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Network Printer Connections

There are two ways to establish communication with a network printer:


The hostname is the network name by which the device (printer in this case) can be found by other connected devices. Often times this is the most reliable way to connect to your printer, but not always. Using a hostname to connect to your printer relies on name resolution which simply means a way to translate the hostname into an IP Address. If your printer connection is unreliable using the hostname method then use static addressing or keep Network Printer Mechanic handy.


  • IP address changes do not affect the connection
  • Allows the use of router assigned addressing (DHCP).


  • If name resolution fails you are essentially disconnected

IP Address

IP Address connection means specifying the dotted decimal IP Address of the printer (e.g. IP Addressing comes in two flavors:

Static Addressing

The first is static addressing. This is clearly the most stable means of connection since no name resolution is required. However, using static addressing requires configuring the static address on the printer and may possibly require modification if your router is replaced.


  • Reliable – its direct network address is locked in


  • Requires significant effort to reestablish connection when the network changes

Dynamic Addressing

The other method is dynamic addressing. Using this method the router assigns the IP Address in what is known as a lease. Just like any lease it is subject to expiration and termination. If not using in conjunction with a hostname based connection dynamic addressing of a network printer should be avoided like the plague.


  • When used in conjunction with the hostname method this is the most convenient type of connection
  • Without hostname connection – NONE


  • Many events can cause the address to change requiring complex effort, reinstallation or a utility like Network Printer Mechanic to repair


A word about RAW printers

RAW printers, sometimes called port 9100 printers can be tested outside of the windows printing system to help determine the nature and location of the problem if a normal test page fails to print. Network Printer Mechanic offers this test in the further diagnostics section of the post repair testing.