When adding any type of new printer there are two main options to choose from: a local printer and a network printer. Both wireless and network printers should be installed as local printers for a few reasons. This type of installation allows direct printing to the printer, rather than using another device as a relay, and as a result printing is not reliant upon other devices on the network being on to print.
Why Wireless & Network Printers Should be Installed as Local Printers
What's the Difference?
- Installing as a local printer means the computing device sends all print jobs directly to the printer using the network without involving other devices.
- Installing a network printer requires the printer to be powered on and connected to the network. Otherwise when the network is browsed for devices, the device will not be able to be found or installed.
- In contrast, a local printer can be installed using the TCP/IP address and selecting the manufacturer and model even if the device is turned off.
- Locally installed printers are less likely to be affected by password changes, or whether or not users are logged into the domain or a workgroup.
When installing a network printer on a Windows device, the process can be confusing because a network printer is best installed using the "install as a local printer option". To install a network printer locally, follow the steps below:
- Open the Control Panel.
- Select "Devices and Printers".
- Select "Add a printer".
- Select "Add a local printer".
- In the choose a printer port screen, select "Create a new port" and select "Standard TCP/IP Port" from the drop down menu.
- Enter the TCP/IP address to create the port.
- Finish the install.
Whatever the reason for using a networked printer, (perhaps it is simply to connect you and your children's devices), a network printer can meet the needs of everyone and is often a much more efficient and effective solution than a one-to-one environment in which every device has its own printer. When setting up a network printer, be sure to select the local printer install as it is more direct and limits overhead.
As always, when it comes to tech sometimes what may appear straightforward is not exactly what it seems. Understanding the nuances is key!