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Interesting Network Printer Shenanigans on Win10

I’ve got a Samsung ML-2850 monochrome laser printer on my network, and I’ve been chasing around various ways to interact with it lately. It seems that unless you’ve got access to a print server, and set up that print server to offer the network printer up to network users, you can’t access a network printer by name. You must instead access it using its IP address. Perforce, at the same time I also realized that it really makes sense to reserve an IP address for a networked-attached printer in DHCP to prevent the occasional automatic renumbering that sometimes occurs from rendering an old DHCP-assigned address obsolete and non-functional.

This required some futzing around with my Arris TG1672G boundary device, which combines cable modem, router, firewall, and WAP capabilities in a single package (in my area, Time-Warner requires such a device to access their fastest consumer-grade Internet service, rated at a putative 300 Mbps, but which I’ve seen running as fast as 353 Mbps lately). I had to create a DHCP reservation (what the device itself calls a “Reserved IP client”) using the device name along with its IP and MAC addresses, all of which I discovered easily using Nir Sofer’s excellent Fast Resolver utility.

After that, I was able to use either the “Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname” or the “Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings” option in the Add printer dialog box to add the device using its now-static IP address. This dialog box is available either through the Settings (Devices –> Printers & Scanners) app or the Devices and Printers widget in Control Panel in Windows 10. Here’s what that drop-down menu looks like, from which I knew I needed to select, that being the static IP assigned to the Samsung printer.

The secret to successful setup is knowing the right IP address.

Though it’s not as easy as it could be with the network printer discovered automatically, it’s still workable enough. Perhaps these observations can make it work better for you.