Wireless printing center

Wireless networking best practices

I have a new router. What now?

Wireless router

When choosing a location for your   wireless router, avoid having the following items between the wireless router and wireless devices on the network: long distances, walls, floors, ceilings, other wireless devices (like cordless phones), and large appliances.

You will need to set up your new wireless router. The router should come with instructions or a software CD to guide you through the set up. This is the easiest way to configure your router. If you have trouble or have lost the CD, see your router manufacturer's website.

Configuration recommendations:

  • Change the manufacturer's default name for the network name (SSID) to something unique.
  • Change the login and password of your router’s admin user account to something unique and different than the default.
  • Set the broadcast SSID to "on" or "enable" (typically the default setting).
  • For security, use WPA or WPA2.

The following security methods are not recommended for securing your network because they can be easily broken:

  • MAC address filtering
  • Disabling SSID broadcasting
  • WEP key encryption. If you must use WEP, the 'Open' mode is more secure than the 'Shared' mode.

For the encryption type select AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). AES is the newest and most secure way of encrypting data on your wireless network. Create a WPA passphrase that is at least 13 characters. Use numbers, letters, upper and lower case and punctuation to ensure strong network security.

Be sure to record your wireless settings, because you'll need this information when you add wireless devices to your wireless network, like a wireless HP printer.

When you are done configuring your router, make sure to click "Apply" or "OK" to apply the settings you've made or changed. You'll need to configure each wireless device with the configuration information that will connect to your network.

When you first connect your wireless router into your   DSL or cable   modem, make sure both the router and modem's power cables are unplugged. After your wireless router is connected to the modem, plug in the modem's power and wait a couple of minutes. Then plug in the power cable to your wireless router.

What is a “Guest network”?

Some routers provide a feature known as a “Guest” network. A Guest network typically provides Internet access to connected devices without having to connect to the main network. Devices connected to a Guest network usually cannot communicate with devices connected to the main network, or with other devices also on the Guest network. These devices are considered isolated.

Never connect the HP printer or a computer you intend to send print jobs with, to the Guest network. Even if the computer and printer are both connected to the Guest network, you will not be able to print.

To prevent communication and connectivity issues, make sure that the Guest network has a different name than the Main network. For example the Main network might be named “Mynetwork” and the Guest network could be named “Mynetwork-Guest”.

What about dual band routers?

Dual band routers provide both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHZ frequency ranges. HP printers connect to the 2.4GHz frequency band and the 20 Mhz bandwidth only. Many dual band routers let devices connected to the 2.4 GHz band communicate with devices connected to the 5.0 GHz band. But not all routers support this feature.

To manage the different bands and what devices connect to each, assign a unique SSID (network name) to each band. For example, name the 2.4 GHz band to “Mynetwork” and the 5.0 GHz band to “Mynetwork-5G”.

Communication and connectivity issues might occur with the printer connected to the 2.4 GHz band and the computer connected to the 5 GHz band. Try connecting the computer to the 2.4 GHz band.

What is a wireless range extender?

Some networks use more than one access point, such as a range extender, to increase the wireless signal range.

It is recommended to give each access point a different network name (SSID) than your main network. This makes it easier to know which access point you’re connected to and can prevent connection problems.

Wireless range extenders can cause communication problems between a printer and a computer. If you experience printing issues, connect both the computer and the printer to the main wireless router and not to a range extender.

Public hotspots

In general, public hotspots and networks are similar to “guest” networks and allow connected devices to only access the internet but not to other connected devices. So a printer that is connected to a public network will be isolated from other computers and not allow printing from those devices.

What if I run into problems?

Common wireless printer connectivity issues

  • Cannot connect to the network using the printer’s Wireless Setup Wizard.
  • During the printer software and driver installation, cannot connect to the network using USB Setup of Wireless or HP Auto Wireless Connect®.
  • The printer software cannot find the network-connected printer.
  • Mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, cannot find the wireless printer.
  • The printer loses the connection to the network.
  • A Wireless Network Test Report shows a network error.
  • The blue wireless light on the printer continues to blink after trying to connect to the network.
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) push button or pin methods do not work.

The tips and suggestions listed below are general and should be supplemented with specific information based on your particular router. For specific steps on how to configure your router, contact your router manufacturer. You might need to perform more than one of these tasks to get your printer working properly.

Install and run the HP Print & Scan Doctor (Windows only)

The HP Print & Scan Doctor is a free automated tool for Windows that helps troubleshoot common network printing issues. To download the tool, go to: HP Print & Scan Doctor. This tool is not compatible with Mac or Windows RT or other mobile operating systems.

Restart the router, printer, and computer

Network communication or connectivity issues might occur if the router, printer or computer is in an error state. Restarting these devices might resolve the issue.

  1. Disconnect the power cord from the router.
  2. Turn off your printer and your computer.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Reconnect the power cord to the router.
  5. Turn on your printer and your computer.

