Useful Tips

Algorithm and scheme for connecting any printer to a computer via a WiFi router

Let the local (home) network consists of several computers connected through a wireless wifi network. And the question arose of how to add a printer to this configuration (PU - printing device), so that you could print on it from any of them. Of course, you can connect it with a cable to a computer (laptop) and print documents from other PCs on it. But in this case, this computer must be constantly turned on, and even tied to a certain place, which is not always the most convenient. Modern wireless technologies can circumvent these shortcomings, for example, by connecting the remote control via a wifi router. There are several ways to do this, depending on the network configuration and the hardware and functionality that both the router and the printer have.

Method 1 - Using WPS

To use this method, connecting the controllers via a wifi router requires that both of these devices support Wifi Protected Setup (WPS) technology. For most modern device models, this requirement is met. But just in case, this should be checked. The fact that this model of PU supports this technology can be verified by studying the instructions for it, or by contacting the website of its manufacturer. Now take a look at the bottom of the router. Here is a shortcut on which the WPS icon and PIN code should be applied, which will be needed when connecting the control panel:

But such a shortcut may not exist, in this case we will see the WPS support by going to the web-based interface of the router. Moreover, even with such a shortcut, you still need to do this in order to configure WPS. Depending on the model of the router, access to its interface is usually done by typing in the address bar of the browser the address 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. Where is the place with WPS settings in the menu that appears after this also depends on the model of the router. For example, we give an excerpt from the menu of one of the models of the D-Link router:

Configuring WPS consists of setting the switch to Enabled. In addition, you need to specify the router PIN in the Device PIN parameter. You also need to make sure that security such as WPA or WPA2 must be set up for the wireless network, but not WEP — it will not work. Even in the settings of the router, you need to disable MAC filtering. Some printers have a dedicated button to enable WPS. If there is one, you must press and hold it until the device detects a wireless network. If one of the devices is equipped with a connection indicator, then after connection it should light up.

Method 2 - using the connection wizard

Setting up a connection in this way is based on using the connection wizard. If the control unit supports a connection via a wireless network and WEP or WPA protocols, then, as a rule, you can connect it using the setup wizard. To do this, the user must know:

  • Your network name (SSID).
  • Password for your network (WEP encryption key or WPA password).

Connect the printer via wifi using the wizard with the following steps:

  • Press the “Settings” button in the control panel of the control panel and select the “Network” element in the menu that appears. The connection wizard will search for all available wireless networks and display a list of them.
  • In this list, select your wifi network. If it is not in the list, then you need to enter its name manually.
  • Next, the wizard will ask you to enter the network password.

This completes the work of the wizard, the configuration is completed, as indicated by the corresponding indicator on the router or control panel, if any. It should be noted that the network name and password must be case sensitive.

Method 3 - through a router with USB

This method is designed for the case when the PU does not support wireless communication, but the router has a USB port for connecting it. Of course, to connect it, these two ports need to be connected with a USB cable. To implement this method, you need to know the exact name of the printer and the local address of the router, which for Windows will act as a network PU. The latter is usually difficult for many users to find out. Therefore, before moving on to setting up a connection via wifi, we will briefly dwell on this problem.

This is done as follows. You need to call the command line mode and enter ipconfig as a command. In response to this, a lot of information is issued, but only one line is of interest - the main address of the gateway, since it is a router:

In this case, the connection setup begins with adding a new printer to the LAN configuration. This can be done using "Start" - "Devices and Printers" or through the Control Panel. As a result, you need to achieve a window with two options - add a local or network printer. Next, we perform the following actions:

  • We select the first option, and after clicking the "Next" button, the system asks to set the port. We select the option “Create a new port” and select “Standard TCP / IP Port” from the list that appears.
  • Then a window appears with the connection parameters of the PU. In it, you need to set the local address of the device (and this is the address of the router that we already received) and the port name. As the last one, you can use the router address again (by default) or set your name. The polling flag does not need to be changed.
  • Next, Windows proceeds to search for the specified port and install the drivers. It is possible that the port will not be found, then the system will ask you to provide additional information about the PU. In particular, it will be necessary to set “Device Type” - “Special”, and the protocol - “1.Raw”.
  • Then the installation of the PU driver begins. It occurs similarly to the installation of drivers for other devices - indicating the manufacturer and model of the device. If the driver is already installed earlier, then a request will follow, you must use the already installed one, or replace it with a new one. You also have to answer the question about the name of the PU.
  • Upon completion of the driver installation, the system will ask whether this printer should be shared. Since it is connected to a router, access to which all objects of the local network have access to, setting it up as a general one does not make sense.
  • On the last page of adding a device, you will be asked whether to use it by default or not, and it is also suggested to print a test page.

