Many printers today come with wireless capabilities and can connect directly to an infrastructure or ad hoc 802.11 network. This video looks at manual and automatic setup options (through WPS), plus how to connect a printer for cloud-based printing.
why don't you go ahead and set up your printer as a network device. Now there's two kinds of network devices. There are wired devices and that means you're going to have to have a printer with a network card in it. And there's also wireless devices and in that case you're going to have to have a printer with a wireless NIC in it. of their network. And if I plug in an RJ45 into this device, and assuming I've got a good connection to the same network that all my devices are on, then it's not that big of a deal. Most of the time I've got some choices here. Number one, most of these printers will yell out on the network. First of all, they are almost DHCP clients, so they will grab a DHCP address pretty much instantly. Also, they will broadcast their presence. There are lots of protocols that do this. So they have names like back in the older days for the MAC OS, it was the SLP protocol. For Windows it's the LLDP protocol. The bottom line is, there are lots of protocols out there that the moment you got this guy plugged in, A, he will get his own IP address via DHCP and then he will start broadcasting to the world. And you pretty much go into any operating system and just install the printer and it goes. However, this one's a little bit of a pain so I'm going to intentionally make it harder. On this particular device, when I plugged it in it was not doing a very good job of letting anybody know it was there. So I got a couple a choices. The first thing on a lot of these devices is there going to have some kind of little screen for me to make some configuration. So on this one, I actually had to go in and configure TCP/IP settings. So as you look at this guy, you'll see I can actually set up the IP address. There even APIPA is on. I can set up IPv6. Whatever I need for my network, I can configure it right there. Equally, if this is going to be a wireless, all I have to do is go into that front screen and there's going to be some place that says, what's the SSID you want me to connect to? I type in the SSID and I type in the passcode and boom this guy's on the wireless network. The bottom line is, it's usually not that big of a deal to give this guy a legitimate IP address for your network. Now the trick is getting all your individual devices to see it. Now on a lot of printers, it's already done. All you have to do is start installing the printer, just like you'd install a local printer. There's no real difference. However, if there's trouble, the first thing you need to turn to is whatever utilities come with the printer. This printer was giving me trouble so I had to go to the Brother website and install a few utilities. Let me show you what I did. So I found this installation tool and what I did is I said I want to set it up for my network. And it scound around and it found it. So I'm just going to hit Next. And I'm going to get some sales pitches 'cause that's what happens with these devices. And he's going to go ahead and configure individual systems to be able to get to this particular printer. What I had to learn the hard way on this printer is I went through this process of going through this installation and then suddenly everybody else on the network suddenly saw him. It didn't matter whether it was a wired network or a wireless, everybody just magically saw him as it should be. Brother, work on this particular printer man, you can make it better than what it is. There are a couple little tricks you need to keep aware of. Number one, with wireless in particular, is that this is a wireless network card in this printer so it's subject to the same ole 802.11 rules we always have. For example, if I've got an 802.11ac network that's on the five gigahertz band and I got some old printer from 2005 to this guy via Bluetooth, you got to go through the pairing process, the whole shebang and good luck with that. The other thing to remember on these printers is that they have WPS. So in a lot of these printers, if you're having trouble with configuration on the wireless side, and you have WPS capable router, yeah I know I'm not a big fan of WPS, but simply pressing a button, this one does not have WPS interestingly, pressing a button on your router, then pressing a button on the printer, and it automatically configures and it gets an IP address and it's on to your SSID, no problem at all. Okay. When you get into the wireless world, you run into the world of zero conf or what Apple calls Bonjour. What you're talking about here is you've got an individual device that wants to connect to it. I wish this one had it 'cause I think that's part of the problem, it was hard to install. Is that Bonjour for example, will go out on a wired network and basically do all that broadcasting letting everybody know it's there. It's amazingly great to run printers with Macs. In fact, with the Mac, you don't even have the idea of installing the printer on the Mac locally, it just magically appears. Thank you Bonjour. Now if you're on a wireless network, you take advantage of something called AirPrint on your Mac OS system and again, people laugh at me as a Windows guy, especially the Mac folks. They're like, we bring the printer into the network, we make sure it gets an IP address, we make sure it's connected on the right SSID and it just shows up on all the Mac clients. All right Mac people, I'll give you that one. It is amazingly, incredibly convenient using Bonjour and AirPrint to make printers appear. In the Windows world, while we do have zero conf functions, you run into situations like I've got right here, where I have to go through the pain and suffering of get it to actually configure. While we're in there, I want to show you this. As I run the installation, remember that this is a multi-function device. It's also a scanner and a fax and all this. So take a look what's showing up right here. What we're seeing are some of the other features being installed. So this is a fax feature. And that's nice. It'll allow us to send faxes, things like that, whatever we might want to do. Okay, now there's one more I want to talk about and that is cloud printing. To take advantage of these multi-function things, like for example, the fax, a lot of times what we'll do is we'll print a word document and we want to fax that word document. Well, we just go ahead and print to a fax. And it asks for a phone number and boom off it goes. However, they often make your life a lot easier by putting a lot of these functions right on the screen on this particular device. Let me show ya. So if you take a look right across the front here it's got fax, it's got copy, it's got scan, and all I need to do is I can click on any of these. For example, I can scan something. I can send it to OneDrive, I can do all kinds of amazing things with it or I could scan it and then fax it. I can scan it and then make copies of it. It all pretty much built in to these types of multi-function devices. All right, the last thing I want to talk about is cloud. The biggest thing out there is Google Cloud Printing. The whole idea is that you print not to your local printer, not to a network printer, but to a printer that you install to your actual Google account itself. So the idea is that you set up, it's actually built into android, and you configure Google Cloud Print. Now you can't do this with just any printer. First of all it has to be a wireless capable printer, no other way to get around that. And it also has to have Google Print services support built into it. You can go to the Google Cloud Print and take a look on their website. They show you all the printers that can do it. There's thousands of them. So, if that's the case, there's really nothing else to do other than be on the same wireless network as this printer, you set up that printer, it is there forever, and now anytime you need to print something, it doesn't matter where you are, as long as you're on the internet, and he's still on the wireless network at home, you can print to it no matter where you go. (light music)
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