If you are planning to buy a printer soon, you should consider buying an Ethernet or wireless printer. Prices have come down in recent years, and now that most people have wireless networks, you can set up your network to print from anywhere in the home or even the world using a service like Google Cloud Print! It’s also great for guests because they can connect to your wireless network and print easily without fiddling with cables and CDs, so you’ll get a lot of praise as a host!
In this article, I will only talk about network or Ethernet printers. This article is also intended for Windows XP users. If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8 the process is much easier and you can read my other post on adding a printer to Windows 8 here. Now let’s get started. Here’s what you need to do to set up a printer on your Windows XP computer:
Step 1: First, connect the printer to your network by connecting one end of a Category 5 or 6 cable (which should have come with your printer) to your router and the other end to your printer’s network port. Now turn on the printer and wait until it is ready.
Step 2. Then you need to get the IP -address of your printer. The IP address is what allows your computer to know where to find the printer on the network. All network printers allow you to print a configuration sheet that lists basic information about the printer along with the current network configuration.
For most printers, this is done by pressing the Menu button on the printer, navigating to the Information option and selecting Print Configuration. Sometimes, if there is no display, just press and hold the Go or Print button for about 10 seconds and the configuration page will print. You will search for TCP / IP section:
The The IP -address is what you will need for the next steps. The printer should automatically obtain an IP address from a DHCP server on your network. At home, the IP address should come from a wireless router or home gateway if you have one that acts as a cable modem and router.
Step 3: The final step is to add the printer to your computer. Click “Start” and then “Printers and Faxes”.
If you don’t see it in the Start menu, select Start, Control Panel, and then click Printers and Faxes. Click “Add Printer” on the left taskbar.
The Add Printer Wizard will start, so click Next to start. The next screen will ask you if your printer is local or networked. These options are confusing because a networked printer actually refers to either a printer attached to another computer or a printer on a print server. Our printer is a standalone printer, so you must select a Local printer connected to this computer and make sure you uncheck the checkbox to auto detect the printer
Click Next and you will be prompted to select a printer port. Since our printer is a network printer with IP , we need to select the Create a new port option and select Standard TCP / IP port.
Click Next and you will get another wizard that will add TCP / IP printer port. On the main screen of the wizard, click Next. In the first text field enter the printer name or IP Address, enter IP address from the printer configuration sheet you printed earlier.
Click Next, and depending on your printer, you may receive another dialog box before completing the wizard. If the network card for the printer cannot be identified, the wizard will ask you to select the type of card. You can leave the default “Generic Network Card” and click “Next”.
Click Next, then click Finish. You will then continue with the Add Printer Wizard and you will need to either select your printer from the list of manufacturers, or click the Have Disk button and insert the printer driver CD -disk on your computer.
Click Next, enter a name for your printer, and select Yes if you want the printer to be your default printer.
Click Next and you will be asked if you want to share the printer. Click No, because anyone who wants to connect can do so by following the same steps. In later versions of Windows XP, the Printer Sharing dialog has been removed. Click Next and click Yes to print a test page and make sure the computer and printer can communicate!
Click Next and then Finish! The new printer appears on the Printers and Faxes screen, and you’re ready to print to your network printer in Windows XP!