Method 4 - connect to a laptop

This way to connect the PU is to connect it to a laptop configured in access point mode. In fact, this is method 3, in which the laptop plays the role of a router, so it is not considered here. In addition, this is not a very convenient option, as it forces you to keep the laptop constantly on.

Connecting the printer to the router via USB

The setting for this method depends on the model of router you are using. Basic parameters are set in the web interface of the router, but for greater convenience and the ability to perform fine-tuning, there are special utilities. The most common routers that allow you to connect via USB: Asus and TP-Link.

Setting up on Asus routers

This manufacturer has developed a free program for finding a printer connected to a Wi-Fi router: “Printer Setup Utility”. It is available for download on the Asus website. There is also a list of models for which the correct operation is guaranteed when connected in this way. It includes the devices of the three largest companies:

To use the application for setting up network printing, run the downloaded file. Connect your computer to the router using Wi-Fi or through the LAN port. Insert the USB cable into the port on the router. Click “Next” in the program interface or press the “N” hot key on the keyboard.

Files necessary for the utility to work will be copied to the computer. After that, the search and determination of the devices connected to the USB port of the Asus router will begin. The process takes no more than two minutes. At the search stage, the “Cancel” button appears, with which the scan stops. Start the operation again if the program freezes.

At this point, the “Printer Setup Utility” functions may be blocked by the Windows Firewall. If a window with a warning about restricting access appears on the screen, check the box for the types of networks in which you want to allow the application to work. For home use, it is recommended to set both checkboxes: private and public networks. After that, click the “Allow access” button.

When the configuration is completed, the found IP address of the Asus router and its model will appear in the window. You can add the device found using the standard Windows installation. If errors occur, make sure that the Wi-Fi router and printer are plugged in and connected by cable. It is also recommended that you update the firmware using the manufacturer's instructions.

Note! If the “Isolation of access point” mode is set in the router settings, network devices will not have access to each other. These parameters are changed through the web interface of the router.

Installation for TP-Link Router

The application is available in the TP-Link Download Center. Select your Wi-Fi router model from the list or enter it in the search bar located in the upper left corner of the page. Install the “Utilities” filter and download “TP-Link USB Printer Controller” for your operating system. Open the downloaded file and after unpacking click “Next”.

Specify the path in the file system of the computer where the program will be installed. By default, installation is done in the Program Files directory. You can specify a different location using the "Change" button. Then click “Next” to go to the next step.

During installation, your Internet connection may be lost. The disconnection is required by the utility for the correct configuration of network parameters. Upon completion of the installation, the final window will open, in which the option “Launch USB Printer Controller” will be available. Check this box and click Finish to complete the installer.

A tree structure of the found network equipment will be displayed in the interface of the window that opens. Select the desired device from the list. Click "Auto-connect for printing" and mark the printer that will start by default.

Important! It is recommended that you set the print controller to automatically start each time the operating system boots. To do this, go to the menu "Tools -> Settings" and activate the first item.

Connecting a printer via Wi-Fi

Devices of popular manufacturers have a similar configuration system. As a rule, the parameters are set on the printer itself, without connecting to a computer. In the absence of a control interface on the case, system utilities are used, available on the driver disk and on the manufacturer’s website.

Most Canon PIXMA series models are connected using the WPS button on the front of the case. Press and hold it until the corresponding indicator starts flashing. After that, activate the Wi-Fi Protected Setup mode on the router. The interval between clicks should not exceed two minutes, since it is during this period of time that you can connect without entering a password. After connecting, the LED will stop flashing and will be lit continuously.

For Canon models with a built-in display, the connection is authenticated. In this case, you will need to enter the SSID (network name) and password from Wi-Fi. Network connection setup information can be printed. For example, for the popular MG3540, this is done by pressing and holding the Resume button.

Wireless connection to a Wi-Fi router is performed using the “HP Auto Wireless Connect” technology. Synchronization is done via WPS, without entering the PIN code of the router. The network setup tool also launches on the HP touch screen, in the Wireless Network menu. A feature of the HP MFP is the inability to access the “HP Auto Wireless Connect” for computers with static local IP.

Such devices only connect after changing the DHCP server settings. To avoid these difficulties, use a WPS connection. You can activate the WPS mode through the touch screen, or in the absence of it - by pressing the button.

Epson devices allow you to connect to networks with TKIP and AES encryption through the Wireless LAN Setup menu on the built-in screen. WPS connection is also available using the button or entering a PIN on the screen. To make such a connection, click the “PIN Code Mode” menu section.

