November 24, 2014

How to connect an HP printer to your wireless network

For those of us with older HP printers (particularly without WPS capability; I have a Photosmart C4599 All-in-One), the ability to reconfigure the printer is maddeningly elusive. Today, we got a new modem/router combo from our telecom, so the printer needed to be re–set up on the new network. After trying several instructions per Hewlett-Packard, those of a video posted 6 years ago actually work. Why, one might ask, since it actually appears to have been made by HP, isn't one directed to it or something similar on the HP site? [They probably bank on your frustration driving you to just buy a new model.] [Luckily, since the video is no longer available,] the steps as I did them are listed here. They are probably similar on Windows.

Overview:  Connect your computer directly (wirelessly) to the printer to set it up on the network, then, back on the network, set up the printer on your computer.

  1. Have at hand your network's SSID (network name), authentication type (eg, WPA2/AES), and password (or "key"). You won't have access to the network (to look things up, unless you can use another computer) during the following process, because you will be connected to the printer's wi-fi instead. (You won’t have access to this page, either, so be sure to leave it open in a browser.)
  2. At the printer, restore its network defaults. Make sure its wireless transmitter is still on afterwards.
  3. At the printer, print out its network configuration page. Note the network name (SSID; probably "hpsetup") and the URL (http://…) for the printer's embedded web server. (Note: This may require restarting the printer first.)
  4. Connect your computer's wi-fi to the device network of the printer.
  5. Open a browser page to the URL of the printer’s web server.
  6. In the browser, go to the Networking tab, and in the Wireless frame go to the Advanced tab. Enter your network’s (not the printer’s) SSID (remember: case-sensitive), activate the Infrastructure area, and activate and enter the authentication information. Apply. The printer will now be switched to the network, so the URL won’t reload when that's done.
  7. After a bit, print out the printer’s network configuration page again. It should confirm that it is now connected to your network. (Again, this may require restarting the printer.)
  8. Connect your computer's wi-fi to your network.
  9. The printer should now be available.