Why is my network printer offline again?
Printer Services Newsletter 20.3
Yes we are still here doing our best to keep our customers printing in these difficult times. Unfortunately we do have stock issues on some products but overall we can find a solution to suit your needs. Like most of us, we are so looking forward to being let out to spread our wings . We have written a quick blurb about printer networking below, which may be too technical for some but interesting for others. Give it a go.
Why is my network printer offline again?
This is a very common issue. We get our customers finding their printer is offline when connecting via a network connection from a Windows computer. More often than not, they are connecting via a WSD Printer Port. Restarting the computer often resolves the issue for the time being, though a more stable solution is to setup a static IP Address. The static IP Address does require basic networking skills, where using a WSD Printer Port is more a plug and play solution for the novice user.
What is a WSD Printer Port?
WSD (Web Services for Devices) uses IP (Internet Protocol) to connect as well as monitor devices and printers, and was designed to make life easy when it comes to installing printers. WSD is a protocol that is designed for automatic discovery, setup and control of printers and other devices. WSD makes devices Plug and Play through a network rather than requiring a USB cable. However, it often has the opposite effect, and in many cases, you probably shouldn’t use it if you require a stable connection.
What is IP?
IP (Internet Protocol) is the address system of the Internet and has the core function of delivering packets of information from a source device to a target device. IP is the primary way in which network connections are made, and it establishes the basis of the Internet. IP does not handle packet ordering or error checking. Such functionality requires another protocol, typically TCP.
What is a IP Address?
IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) is a unique identifying number that is associated with a specific device such as computer, printer and also points to domains. When connected to the internet, the IP address allows the computers to send and receive information to that unique identifier. eg '192.168.1.1' '10.0.0.253' ['220.127.116.11' which points to www.printerservices.com.au]
What is TCP?
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) uses IP (Internet Protocol) to connect as well as monitor devices and printers. Use TCP in companies where you only want to install selected printers and not every device on the network.
What is TCP/IP?
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) relationship is similar to sending someone a message written on a puzzle through the mail. The message is written down and the puzzle is broken into pieces. Each piece then can travel through a different postal route, some of which take longer than others. When the puzzle pieces arrive after traversing their different paths, the pieces may be out of order. The Internet Protocol makes sure the pieces arrive at their destination address. The TCP protocol can be thought of as the puzzle assembler on the other side who puts the pieces together in the right order, asks for missing pieces to be resent, and lets the sender know the puzzle has been received. TCP maintains the connection with the sender from before the first puzzle piece is sent to after the final piece is sent.
The problem with WSD
The problem with WSD is that Microsoft uses a generic driver designed to work with a whole range of devices. This means you will be able to print in mono or colour, and choose between single or double sided. If that’s all you need, then WSD will certainly be a benefit. For those looking for a bit more from their Printer/Multifunction Device (MFD), they may need all of the features available to the device such as Secure Print, Store in Mailbox, Department ID Authentication, Booklet Folding, Saddle Stitching, Hole Punch etc. In this scenario, you really don’t want Windows installing a WSD based print driver. Here’s how to prevent it.
How to prevent WSD?
1 – Turn off WSD at the device. This is the best way to prevent Web Service for Devices from installing on your PC. WSD is listed in most Printers/MFD’s under Network Settings.
2 – Don’t use Auto Detect when installing the print driver. To prevent WSD, you should change the Device Type from Auto Detect to TCP/IP Device. Windows will then ask you to select the location of the correct driver you want to install.
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