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How to Setup and Connect a Wireless Printer

Connecting a wired printer is not difficult as there are fewer complications involved in it. You just need to find the right cable, plug it, and connect it to your computer- that’s it. Your wired printer is ready for use. But, how about connecting a wireless printer? It is not as easy as connecting a wired printer.

Different Types of Wireless Printers

When it comes to wireless printing, there is more than one type of wireless printer in the market. You can find Bluetooth enabled wireless printers, printers using infrared connections and Wi-Fi printers. The most common wireless printer that is used is the Wi-Fi printer that connects to your home wireless router.

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Connecting a Wi-Fi printer is also not very easy as there are different ways of connecting it. Depending upon the printer, the steps vary, thus makes connecting a wireless printer more complicated. So, today, in this article, we will be focusing more on the issues that are likely to crop up when you try to connect a wireless printer and the ways to solve them. This will help you to resolve the issues that may arise when you connect your first wireless printer.

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Connecting a Wi-Fi Printer

You can connect your Wi-Fi printer in three ways or to three devices. You can connect it to the Wi-Fi access point in your computer network, to one or more computers or to your Smartphone or tablet. As mentioned earlier, the steps and approach of connecting the Wi-Fi printer will be different for each situation.

Connecting Wi-Fi Printer via Wi-Fi Access Point

You can connect Wi-Fi devices in 3 different ways. They are ad-hoc, infrastructure, and Wi-Fi direct. Infrastructure mode uses an access point that is built into the router by default. The idea behind this technology is that all your Wi-Fi devices must be connected via the access point. When you have a network with the access point, all your Wi-Fi devices should be set to the infrastructure mode.

Before you start your process of connecting a Wi-Fi printer, there are a few settings you should be aware of. After your network is ready, you should note the network SSID, network password (if you are using one) and the security protocol used by your network, i.e. (WEP, WPA2 or WPA).

You should also be aware of any other settings which you have changed in order to turn off a DHCP. If you have turned off DHCP, you will have to assign your Wi-Fi printer an IP address manually. If you have set the access point to connect only to a specific MAC address, then you need to set that MAC address to your Wi-Fi printer. But, you don’t have to worry about any of these if you haven’t changed the default settings.

The first step in connecting a Wi-Fi printer via the access point is to make sure the system is connected to a network. Once you have confirmed that the system is connected to the network, the next step is to establish a Wi-Fi connection between your printers and the network. After that, you just need to install the driver in your system for the printer to work.


Now, establish a connection between your Wi-Fi printer and network. Most of the time, the setup wizard will help you to establish the connection between the printer and the network. The best approach is to follow the user manual and write down all the default settings before you start the process of establishing a Wi-Fi connection between your printer and network. Now, change all the connections to default and connect your Wi-Fi printer. If the connection works, then you can change one setting at a time and test to make sure everything is working fine. You also need to keep in mind, if you have changed the settings, you may have to check the previously connected Wi-Fi devices again to see if they work properly or not.

Once the Wi-Fi connection is established, the following steps are easy. Install the printer driver and continue the steps till you are able to successfully give a test print.

Connecting a Wi-Fi printer directly

Connecting a Wi-Fi printer directly to any other Wi-Fi device for wireless printing depends largely on whether your printer supports this feature or not. For direct connection, you need an ad-hoc or Wi-Fi direct modes. After confirming with the manufacturer that your new Wi-Fi printer supports ad-hoc, you can connect your printer by entering the SSID code and other required details through the printer menu. After that, you need to install the printer driver on the system from where you will be giving prints.

Wi-Fi direct is the easiest way to connect a Wi-Fi printer as you can connect two devices at the same time. Wi-Fi direct connection can be established easily as it does not have any complicated procedures.

Connecting Wi-Fi Printer Directly to a Smartphone or Tablet

Connecting the printer directly to a Smartphone or tablet is very tricky. The main reason for this is there are no printing apps that suit your Smartphone.

Apple has made connecting a Wi-Fi printer to the iOS device easy by launching an app called the Apple AirPrint. Here also, you need to print through an access point and both the devices are connected to a Wi-Fi network. Apple AirPrint is compatible with more than 1000 varieties of printers.

If you’re an Android Smartphone user, you can use the Mopria Print Service app that supports Android 4.4. There are already a few manufacturers that support using the Mopria Print Service app.

Every printer manufacturer is working on the basic principle that you should be able to connect a Wi-Fi printer via Wi-Fi without any complications to your Smartphone. Most Android Smartphones are already compatible with connecting to Wi-Fi printers whereas iOS has started to support this feature a few months back.

Users need to keep in mind there is no one solution or option for connecting a Wi-Fi printer. Every manufacturer supports different methods of connecting and you will have to study the documentation to successfully connect a Wi-Fi printer to your computer or Smartphone. If one approach doesn’t give you the desired result, you can always try the next option.

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