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How to install a wireless printer

Wireless printers allow users to print documents from any point on a network without the need for wires. Although offering long term convenience, such printers can often seem difficult to set up. By following these simple steps however, anyone can set up a wireless printer in no time.

Step 1: Prepare the printer 

Some printers require preliminary checks before being used for the first time. Such checks often include removing protective plastic from the scanning tray, installing ink cartridges, and attaching the paper tray. Beyond this, finding a suitable place to set up the printer where it is in close proximity to a modem/router is also necessary. Users should refer to their model's manual for more information about setup procedures.

Step 2: Connect the printer to the network

After the printer is turned on for the first time, it will likely prompt the user with time and language settings. After this, a navigational menu should appear with an option labelled "Wireless LAN", "LAN", or "Wireless setup". After selecting this option, a second prompt will appear requesting a WEP key. This is the network's security key, and can most wireless printers have a keypad which can be used to supply it. Users who are unsure of their WEP key should check the underside or back panel of their router/modem.

Step 3: Connect the printer to network computers

Some networks are set up to recognise printers immediately and link them with relevant devices. If this is the case, then no further action is necessary, and the new printer should be ready for use. There are some printers however, which need to be linked manually with computers on the network (primarily for safety reasons). Printers with this requirement will be packaged with a setup CD ROM. In order to link computer(s) with the printer, the CD will need to be inserted and run as a program (which is usually performed automatically by the system, or prompted by the AutoPlay program on Windows computers). As the installation is processed, it will write the necessary drivers and programs onto the device. It will then allow users to add a printer from the network onto the systems registry. If the printer has been linked to the network correctly, then it should appear as an option on the installation wizard. After the printer has been added, it will be recognised as a secure device by the computer, and should be accessible from the print menu of any program.