The network name is set automatically in the format EPSON123456, where 123456 is the last 6 digits of the MAC address. Using it, you can find the device in the list of DHCP clients and determine the IP address assigned to it for further addition in the Windows interface.

Note! Most printers equipped with Wi-Fi only work in the 2.4 GHz band. When using a dual-band router, connect them to the network that operates at this frequency. If the computers from which you want to print information are connected at 5 GHz, change the connection before printing.

Adding a network printer in Windows

Open the Windows Control Panel. If the icon display mode is selected, go to the "Devices and Printers" section. When choosing the category mode, use the path: “Equipment and Sound -> View Devices and Printers”.

In this section, all external equipment connected to your computer is available. By default, devices that were used previously are displayed. Click "Add Printer" to connect to the new device.

The system will search for available printers and MFPs. If it does not produce results, enter the necessary data manually. Since the connection is made via a Wi-Fi router, check the second item: “Add by TCP / IP address”. Click the “Next” button to specify the parameters.

Advice! This configuration method is suitable for printers connected to the router via Ethernet or USB, as well as for devices connected to other computers on the local network.

From the drop-down list, select the type “TCP / IP”. In the "Name or Address" field, enter the IP of the connected device. You can refine this parameter in the control panel of the router. Log in to the web interface at the address indicated on the sticker at the bottom of the router. When entering, use the standard username and password, which are located in the same place.

Go to the “DHCP” menu section. Usually it is in the local area network (LAN) settings. Open the DHCP section, which shows the connected clients and the IP addresses assigned to them. At this point, you can use one of two connection options:

Using a network name. To do this, specify the host name in the DHCP client table, for example, “CanonMG3540”. Copy this name and paste it into the Windows Add Printer window.

Binding a static local address. To use this method, go to the appropriate DHCP configuration section and add a new match. Locate the printer, and in the IP Address field, enter the desired combination from the local range. For example, if the last connected computer has an address of 192.169.0.6, enter the following IP: 192.169.0.7.

Provide additional information about the port used. To do this, select the “Special” item and click “Options”. By default, the Raw protocol will be selected in a new window. However, most modern devices use "LPR". Mark it in the settings and specify an arbitrary queue name. Save the new parameters by clicking the “OK” button.

Select the manufacturer and model of the printer from the list on the right. You can also use the installation CD, if it was included in the purchase. To do this, click "Install from disk." When the driver installation is complete, click Next.

At the final step of the installation wizard, a notification about the successful completion of the process will open. It is recommended to check the box “Use this printer by default” in order to further avoid the need to select a device for each print. In the same window, verification of the connected device is available. To use it, click Print Test Page. Complete the installation by clicking the Finish button.

Network Printing

Printing over the network is a common thing, now you will not surprise anyone with this. At the same time, sharing of the printer is still often configured in this way. The printer is connected to one of the computers and it is open to other users who can directly send documents to print. It's simple, you don’t have to be smart with the settings. But, in fact, it is not always convenient. The best way to connect a network printer is to connect via a router.

Advantage

The main disadvantage of the above scheme is the binding of the printer to a specific computer. In order for printing to work over the network, this computer must be turned on. But what if the employee who works for him fell ill and did not go to work, and access to the computer is password protected? Or is the computer out of order?

Therefore, it is much more convenient when the printer connects to the router and is always available. But there are nuances.

Print server

In order for the printer to work independently on the network without connecting to a computer, a print server is needed. The print server can be software embedded in a router or printer. Routers equipped with a USB port, as a rule, have print support over the network. However, just in case, it is recommended to check the technical documentation. Если ваш роутер имеет USB-порт, но принт-сервер в нём отсутствует, подключить к нему принтер не получится.

Если же ваш роутер не имеет встроенного принт-сервера и принтер у вас самый обычный, потребуется аппаратный принт-сервер – отдельное устройство с USB-портом для подключения принтера и сетевым разъёмом, через который с помощью патч-корда устройство подключается к LAN-порту роутера.

Виды подключения

Перед тем как настроить сетевой принтер через роутер, разберемся с возможными вариантами подключения. Итак, подключить принтер к роутеру можно следующими способами:

  • Через USB-порт. Such a connection is possible if your router is equipped with a USB connector and supports printing over a network.
  • Via LAN port. If your printer has a built-in print server with a network port, you can connect it to the router using a patch cord.
  • By wifi. Some modern printers are equipped with a Wi-Fi module and can communicate with the router by air. You can also connect to them directly from a laptop equipped with a Wi-Fi module.
  • Using a hardware print server. This is a separate device to which the printer connects. The print server has a LAN port for connecting to the router.

