Printer

Discussion in 'hardware' started by xMarkx, Aug 8, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. xMarkx

    xMarkx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Posts:
    447
    Hello,

    I want to buy 1 all-in-one inkjet printer that I can connect wirelessly to 3 PCs. I'll be using it for printing out microsoft word documents (essays, reports etc) and pictures off the internet for projects. I don't want the printer directly connected to any computer with a wire.

    I'm trying to figure out how the wireless printing technology works. I've been looking at some HP models and found one that fits my budget and is currently on sale at Best Buy, the HP Photosmart Plus Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printer.

    The HP website says there are 3 ways to connect the printer wirelessly, shown in the article here. I can't use one-touch setup because my router doesn't support it (no push button). I'm not sure about the wizard, but I don't think this model supports it. That leaves the USB method which I have some questions for:

    1. Does the computer need to be connected to the router wirelessly with Wi-Fi or can it be connected to the router with a wire for the USB method to work?

    2. Do the computers that are accessing the printer need to have Wi-Fi, or will the computers be able to access the printer through the network somehow? The computers do not have wi-fi. I do not want to connect the printer to one computer and then have to have that computer on for all other computers to use the printer.

    3. If the computers can access the printer through the network, how is that setup?

    My router is 802.11g.

    Also, does anyone know if this is a good printer or if they can recommend any other printers?

    Thanks. Sorry if my questions are vague and stupid, but I'm trying to learn.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  2. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Posts:
    6,956
    Location:
    Somethingshire
    I wouldn't discount the 2nd approach, if you can change the settings on the printer, as surely there must be a way, did you check its manual on the web. Otherwise the computer has to be connected to the router and via it the printer (wired or wireless to the router doesn't matter)
     
  3. xMarkx

    xMarkx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Posts:
    447
    Hello,

    Thanks for your quick reply.

    I'll take another look at the user manual (I found it online) although I don't remember seeing a wizard option. Do I have to add the printer in Control Panel -> Printers and Fax for each computer? Or will the software (installed on each PC using the printer) on the CD automatically do that. Do I even need the software?

    Do you have any other printers that you could recommend?

    EDIT: They do have the wizard method, but they call it the "pin method" instead. It says
    The networking device is the printer right?

    Thanks,

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    2,272
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    I have an HP OfficeJet 6500 Wireless and have been very happy with it. The way any network printer works is quite simple. It connects to your network just as any network device, such as a computer, would. From there, any computer (once the drivers are installed) on your network can print to it, and it does not matter if they connect via wireless or Ethernet.

    Right! That's the whole point of having a networked printer.
    That is incorrect. All one touch does is automate the process and often, it requires the adapter to be the same brand as the router. But that is for convenience only and your connection can be setup manually, either with a cable, or as you would any wireless device.

    BUT I would urge you to get a new wireless router that supports 802.11n - for several reasons, but the primary being security. 11n is much more secure than 11g. But additional advantages include much faster access speed, greater range, and a much better menu system (because it is a new router, not 11n) which will make setting up your printer easier. And many include USB printer support, so, if you want, you don't have to use or buy a wireless capable printer.
     
  5. xMarkx

    xMarkx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Posts:
    447
    Hello Bill,

    Thanks for your reply and recommendations. I'll consider looking at a router that supports wireless N technology in the future. Is the software that came with your printer on a CD that you need for wireless connectivity bloated too much or is it ok? I will probably try the PIN method for setting up my printer wirelessly and if that doesn't work do it manually with the USB.

    Regards,

    Mark
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    2,272
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    I don't remember is it was bloated. I suspect it was but please understand I NEVER allow any install program run the default mode. That is, I always select the custom option, then I can make sure only the programs I need are installed.

    That said, that is not easy with an all-in-one. For example, do you need OCR software? Picture managers? Web publishing? If you just want the drivers, it may be easier to download from the maker's website.

    Or, if you have Windows 7, it is likely it will have the minimum drivers and software needed included.
     
  7. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Posts:
    1,238
    Location:
    USA
    Mark,

    Am I missing something or did you not state in your original post that The computers do not have wi-fi?

    If you want "no wires" with this thing then you're going to need wireless adapters (see link below) for your PCs in order to connect to the printer "wirelessly".

    http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=31&Tpk=wireless adapters

    Again, I apologize if I misapprehended your configuration and/or precisely what you are trying to accomplish.
     
