configured with a static IP address (an address that will not change, it will always stay the same), and because the printer is providing you with the ability to print without you having to have the printer physically attached to your computer, and other computers in the network can also attach to the printer, you can say that this printer is a print-server, so what it needed is for you to change the dynamic IP address configuration to a static one.
Step #1 Selecting a valid IP address for the printer
One of the first thing you need to do is to log in into your router, by opening your web browser and in the address bar typing the corresponding IP address (e.g., 192.168.1.1).
Once you are logged in, look for the DHCP setting on the router (the image below is an example of the DHCP setting on a Linsys router with DD-WRT). You’re going to look for the Start IP address, then look at the Maximum DHCP Users. Add the last number from the Start IP address field with the Maximum DHCP Users number and whatever the answer add 2 to it, and that will become the static IP address for your wireless printer. For example, if my Start IP address is 192.168.1.50, the Maximum DHCP Users is 20, then 50+20+2=72, so I can use the 192.168.1.72 as my static IP address for the wireless printer. We do this because we don’t want to assign a static IP address to the printer that the DHCP service on the router may assign to another device later on, and this could cause an IP conflict in the network.
Refer to your router manufacture website to find out where the DHCP settings are located. If you are having trouble, ask questions in the comments below, even better yet ask in the forum.
Step #2 Configuring the wireless printer with a static IP address
If you are reading this article, chances are that you are already having wireless connectivity problems. Your mission now is to find out the current IP address for the wireless printer. To do this you need to go to the printer’s display and from the screen menu, find the network settings and check the wired or wireless network settings respectively, and note the current IP address — the path should be something like: Setup>Network>View Network Settings>Display Wireless Summary.
Next, open a web browser and in the address bar type the current IP address for the printer (e.g,. 192.168.1.4) and press Enter (because there are so many brands and models the configuration page for your printer may look different as the one in the example below, but all wireless printer will have networking section or a place where it says: wired and wireless connections). Then you will arrive the the printer web server page.
Note that network connectivity problems could happen on either wireless or wired connections. For this example I am going to be configuring the wireless (802.11) connections, but the process should be similar in both situations. From the wireless section setting, click on IP Configuration, and do the following:
1 Check Manual IP setting. In the Manual IP Address, type the static IP address that you generated for the wireless printer (e.g. 192.168.1.72). Then in the Manual Subnet mask, type 255.255.255.0, and finally in the Manual Default Gateway, type the router’s IP address, for example 192.168.1.1.
2 Check Manual DNS Server. In the Manual Preferred DNS Server, type 126.96.36.199 and in the Manual Alternative DNS Server, type 188.8.131.52 (note that these DNS server addresses are Google’s public DNS server addresses that anyone can use for free, if you preferred to use the ones from your ISP, start once again the Command Prompt and type ipconfig/all and look for the DNS Servers field, there you’ll find your current DNS IP addresses). If your printer doesn’t received firmware updates when is connected online, you can just ignore this step and leave the Automatic DNS Server setting checked instead.
3 Save your settings, and now you are 75% complete fixing your printer.
Step #3 Configuring the wireless printer with a static IP address in Windows
You already, generated a static IP address that will not conflict in the network and configured the wireless printer with it. Now there is one last step and that is correcting the wireless printer IP address configuration in Windows. To do this do the following:
1 Go to Start , type Devices and Printer and press Enter.
2 Right-click the printer and select Printer Properties.
3 Navigate to the Ports tab, check and select the Standard TCP/IP Port with the name of the printer you intending to fix, and then click Configure Port.
4 In Port Settings, change the Printer Name or IP Address with the address you have configured the wireless printer (e.g. 192.168.1.72).
Click OK, Apply, then OK again.
And that’s all there is to it, make a test print to see if it is working, restart the computer if necessary. Happy printing!
Network connectivity is a common problem on most devices that serve functionality through the network like printers. The network connectivity problem that you learned how to fix today happens because by default most manufactures choose to set up wireless printers with a dynamic IP address just it is easier for them, when they should walk you through the steps to configure the device with a static IP address. But now you already know and hopefully you won’t be having the same problems anymore.