How to Setup a Network Printer

Level of difficulty: Easy

A network printer is essentially a type of printing hardware with a built-in Network Interface Card (NIC) which allows it to connect directly to the network router or switching device without the need for a host computer system. These types of printing devices are capable of acquiring their own Internet Protocol (IP) address in order to be identified on the network environment where it resides as a standalone unit just like any other network client. Essentially, it simplifies the sharing of printing resources among connected clients and controls the print queue traffic on its own via its accompanying device driver and utilities. These types of printers are the result of the advances in networking technology which intends not only to lower the cost of network deployment but also to make it more available to a wider scope of computer users like small businesses and also households.

Materials Needed:
- Network printer
- computer
- router or switch
- network cable
- printer driver
Step 1
To set up a network printer, it is important to initially take note of its manufacturer, model, and IP address. In some instances, network administrators assign a different IP address to the network printer instead of using the default manufacturer settings. Normally, these bits of information can be found on a sticker or label on the printer hardware itself. It is assumed that the necessary device drivers are present either on a disc or stored locally on the hard drive.
Step 2
To begin the setup process for an SCO UNIX-based system, jump to Step 12. For computer systems using the Mac OS X Operating System platform, continue to Step 17. Machines running on Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista environments can begin setting up the network printer from the next step.
Step 3
Click on the 'Start' button and select the 'Printer and Faxes' options if you are using Windows XP. Under Windows Vista, click the Windows icon, choose the 'Control Panel' option, select the 'Hardware and Sound' category and then click on the Printer module.
Step 4
Double click on the 'Add a Printer' option to launch the Add Printer Wizard and then click on the 'Next' button.
Step 5
In the succeeding window, make sure you select the 'Local Printer' option and do not select the 'Automatically detect…' feature. Click on the 'Next' button.
Step 6
Choose the 'Create a new port' category under the Type field and use the 'Standard TCP/IP Port' option. Click the 'Next' button twice for Windows XP machines.
Step 7
In the Printer Name or IP Address box, type in the IP address assigned to the printer hardware by the manufacturer or the name designated by the network administrator whichever is applicable. Click on the 'Next' button and then the 'Finish' button to complete the process.
Step 8
In the Select the Printer Port window, choose the 'Use the following port' option and make sure that the Standard TCP/IP Port is selected from the list. Click on the 'Next' button.
Step 9
Choose the appropriate name of the manufacturer and the model of the printer. If the device driver is present, simply click on the 'Have Disk' button and then click on the 'Next' button.
Step 10
For the Name box, type in any name you prefer which will identify the printer hardware to the network environment. Also, specify if this will be used as the default printer of the network. Click on the 'Next' button.
Step 11
In the next screen, make sure that the 'Do not share printer' option is chosen. Click on the 'Next' button twice and click the 'Finish' button to finalize the setup process. The network printer should now be accessible to all clients.
Step 12
For SCO UNIX machines, the user must log in as root and execute the sysadmsh command.
Step 13
Select 'Printers', followed by 'Configure', and then the 'Add' from the 'sysadmsh' option.
Step 14
Make sure that the Connection Property should have the direct value. The Device Property must be equal to Hardwired. The /dev/null should be the value assigned to the Device name for a TCP/IP network.