How to Install a Printer on Your Home or Office Network


If you’re planning to buy a printer soon, you should consider getting a wireless one. Prices have dropped over the last few years and now that most people have wireless networks, you can set up your network so that you can print from anywhere around your house using a service like Google Cloud Print, for example. It is also an ideal solution for customers since they can easily print by connecting to your wireless network without having to fiddle with cables and CDs. They will highly appreciate how simple your printing system is.

This article only covers network printers. Also, this article targets Windows XP users. Here is what you need to do to set up the printer on your Windows XP machine:

  • Step 1: First, connect the printer to your network by connecting one end of a CAT 5 or 6 cable (which should have come with your printer) to your router and the other end to the network port of your printer. Now, turn your printer on and wait until it becomes ready.
  • Step 2: Next you will need your printer’s IP address. The IP Address is what allows your computer to find your printer on the network. All network printers allow you to print a configuration sheet that lists basic information about the printer as well as the current network configuration.

For most printers, this involves pressing the Menu button on the printer, going to the information option and choosing Print Configuration. Sometimes, when there is no display, you can simply press and hold down the Go or Print button for about 10 seconds and it will print the configuration sheet. You will need to find the TCP/IP section on this sheet:

The IP Address is what you will need for the next steps. Your printer should automatically get an IP address from the DHCP server on your network.

  • Step 3: The last step will add the printer to your computer. Click Start then Printers and Faxes.
    • If you do not see this option in your Start menu, you can go to Start, Control Panel, and then click Printers and Faxes. Click Add Printer in the task pane on the left.

The Add Printer wizard will begin, so click Next to get started. On the next screen, you will be asked whether your printer is a local printer or a network printer. These options are confusing because a network printer refers in fact to a printer connected to another computer or to a print server. So, you must select “Local printer attached to this computer” and make sure that you uncheck the box for automatically detecting the printer.

  1. Click Next and you will be asked to select the printer port. If your printer is a network printer with an IP address, you need to select the “Create a new port” option and choose the standard TCP/IP Port.
  2. Click Next and you will get another wizard to add a TCP/IP Printer Port. On the wizard’s main screen, click Next. The first text box will be: Printer name or IP address; enter the IP address from the printer’s configuration sheet that you printed earlier.
  3. Click Next and, depending on the printer that you have, you may get one more dialog before the wizard ends. If the printer’s network card cannot be identified, the wizard will ask you to choose the card type. You can leave the default “Generic Network Card” and click Next.
  4. Click Next and click Finish. You will then continue with the Add Printer wizard and you will need to select your printer from a list of manufacturers or click Have Disk and insert the printer driver CD in the computer. This CD is included in your printer’s box at purchase.
  5. Click Next and enter a name for your printer, then click the Yes radio button if you want this printer to be your default printer. This means that your documents will automatically be sent to this printer when you press PRINT.
  6. Click Next and you will be asked whether you want to share the printer or not.
  7. Click on Next, then on Finish. The new printer will appear in the Printers and Faxes screen and you will be ready to print on your network printer.
Category: Printer
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