There are a few ways to set up a network printer, the most common ones being to buy an actual network printer or to share your existing wired printer over a network. Here’s the basic know how on how to do both.
How to Set Up A Network Printer
Finding the Right Type of Printer
Every business has different printing needs, which means there’s a few different types of printers to choose from. If your business only prints out basic documents, such as contracts and reports, then a laser printer is the right fit for the job. These types of printers will seem more expensive than others at first, but they have a lower operational cost over time. You can also find multifunctional laser printers that, in addition to printing, allow the office to make copies, send faxes, and scan documents.
Many companies will invest in both laser printers and inkjet printers. Inkjet printers are better-suited for marketing materials, sales presentations, and high quality images. One of the benefits of having a network printing environment is that employees can choose which printer to use based on their projects and printing requirements.
Setting Up Your Printer
Some network printers connect via Ethernet port and others connect through Wi-Fi. Most printers will have a screen and keypad to configure any printer settings.
If your network printer has an Ethernet port, use an Ethernet cable and connect the printer to your network router. For printers with Wi-Fi capability, add the printer to the wireless router or access point through the printer screen.
Connecting A Wired Printer To The Network
If you already have wired printers and aren’t looking to purchase brand new network printers, you can share your printers over a network with Microsoft Windows.
To share a printer using Windows 10:
Connect the printer to a PC, which will have to stay running in order for other devices to connect to the printer.
Under the Start Menu, go to the Control Panel
Click on Devices and Printers
Left-click the printer you want to share and click Manage
Click on Printer Properties and go to the Share tab
Check the box Share This Printer and click Apply
Once you’ve added the printer to the network, other computers should be able to automatically find it in their printer settings. If not, they can search for and add the printer manually by typing in the printer name, TCP/IP address, or host name. They may also need to know the username password of the host computer to access the printer.
Quick Fix Solutions
Printer troubles are not an uncommon issue in the office, some of which end up being “duh” moments, like making sure the printer is plugged in. Here are some of the top solutions when your printer isn’t printing quite right:
Keep paper in the tray: You can troubleshoot your printer all day long, but if there’s no paper in the printing tray, then nothing will ever print out. This may seem as obvious as making sure your printer is plugged in, but it’s a very easy solution to overlook!
Turn the printer off and on again: As with many tech issues, turning it off and on again may just work, even if you are unsure of what the issue is.
Reset the network: Network printers will often have a green light to indicate that your printer is online and ready to go. If there’s an issue, then the light might be red. You can double check that your network is working by trying to go online on a web browser. If your network is down, then try resetting your internet connection to get the network back online.
Print from another computer: Try printing your documents from another computer. This will determine whether the problem is with your device or if there’s something wrong with the printer.
Read the error messages: Most network printers will come with a screen and keypad to configure printing jobs. If your printer isn’t working, check to see if there are any error messages that may enlighten you to the problem.
Fixing a paper jam: If there is paper jammed in the printer, turn the printer off and slowly pull out whatever is stuck before turning the printer back on.
Printer Issues? No Problem!
Troubleshooting printing problems isn’t actually part of an IT specialist’s job description, but the office IT person is often who everyone goes to when printing issues arise. That means a lot of IT people are spending more time fixing small tech problems and spending less time on the job they were actually hired to do. And that’s why small to midsize companies need Electric on standby.
Electric aims to support businesses who have have zero to limited IT resources. We are just a Slack message away from instructing you on how to set up a network printer to giving expert advice on how to migrate sensitive company data. Learn more about how we can support your company’s IT needs by making an appointment with a specialist today.