Saturday, January 28, 2012

Static IP for wireless printer

I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to print or scan something only to find the printer wasn't recognised. It's a wireless printer (very conveniently situated out of the way on the other side of the room), and of course the reason it wasn't recognised is I hadn't given it a static IP address. Occasionally the router gives the printer a different address to the one I entered when setting up the printer and the computer can't find it.
I'm not the only one to have had the same problem. When I read about a printer not working on the Debian forum recently, I guessed it was also an IP problem. After an update to Debian 6.0.4 today, I decided to check if the printer was working, and it had disappeared again!
I decided it was time to look into giving the printer a static IP. I'd always assumed this would involve turning off DHCP (making connecting other devices like smart phones more of a pain), but I was wrong. Giving the printer a static IP address simply involves giving it an address outside the DHCP pool. There are some detailed instructions here.
My printer now has a static IP address, and as an additional benefit, it now connects in seconds, whereas it used to require several minutes to connect by DHCP.

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