Check the wireless signal strength between router and printer

A weak wireless signal between the router and the printer is unreliable and can cause software installation and wireless communication issues. It can also make the printer more sensitive to interference from other networks in the area and other devices such as microwave ovens. Follow these steps to check the signal strength.

  1. Print a Wireless Network Test Report from the printer control panel. If you are not sure how to print the report, consult your printer User Guide or search for steps on the HP Support website.
  2. If the signal strength shown on the report is Very Low or Low, move the printer closer to the router until you get at least a Good signal strength. A Very Good or Excellent signal strength is recommended.

NOTE: Moving the printer too close to the router can also cause the connection to fail. Do not move your printer any closer than 6 feet (1.8 meters) to the router.

Check the channel used by the router

If the router is on a heavily used channel, or uses a channel with interference from other nearby networks, it can cause wireless communication issues. Follow these steps to check the traffic on the channel that your printer is currently on. Change the channel if necessary. Routers that have the channel selection set to ‘Auto’ may also experience a loss of communication to the printer as the router automatically changes between different network channels. It is suggested not to configure your network channel as ‘Auto’ but to designate a specific channel. When in doubt, channel 11 is usually a good choice.

NOTE: Before changing any router settings, consult the router user manual or contact the manufacturer. Additionally, you might need to reconfigure and/or restart other devices connected to your network after applying the new settings.

Step one: Locate the current channel that your network is using

  1. Print a Wireless Network Test Report from the printer control panel. If you are not sure how to print the report, consult your printer User Guide or search for steps on the HP Support website.
  2. Review the report for any diagnostic messages that might indicate an error has occurred.
  3. Under Diagnostic Results, locate Settings, and then find the number next to Channel. This is the channel that your network is using.

Step two: Find the channels other networks nearby are using

  1. Print a Network Configuration Page from the printer control panel. If you are not sure how to print the report, consult your printer User Guide or search for steps on the HP Support website.
  2. Go to the last page to locate the nearby networks and the channel each is using.
  3. Determine the channel that your network uses, and if other networks listed are on that same channel.

    If many networks are listed on the page, some might use the same channel as your printer and cause connectivity issues. If there are networks using a channel near yours (within 5 channels), then you should consider moving your network to a channel as far from the nearest channel as possible.

Step three: Change the router channel

  1. Make sure that your computer is connected to your network, and then open a Web browser such as Internet Explorer.
  2. Obtain the router IP address. Examples of default router IP addresses are 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. However, your router might have a different IP address. If you don’t know the router’s IP address, consult the router User Guide or contact the manufacturer.
  3. Type the router's IP address into the browser address bar, and the press Enter. The router settings/configuration page opens.
  4. Enter the router User Name and Password when prompted.

    NOTE: Many routers use admin as the default username and password. If admin does not work, consult the router User Guide or contact the manufacturer.

  5. Locate the Wireless Settings section on the router configuration page.
  6. On the Network Configuration you printed in the previous step, identify the channel (1, 6 or 11) with the least amount of traffic. This channel should be five channels away from the nearest channel. If in doubt, use channel 11.
  7. Enter the new router channel, and then click Save or Apply

Keep the router firmware up to date

Outdated router firmware might cause connectivity and network communication issues with the printer. If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) supplies you with a router, contact them directly for information on how to check for updates. Check the router manufacturer support website for information on available updates for your router. If the router manufacturer website does not provide information for firmware updates, you might need to contact them directly.

Confirm that your router supports Bonjour (Apple devices only)

Once you connect the printer to your wireless network, the Apple device ‘discovers’ the printer on the network. Apple devices (Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch) use Bonjour (also known as mDNS) to discover the printer when installing on the network and whenever you print or scan. Windows PCs do not require Bonjour.

If your router does not currently support Bonjour, check the router manufacturer’s website for any firmware updates which might enable Bonjour functionality. If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) supplied the router, contact them about options to update or upgrade your router to one that supports Bonjour.

NOTE: If your network uses one or more range extenders to increase the wireless signal range, these devices might not support Apple AirPrint. Make sure that the Apple device and the HP printer are both connected to the main router, and not to a range extender, when using AirPrint.

If your router does support Bonjour, the feature might be disabled in the router settings. Follow these steps to enable Bonjour on your router.

  1. Make sure that your computer is connected to your wireless network, and then open a Web browser such as Internet Explorer.
  2. Obtain the router IP address. Examples of default router IP addresses are 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. However, your router might have a different IP address. If you do not know the router’s IP address, consult the router User Guide or contact the manufacturer.
  3. Type the router's IP address into the browser address bar, and the press Enter. The router settings/configuration page opens.
  4. Enter the router User Name and Password.

    NOTE: Many routers use admin as the default username and password. If admin does not work, consult the router User Guide or contact the manufacturer.

  5. Navigate to the Wireless Settings of the router.
  6. Look for a setting that enables or disables Bonjour (sometimes called mDNS). Make sure that it is enabled.
  7. Look for a setting that enables or disables Multicasting. Make sure it is enabled.
  8. Click Save or Apply to save the new setting(s) to the router.