When you configure a printer for your network, you need to consider a variety of factors. How you proceed can determine not only your future ease of access but also the security of the device.
The Internet Protocol (IP) address, in particular, is worth examining, as it can play a significant role in the general functionality of your printer. Unfortunately, this essential tends to confuse most users, many of whom struggle to determine which IP is appropriate in which situations. For this reason, most never bother to alter the IP address that is automatically enabled. Their failure to do so can cause real problems down the road.
Are you struggling to determine how to proceed with your IP setup? Below, we’ll discuss the various types of printer-based IP addresses, including static and dynamic options. Read on to learn which approach is best for your situation, and why, in most cases, the extra effort needed to establish static IP is worthwhile.
What Is the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol?
Before you can determine whether you’re an ideal candidate for static or dynamic printer IP, it’s important to understand the role of the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and how it influences your printer connection. From there, you can make a more informed decision.
DHCP automatically offers an IP address for the host. More often than not, both system administrators and individual consumers utilize DHCP as their default method for connecting printers to their respective networks.
To better understand DHCP, think of the automatic transmission in a car. This may be a viable option for those looking for a basic driving experience, but hands-on users may want manual control over how their cars shift into gears. Like automatic transmission, DHCP setups are certainly easier to implement in the beginning. Keep in mind that what you gain in time saved, you’ll sacrifice on the backend by not having full control over configuration options.
Whether or not your home office or small business needs a DHCP setup for its networked printers depends on a few factors. If your network also hosts several other devices such as smartphones or network switches, a DHCP will be more useful than manually assigning IP addresses to each. Because DHCP randomly assigns IP addresses to all devices, it ensures that the printer will never run into a conflict with others on the same network.
While these features are certainly practical, the majority of small businesses and home offices feature networked printers that won’t need a constantly changing IP address. Every office setup is different, but most will function smoothly if the printer is given a static IP address that never changes. This will ensure that computers attempting to access the printer won’t have to be reconfigured every time the printer’s IP address changes, as would prove necessary if assigned a new number via DHCP.
Benefits of Using Static IP Addresses
At first glance, static IP addresses might appear to require too much effort. In reality, however, the small amount of additional time spent setting up these addresses will pay off in the long run.
Because manually configuring a static IP address constitutes a one-time job, you’ll save yourself the effort of reconfiguring IP addresses later. This is particularly useful in home office setups where your printer will always have the same static IP address. You’ll enjoy a consistent connection regardless of changes in hardware, such as a new router.
A static IP address for a network printer is also beneficial for travelers on the go. Under this approach, it’s possible to connect to the desired printer while out of the office or while using other internet connections. Shared printers in a small business are also perfect candidates for a static IP address, as employees can access the printer from their own devices.
Small businesses stand to benefit most from the implementation of static IP for printers, but that doesn’t mean home offices can’t also enjoy the benefits. Thankfully, there’s no need to go through the timely configuration process on your own. Our talented Nerds will take care of every aspect of the setup procedure, leaving your home office with a networked printer that is accessible both inside and outside the office.
NerdsToGo: Your Resource for Printer and Computer Support
Whether you’re dealing with printer setup, need help with your network, or require computer repair, you can benefit from the expertise of the team at NerdsToGo. Our certified Nerds know what it takes to keep your devices and network running smoothly. We offer both residential and commercial services, including IT support. Our remote services are particularly helpful for those looking for a convenient alternative to on-site support. Reach out today to learn how we can be of assistance!