Submitted by: Billy Joe Long
Company: PSA Computer Services
Titled: Printer Installation 101 – (USB and Ethernet)
Original release date: September 12, 2022
So you got that new printer and your thinking … now what? Well don’t panic, depending on how you want to use your printer this should be pretty straight forward. Let’s take a look at the two most common printer setups.
1. You will use your printer on one and only one computer (desktop or laptop).
When you buy a consumer grade printer today it will usually provide, at a minimum, one of these three connection methods: USB, Ethernet or WiFi (or some combination of those three or all three). There are other connection methods, but we will only be addressing these three methods over the next couple of articles.
Setting up your printer directly connected to your computer using USB is the easiest setup, but comes with limitations on where you can put your printer. Typically the USB cable that comes with your printer will be 3 to 6 feet long. That’s not much length to work with, but if that works for you then simply pop the installation disk into your computer (or go online and download the drivers to your computer – the web address will be in the instructions – yes, you should review them as well!). Then run the setup program. The most common software setup routine will be to run the printer setup software BEFORE PLUGGING YOUR USB CABLE INTO THE COMPUTER. At some point in the printer software installation you will be instructed to plug the provided USB cable into the printer and your computer. The software installation will continue once the printer is detected. From there follow the on-screen instructions and once completed you should have the ability to print – congratulations!
(Note on USB printers. USB printers can be shared to other users located on the same network. This setup can produce setup issues and is therefore not covered in this walkthrough. If you would like more information on this type of setup, please give us a call.)
The setup process for a network printer will be the same whether it’s for one or many computers to access it – so we will just skip to section 2 for the ethernet network walkthrough.
2. You will use your printer on one or more computers (desktop or laptop).
Network printer installation is a little more involved. Network printers offer flexibility on where you can put your printer – especially the WiFi variety, but can require a little more work to setup. In this article I will cover ethernet installation only. WiFi installation will be more involved and we’ll take a look at that in my next article.
Setting up your printer on your ethernet network consists of first connecting your printer to an ethernet cable which is connected to your router. Now pop the installation disk into your computer (or go online and download the drivers to your computer – the web address will be in the instructions – yes, you should review them as well!). Then run the setup program. At some point in the printer software installation you will be instructed to choose a printer from a list of available network printers (unless there is only one). The software installation will continue once your new printer is selected. From there follow the on-screen instructions and once completed you should have the ability to print from this computer – congratulations! Run the exact same setup process on any other computer, on the same network, you want to have the ability to print. Congratulations again! Tune in next time as we tackle setting up a WiFi printer.