USB connection

Connect your printer to the USB port of the router using a cable. Both devices must be turned off. Then turn on the router, wait until it boots up. After that, you can turn on the printer. By default, the router does not need special configuration, it should immediately recognize the printing device. You can verify this by going to the device’s web interface and opening the network map. Your printer model should appear there. If this does not happen, check the status of the print server. It must be online.

Wi-Fi connection

If your printer is equipped with a wireless Wi-Fi module, then you can connect it to the router by air without any wires. There are two ways to do this:

  • Wps. In the instructions for your printer, we find how to activate the WPS function. Then we press the WPS activation button on the router. We wait until the connection is established (the indicator on the router stops flashing) and check if your printer appears on the network map.
  • WEP / WPA. Manual setup is the same as setting up the first wireless connection to any Wi-Fi device. We find the network settings in the printer menu, select the network we need and enter the username and password.

LAN connection

If you are the lucky owner of a printer with a network port, you can connect it to the router via LAN using a regular patch cord. A cable is usually included. If it is not there, you can use the patch cord from the router, if it is not used for you. Or buy a cable of suitable length at the store.

In the device menu you need to set it a static IP address. It is advisable to do this even if DHCP is configured on your router. The fact is that if the IP address of the printer is constantly changing, this will complicate its search and it will periodically disappear from the list of available devices. There is of course the option to reserve an IP address in the DHCP server settings by MAC address.

After that, the printer will restart. Then it can be found in the list of network devices.

Install printer drivers and print a test page.

Using a hardware print server

If your printer does not have a network card or Wi-Fi module, and the router does not have a USB port, you can purchase a hardware print server. As mentioned above, this is a separate device that mediates between the router and the printer.

Budget models have one USB port and a network port. More expensive - several USB, and, optionally, an LPT port. Also, the print server can have a built-in Wi-Fi module and connect to the router not by cable, but by air.

First, connect the print server to the router, and the printer to the print server.

The print server is configured using the supplied proprietary utility. It allows you to find a print server on the network and set an IP address for it. Further configuration is carried out via the web interface according to the instructions. You can enter it by entering in the address bar of the browser IP that was set for the print server during initial configuration.

As you can see, there are several ways to connect your network printer to the router, depending on its hardware capabilities.

Computer settings

Regardless of which of the above methods you choose, the settings on the computer are the same in all cases.

You can configure through the “Control Panel” or through “Printers and Scanners”. The setting is similar.

"Printers and scanners" appeared on the latest versions of Windows. This application is suitable for setting up a network printer on Windows 10.

We will configure through the "Control Panel", which is available on all versions of Windows. In particular, it is suitable for setting up a network printer on Windows 7.

Search for “Control Panel” in your computer search. In the control panel we find the section "Devices and Printers". Click on the item "Add a printer."

The system will try to find the device connected to the computer, but, of course, it will not succeed. Therefore, we will use the item “The required printer is not in the list” at the bottom of the window.

On the next page, select the add item by TCP / IP address or host name. Click "Next."

In the next window, in the "Device Type" drop-down list, select "TCP / IP Device", and below in the "IP Address" and "Port Name" fields enter the address, which is obtained as follows:

  • When the printing device is connected via USB to the router, enter the IP address of your router, which you enter in the browser to enter the web interface. Usually it is 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. It is indicated on the label at the bottom of the device.
  • When connecting via LAN port with the address specified through the menu. In this case, enter this address.
  • If the printing device is connected via LAN and receives an IP address from a DHCP server, see what address was received on the DHCP server.

It is better to uncheck the box from the polling item and selecting the driver automatically.

In the next window we put a tick in the "Special" item and next to it click the "Options" button.

In the settings window that opens, select the LPR protocol, and in the "Queue name" field - in our example, we wrote "naseti", in fact, any name is written. Click OK and return to the previous page.

Now you can click "Next" and proceed to the actual installation of the printer. The driver can be selected from the list or installed from the disk.

You can give the printer a new name, or you can leave the default setting.

We refuse the offer to allow general access to the printer and click “Next” again.

A message should appear here stating that everything was successful and the printer is ready for use. To verify this, print a test page.

Setting up a print server on a router

If you have any difficulties, you can use the utility to configure the print server on the router. You can download it from the manufacturer’s official website by selecting your router model in the "Downloads" section.

To configure the print server on TP-link routers, the proprietary utility TP-Link UDS Printer Controller is used.. After you have downloaded and installed the program on your computer, run it and it will automatically find all the printers connected to the router. Select the one you want to use for automatic connection.

The utility works with Windows and Mac OC.

For D-Link routers, use the proprietary utility SIUtility. If you have a router from a different manufacturer, look for compatible software on the official website.