  8. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Posts:
    2,345
    Location:
    Along the Shorelines somewhere in New England
    A bit of advice...research how to set a "DHCP Reservation" for your printer, so that it picks up the same IP address every time. This way when <something> happens to your network once a twice a year like a longer power outage, your printer will boot up with the same IP address...and will not fall offline. I see lots of people just let a printer pickup a dynamic IP..and every now and then it gets a new IP address on the network and will be unavailable...(and I get a call to fix it). Most routers support DHCP reservations which assures a device gets the same IP address each and every time it boots up. '

    Security is the same for wireless G and wireless N....WPA and WPA2 tkip and aes are equal in both of them. For home use, WPA is fine. And unless you send 100+ page full color print jobs, I wouldn't lose sleep over throughput speeds of wireless G.

    HP's are fine...good paper and print quality, for their home grade products I've been feeling their driver bundles have become way beyond bloated...
    Canons, Brothers, and Samsung have been making good products in this class also.
    I run away from Lexmark and Dell printers (much of which are still relabeled Lexmarks)
     
  9. xMarkx

    xMarkx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Posts:
    447
    Hello,

    Thanks for your reply as well as Prius's. I ended up buying the HP Photosmart Plus. I know what you mean by way beyond bloated, I had to uncheck so many things for the software installation (Yahoo toolbar, coupons.com software, more HP software). When I tried connecting it wirelessly to my PC, it wouldn't find my network, not even when I typed in the SSID myself. I tried a few more times and still nothing. I rebooted the printer and then it worked (this was after an hour of trying, lol). How do I make sure my printer gets the same IP address?

    The printer itself seems to be working ok. Although when I tried printing a clean nozzle page, it wouldn't print. Also, a few minutes after printing any document, the printer starts making noises for about a minute like the cartridges are realigning, which my old printer didn't do. Is this normal or is something wrong?

    In the Networking and Sharing Center under Sharing and Discovery, I have my network set to public for better security and everything (network discovery, file sharing, public folder sharing, etc) set to off expect Password Protected Sharing. However, since installing the printer, everytime I reboot the PC "File Sharing" and "Printer Sharing" are marked 'on', but I didn't turn them on. If I set them to 'off' (after I turn off file sharing, printer sharing automatically turns off) they set back to 'on' the next time I reboot. Why is this? What are the ideal settings for the Network and Sharing Center?

    Thanks,

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  10. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Posts:
    2,345
    Location:
    Along the Shorelines somewhere in New England
    What make/model router do you have?

    With most routers/gateways, when you log into the web admin, look around for the DHCP section, you'll often see an area for "reservation" or "static client" or something like that.

    Devices on networks have a MAC address...which is not unlike the VIN on your car...every one is unique. MAC = Media Access Control (in this situation, I'm not talking about the birkenstok wearing artsy types Apple Mac computer). A MAC address is 6 groups of 2 hex digits. In the form of 01:23:45:67:89:ab

    What you do is in the DHCP reservation section, enter the MAC address of the device you want to be static (like your printer)..and choose the IP address you always want to give it, like 192.168.1.20

    How do you find the MAC address? Several ways. One is to print out a configuration page from your printer. Another is to look for a sticker next to the network card of your printer. Another is to log onto the web admin interface of your printer after you've installed it, since during or after that install you'll know it's LAN IP address. (just about every networked printer has a web admin interface you can log into) Another is to look at your routers DHCP lease table, often they list the MAC address of current leases to clients. There are a few more ways.

    Note..once you install the printer...if you go and change its IP address afterwards...you may have to do some adjusting to change the printer port to the new IP address under the printer properties in your printers folder. In some cases, uninstall and reinstall.

    Not sure about the re-aligning of the printer heads after printing...it may have some routine it goes through for the first few hours or after the first few print jobs.

    Many of the new bloated drivers have these printer diagnostic tools and other utilities that demand constant communication to the printer, and require exceptions through the firewall. But if you're behind a router...you have NAT protecting you from unwanted incoming traffic from the internet, setting the network type to home is fine.
     
  11. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Posts:
    6,468
    I recommend buying a printer that the color cartridge is NOT tri color, they suck when one color runs out. :cautious:
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.