Connecting my printer to my wireless router

I’ve got an HP Officejet J6480 printer, a Dell laptop running Windows XP, and cisco wireless router.

I used to have my printer connected wirelessly at my office, but now I have it at my home, and I’d like to get it back printing remotely. Is there an easy way to do that, or do I have to go back to square one with HP start-up disk. When I did that the first time, it took over an hour, so I’m hoping there is some way to avoid that “experience” this time.

I tried using Cisco’s “Network Magic” software, and although it seems to have a feature to “add a printer”, it tells me to write down my WEP password and go to the device and use that to connect to the network. Huh? My printer doesn’t have an interface that allows me to enter a password. At least none that I know of.

If you can find the printer’s IP address, you can usually type it into your browser and configure the printer.

Where would I find its IP address?

Check the manual. If there aren’t buttons and a display on the printer, on your PC click START, RUN and in the DOS box type CMD.
This is for Windows XP, BTW. Type IPCONFIG, and the IP address of your PC will be show. You can try nearby addresses in your browser to see which is the printer.

This is a wireless printer, right?
If so, you need to get it to join your network, which means telling the printer the name and password of your wireless network. Instructions can be found here (I hope).

In network magic, go into Network Map. Highlight the printer, and on the right half of the screen, click on details.

I found this thread that might help…the guy asking the question is having a different issue, but it’s similar enough that hopefully you’ll get something useful out of it. If you have the printer set to a static IP address then you’ll need the MAC address in order to find it and change the IP. If it’s set for DHCP then the only problem might be if you are using WEP or WPA for wireless encryption…you’ll need to get into the printer in order to set it’s wireless NIC to use your home encryption (if you aren’t using wireless encryption I highly recommend you do so).

I’ve never set this particular printer, but a lot of HP’s use a basic web interface, and there is HP software that can locate the printer using it’s MAC address in any case. Hope it helps.


Did you mean “properties” instead of “details”? I don’t get anything like an IP address when I click on “details”.


Sorry if I’m being a bit dense, but can you clarify what you mean by “nearby addresses”? Nearby as in physical location or nearby as in numerically similar, or…?

OK. I was able to find the IP address.

But when I type that into my browser, I just get a timeout. Tried it 3 times, same result.

Wondering if I need to bypass some firewall protection or something…?

Is your printer connected to your network?
Are you sure?
Check your router - there should be a page that lists IP addresses in use.

Is the IP address on the same ‘network’ as your computer? For example, assuming it has a /24 bit subnet mask ( then if your computer has something like 192.168.1.X the printer also has to have an IP on the same network, 192.168.1.x2.

Does the printer have an ethernet port, or is it wireless only? I’m not familiar with this particular printer, obviously. If it does have an ethernet port than my suggestion, assuming the IP addressing is correct, is to plug it in using ethernet to the same switch your PC is plugged into (assuming it also isn’t wireless) and see if you can ping it directly.

The problem might be with your encryption. If your WAP is set up using encryption then you are going to need to use the same WEP code or WPA PSK on the printer, otherwise the printer wont be able to connect to the access point. Also, some people set up a MAC filter on their WAP, and if you or whoever set up your network did that you’ll need to include the printers MAC address in the access list.

ETA: The firewall shouldn’t matter, unless you have the access point outside the firewall or in a DMZ of it’s own. Assuming it’s ‘inside’ your network, there is no reason to allow a pass through from the firewall (or worry about routing or any of that stuff), since the AP SHOULD be on the same network as your PC.


No, not connected. That’s what I’m trying to do. Maybe I asked the question incorrectly, but I thought that was what I was asking help for.

How do I get it connected to my network?

OK, go to the page that I linked to a few posts ago, and wade through the manual setup section. You need to tell the printer the SSID and WEP password for your wireless network.

Yes, it’s just like that. Both IP addresses are the same except for the last digit cluster.

Yeah, that’s what I figured I need to do. But how do I get to some place where I can “enter” that for my printer? I can’t seem to access any screen that allows me to tell the printer what the WEP code is.

Look here.

Ok, that’s a good sign. It SHOULD mean that the printer is picking up an IP dynamically from either the WAP or possibly your firewall. In any case you should be able to access it. First step is just to get your computer to talk to it. Try attaching it via an ethernet cable and then use the ping command to see if the PC can ‘see’ the printer. If you get a reply then you can either use the manual provided above or just try and access the printers web interface (assuming it has one…a lot of HP’s do). You do that by just opening up a browser and putting the IP address of the printer in the browser field (i.e. where 150 is the host address of the printer). If the HP has a web interface then just use the GUI to navagate through the menus and see how the wireless card is set up. In the wireless config somewhere there should be a section called something like ‘security’…that’s where you set up encryption. You’ll need to know the SSID of your wireless network and the encryption you are using and the code or key you’ve put in…then just put that in your printer and there you go.


OK. That worked. Thanks!

I thought there might be a simple way of doing this without the HP start-up disk, but I guess not. I was trying to avoid that because every time I’ve had to insert that f**king disk into my computer, I’ve set myself up for a loooong session of waiting. It wasn’t too bad this time, but it sure seems like there should be an easier way to enter 2 lines of text…

De Nada.
If it’s any consolation, IMHO, HP’s printer software is utter dreck. I’ve never understood why I need to download 1/4 GB of crap just to get one of their printers working.

Agreed. When I was hooking up to our office printer, I spent about 2 1/2 hrs downloading the driver. I thought I must’ve been doing something wrong until others said they had the same issue. At least this time I had the disk…