Network-capable printers are popular in office environments. Networked laser or inkjet printers make it easy for office staff to share the printer without the need to setup one particular computer as a host computer. Doing so can eat up that particular computer’s resources. And what do you do when the owner of the computer wants to shut down?
Networked printers, meanwhile, are usually just plug and play. Or, at least, once they are turned on, you can print as long as you’re also connected to the network.
In a home environment, a networked computer can also come in handy when there are a lot of computer users in the household. This is common in today’s home environment, in this ere when the notebook and netbook computer are already commonplace. Mom might want to print out recipes. Dad might need to print out articles from the online newspaper. Kids might need to print out school reports.
Brother has a series of networked printers in its various lines. You have the option of connecting via traditional LAN connection. You can also opt to purchase a printer that works over the wireless network.
The easiest way to share a connection and resources in a home network would be through a router. These devices cost about $80, and let you share your DSL or cable connection with several computers, PDAs, mobile phones and other gadgets within range. Here are some tips on how to connect a Brother printer through a router.
First, connect the printer to the router.
- Plug in the printer and power it up. Plug in one end of an Ethernet (UTP CAT-5) cable onto the printer through its RJ-45 port.
- Plug in the other end of the Ethernet cable to your router.
Next, you will need to configure your printer from a connected computer.
- Insert the optical disc that came with the printer. This includes printer drivers, setup utilities and other resources.
- Install the application.
- Use BRAdmin Professional Utility for configuring the IP address and subnet mask. Find the “BRAdmin Professional” application. If you’re running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can use the search box on the Start menu for quick access.
- If you’re using Windows XP, you will need to navigate through the Start menu to access this application: Start – Programs – Brother Administrator Utilities – Brother BRAdmin Professional Utilities – BRAdmin Professional.
- Choose TCP/IP. Then, choose “Search Active Devices” under the “Devices” menu. Choose “Unconfigured Device.” Then, enter the IP address, subnet mask and gateway of the network.
- Click “OK” to confirm your settings.
You will need to install drivers for the networked printer on each computer. Note that on some Windows versions, setup is usually automatic, but you can only access advanced features if you install Brother’s bundled printer driver.
An added benefit of setting up a home network is that you can share files and resources. You can even set up a network storage, which is essentially a hard drive connected directly through the router. And then, of course, you can share the Internet connection through just one router.